Divorce lawyers are usually those lawyers that deal with the family law. They are specialized in all areas of family matters and can provide sound legal counsel when approached. It is usual (as well as safer) for both parties to use different divorce lawyers to deal with the proceedings.
Checking through the yellow pages would produce quite a list of lawyers practicing family law. However, the best kinds are divorce lawyers who are most well known by word of mouth. Browsing the Internet is another option to look for a good divorce lawyer. Many websites help customers locate a good practicing family law lawyer in a specific area. Of course, locating a divorce lawyer through the state bar association is an always available method for those looking for accredited lawyers working for the government.
Available online is a lot of information regarding the divorce proceedings. This can be of a big help if either party is looking for a cheap divorce. It is possible to get cheap divorce if there is no contest from either party or no other litigation with regards to child custody, and things like property rights. Knowing all the rules and divorce laws can reduce the lawyer expenses while ensuring uncomplicated settlement between both the parties as per the state divorce laws. All such information is available online and can be retrieved with minimum effort. Online lawyers are available to help in cases where an online divorce service is entertained due to lower cost. Paperwork obviously is minimal since everything is online and the best part is that it’s all completely legal!
It is important to note that cheap online divorces are only suitable for those who wish to separate without any lingering issues pending between them. No-fault divorces are usually considered cheaper. A ‘no fault’ divorce happens when both parties agree to separate peacefully.
Available online are websites that work as referral services to a number of lawyers willing to work cheap. Most of these websites provide free forms to start the divorce proceedings along with legal support at a considerably low cost. However, cheap divorces are not for those who require a lot of settlements prior to the dissolution of the marriage such as property, settlements, children, and pet custody. This is important to note since divorce decrees are final and cannot be reopened or changed at a later stage.
The chapter 7 law of bankruptcy aims at giving a fresh start to a person who is too heavily burdened with debt to discharge it in a normal manner. Since chapter 7 completely wipes out his debts, it is also known as a ‘liquidation bankruptcy’, as opposed to chapter 13, which is known as ‘repayment’ bankruptcy. This is because the debtor has to make some payment in chapter 13, whether whole or partial, to discharge his debts. Since in chapter 13, the bankruptcy court approves the payment plans, the creditors are bound to accept whatever is paid to them.
In chapter 7, however, unsecured loans are completely discharged and the debtor is left to pay only secured loans, such as car loans or home mortgages. This makes it possible for him to retain his physical assets. In chapter 7, the debtor can only keep the property that is legally exempted. Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are usually decided within a period of four to six months from the date the petition is filed.
The court appoints a trustee, usually a lawyer, who helps administer justice. The trustee examines the documents of the debtor to ensure that he is not hiding any property or trying to exempt it from being sold to pay of his debts. He holds meetings between the debtor and his creditors to examine his actual assets or his capability to pay off his debts.
Chapter 7 has certain eligibility criteria for those who file for it. You must be an individual, a married couple or a businessman, either a sole proprietor or a partner. Moreover, under chapter 7 bankruptcy law, you can file for bankruptcy once in six years. Another condition is that if your petition for filing for bankruptcy has been dismissed in the preceding 180 days, you cannot file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. Also, you have to be very honest about your debts and assets both to the court and creditors. Otherwise, your petition will be dismissed by the court.
A trustee, usually a lawyer and an expert in bankruptcy cases, is appointed by the bankruptcy court to administer the assets of the debtor. He examines the petition filed by the debtor and determines whether or not he has any assets that are not protected under chapter 7. If the debtor is found to possess any property that can be sold, it is not exempted. The trustee, however, exempts property which is mortgaged against secured loans, such as a car or a home.
If you file for bankruptcy and your petition is admitted under chapter 7, the court will appoint a trustee for you. The job of the trustee is to evaluate your property and extract as much as is economically feasible. Based on the assessment done by the trustee, if the court feels that you do not have the assets to repay your debts, your liabilities to your creditors are written off.
A month after you have filed your petition, the trustee, on the basis of his assessments, convenes a meeting between you and your creditors. It is mandatory for the trustee to convene this meeting. Yet in meetings such as these, the creditors do not usually turn up because they are already aware of the financial position of the debtors and so for them this simply means a waste of time. Those who do show up try to seek more explanation or information about your assets and other possible sources of your income, which you may not have for some reason provided in your petition.
Once the trustee submits the report of your disposable assets, the court examines the accuracy of the details filed in your application. The court also requires facts such as if you anticipate any more income, for example, from your tax returns. The trustee will also ask you questions about your recent purchases. It is part of his duty to verify the authenticity of the claims that you have made in your petition. For example, you may have presented your property as undervalued, in which case, the trustee will examine how you arrived at that particular figure. Once the court is satisfied that you cannot pay your unsecured debts, it declares your debts as discharged.
Filing for bankruptcy under chapter 7 does provide relief to the debtor who is unable to discharge his debts and is hounded by the persistent demands of the creditors to pay back the loans. The relief provided by the court, if it writes off your debts, may prove to be short-lived when you realize that it is no longer easy for you to obtain finance to start life afresh.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy finds mention in your credit report, and this automatically dents your credit rating. The problem becomes all the more compounded when you realize that the report will remain in your credit score for a period of seven years.
The scenario may seem grim, but there is always a way out. Bankruptcy may prove to be a blessing in disguise if your previous debts, which were the cause of a negative credit report, are completely wiped out. This is because credit is usually offered based on a person’s debt and income ratio. The greater the debt, the lesser is the credit which is provided. After the bankruptcy proceedings, the debts are completely wiped out. Your income debt ratio is raised to 100:0.
One important condition in chapter 7 bankruptcy law is that you cannot apply for a second chapter 7 within six years. The creditors realize that their lending will not be wiped out for the next six years, and that non-payment of their credit would subject the debtor to court proceedings. Remember that creditors want business and they will give credit, though they will charge higher interest rates for the same.
A number of banks have started offering ‘secured’ credit cards, where the debtor is required to deposit a certain amount of money as security with the bank. He can take a loan whenever he wants up to the limit of his deposit. With the passage of time, if your loan payments become punctual, the credit ratings grow higher and the loan amounts also increase.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy aims at giving a fresh start to a person who is too heavily burdened with debt to discharge it in a normal manner. Since chapter 7 completely wipes out his debts, it is also known as a ‘liquidation bankruptcy’ as opposed to chapter 13, which is known as ‘repayment’ bankruptcy. This is because the debtor has to make some payment in chapter 13, whether whole or partial, to discharge his debts. Since in chapter 13, the payment plans are approved by the bankruptcy court, the creditors have to accept whatever is paid to them.
In chapter 7, however, unsecured loans are completely discharged and the debtor has to pay only the secured loans, such as car loans or home mortgages. This makes it possible for him to retain his physical assets. In chapter 7, the debtor can only keep the property which is legally exempted. Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are usually decided within a period of four to six months from the date the petition is filed.
The court appoints a trustee, usually a lawyer, who helps administer justice. He examines the documents of the debtor to ensure that he is not hiding any economically feasible property or trying to exempt it from being sold to pay of his debts. He holds meetings between the debtor and his creditors to examine his actual assets or his capability to pay off his debts.
Chapter 7 has a certain eligibility criteria for those who file for it. You may be an individual, a married couple, or a businessman, either a sole proprietor or a partner. Moreover, under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy law, you can file for bankruptcy once in six years. Another condition is that if your petition for filing for bankruptcy has been dismissed in the preceding 180 days, you cannot file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. Also, you have to be very honest about your debts and assets both to the court and creditors. If found otherwise, your petition will be dismissed by the court.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called straight bankruptcy, helps debtors to liquidate some of their debts, mostly unsecured, and enables them to make a fresh start in life without being incessantly harassed by the creditors’ calls for refunds. Cases filed under chapter 7 are usually decided within a period of four or five months.
You can file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 or chapter 13. Yet there is a basic difference. If you file under chapter 13, you’ll be asked to pay your debts, partially or wholly, in installments over a period of time. The time period may range from three years to a maximum of five years, as the case may be. In contrast, if you file for bankruptcy under chapter 7, most of your financial liabilities will be liquidated completely.
It is important to point out that under Chapter 7, you will not be exempted from paying off secured debts such as loans attached to a property or a car. All secured debts like mortgages, car loans, alimony, and state taxes have to be paid.
It is important to note that if you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you will not be forced to sell off your necessary assets such as your car and house, as these and similar possessions are necessary to start life afresh. You are eligible to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy if you are single, a married person, or if you own a small business, whether as a sole proprietor or a partner. You must, however, realize that you can file for Chapter 7 only once in six years. Also, you cannot file if your previous bankruptcy case was dismissed by the court within the preceding 180 days.
You must keep in mind that your case will be dismissed if you try to deceive the bankruptcy court in any way or make false statements about your assets. Your case also stands to be dismissed if you have not been honest with your creditors or you have cheated your spouse by hiding your actual assets. The same applies if you transfer them fraudulently to your friends or family members.
Under the grant of authority given by Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution, Congress enacted the “Bankruptcy Code” in 1978, which is codified as title 11 of the United States Code. From October 17, 2005, the courts must charge a $220 case filing fee, a $39 miscellaneous administrative fee, and a $15 trustee surcharge, which must be paid to the clerk of the court upon filing. However, individual debtors may pay in installments with the court’s permission.
To qualify for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, the debtor can be an individual or business entity. This eligibility is discussed under U.S.C 11 subsections 101(41), 109(b). An individual may not be a debtor unless he or she has received proper credit counseling within 180 days before filing. If the ‘current monthly income’ of the debtor is more than the state median, the Bankruptcy Code requires application of a ‘means test’. With the petition, the debtor must also file with the court schedules of assets and liabilities, current income and expenditures, unexpired leases, a statement of financial affairs and a copy of the tax returns. Also, debtor must provide a list of all creditors and claims, the source, amount, and frequency of the debtor’s income, a list of all of the debtor’s property and a detailed list of the debtor’s monthly living expenses.
Under the U.S.C. 11 Section 362, the ‘Automatic Stay’ on collection action is put so that creditors may not initiate or continue lawsuits or demand payments. U.S.C. 11 section 721 and 726 discusses the role of the impartial trusty who administers the case, operates the business of debtor and liquidates the debtor’s nonexempt assets. The trustee holds a meeting of creditors between 20 and 40 days after the petition is filed. At the meeting, the trustee puts the debtor under oath, and both the trustee and creditors may ask questions. The debtor must cooperate with the trustee and provide any documents that the trustee requests.
A discharge given according to U.S.C 11 section 727, releases individual debtors from personal liability for most debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor. The court may revoke a chapter 7 discharge on the request of the trustee or creditor, if the debtor obtained the discharge through fraud.
There may be circumstances in which you are not in a position to discharge your debts. This may be due to financial constraints resulting from expensive medical bills, marital problems, losses in business, or other factors. In circumstances such as these, you may file for bankruptcy under chapter 13. If the court is satisfied with your case, it may grant you permission to pay off your debts, partially or wholly, in installments. The time period is usually three years, but in some cases, the court may also allow you to pay over a period of five years. It is important to note that you are eligible for chapter 13 only if your debt is not very high.
To file for bankruptcy under chapter 13, you will need to fill a two-page application form duly signed by you and your attorney. The application form is easily available in all stationery shops.
You’ll also be required to pay a filing fee and an administrative fee to the court. If you are unable to pay the fee in lump sum, then you can pay it in installments also. However, the maximum installments cannot be more than four. The court clerk accepts the fee on behalf of the court.
Under chapter 13, the court helps you organize your debt payment plan and enables you to make monthly payments to the trustee who is appointed by the court to disburse the proceeds to your creditors. The trustee receives a 3 to 10 percent commission for his services. The debt payment schedule has to be prioritized according to a predefined procedure.
Court charges, alimony, child support and income taxes, among others, have to be paid in full. These payments come under secured debts. However, you get laxity under the unsecured debts, which you are allowed to pay according to your income and assets. The discretion of the bankruptcy court plays a significant role here. Some courts do not approve of a repayment plan that does not allow for paying back at least 50 percent of their owed debts. Under chapter 13, therefore, sometimes the creditors have to be satisfied only with a small refund.
You can file for bankruptcy under chapter 13 if you are unable to pay off your debts to creditors. Most people, at some time in their lives, may find themselves in situations when they are unable to pay their debts because of expensive medical bills, marital problems, or extended credit limits.
The problem becomes worse if you have creditors at your door demanding payments that you cannot make, and threatening you with adverse circumstances or lawsuits if you don’t pay up. In such situations, you can file for bankruptcy under chapter 13 to seek relief from the court of law. The court can grant you the permission to pay your debts, wholly or partially, in installments spread over a period of three years. In some cases, the court may also give you five years to discharge your debts.
Once you obtain a stay from the court, the creditors can no longer harass you in any way. This is because the only way they can contact you is through the court, so you will get relief from their incessant demands to pay the loans due to them.
The court provides you with a docket number to protect you from your creditors. Once you show them the docket number, they can no longer harass you or get you summoned by the court to dispossess you of your property.
You may be indebted to both secured and unsecured creditors. In most cases, the unsecured creditors receive only 10 percent of their debts. For instance, if you owe someone $2,000, you will be required to pay only $200 spread over a period of three to five years. This means that you will have to pay just a few dollars in each installment.
Even in such cases, if there is some change in your income and you want readjustment in your payments, you only need to inform the court and the necessary amendment is usually granted. You must, however, be ready to pay additional court fee and the fee of your attorney.
Chapter 13 of the US bankruptcy code comes to the aid of the people who, on account of some untoward circumstances, are unable to pay off their debts. Such individuals can approach the court, and the court, if satisfied with the genuineness of the case, can permit them to pay off their debts, partially or wholly, in installments spread over a period of 3 years. In some cases, the period can be up to five years.
Yet seeking the help of Chapter 13 has its consequences. Consider a situation where you are unable to pay off your debts and approach the bankruptcy court to obtain relief. Your chapter 13 reports will remain in your credit record for seven years, and this will affect your credit ratings drastically. Lenders will be reluctant to extend you a loan till the expiry of at least two years since the filing for bankruptcy.
Obtaining finance is difficult but not impossible. The best option is to improve your credit report. For this, it is important that you get a copy of your credit report and ensure that everything is in order. For example, if after filing for bankruptcy, you pay your bills on time and pay your installments too, this will improve your credit report.
It is also important for you to note that if you refinance before the 37 months of bankruptcy, you’ll have to first pay the unsecured debts that you filed for in the bankruptcy court. So it is best that you wait past 37 months to avoid the possibility of paying back debt.
Also, if you need refinancing within one year of filing for bankruptcy, you can get it from an FHA mortgage. For this, you’ll have to prove that you have been paying your trustee payments and mortgage payments regularly each month. You can even contact your bankruptcy attorney for guidance. Remember that refinancing is difficult but not impossible—there is always a way out, provided you look hard enough.