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Bankruptcy and Debt Attorney Overview

Lawyer Assistance in Cases Involving Debt

The laws of the United States provide certain protections to people who face overwhelming debt, and they also regulate the actions that people and organizations can take when collecting debt from others. Individuals or businesses may have a variety of options available to help them overcome debt, and business owners should understand their options for pursuing collection of debts owed to them.

If you are dealing with crushing debt, a bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your options for discharging your debts and receiving a fresh start. If you are a business owner who needs to collect money owed to you, a collections lawyer can assist with recovering debts while following the requirements of state and federal laws.

Bankruptcy

A person or organization may discharge their outstanding debts through bankruptcy if they meet certain requirements. Bankruptcy is treated differently when filed by an individual or married couple or by a business:

  • Personal bankruptcy - Depending on the income a person earns, the assets they own, and their ability to repay outstanding debts, they may be able to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for the discharge of all debts, and it may require a debtor to liquidate some of their property. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a three-to-five year repayment plan will be created, after which any remaining debt will be discharged.
  • Business bankruptcy - A business will typically file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows a company to discharge or partially repay some debts, renegotiate contracts, and create a plan for becoming profitable.

Debt Collection

A business or organization may be able to collect debts from debtors through a variety of methods, including:

  • Contacting a debtor directly to demand payment or pursuing payment through a collection agency.
  • Repossessing property which secured creditors have a claim to.
  • Filing a lawsuit to collect payment of a debt. Following a judgment in the creditor's favor, a lien may be placed on the debtor's property.
  • Initiating an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding.

By filing for bankruptcy, those who are experiencing financial difficulties and are struggling to make ends meet may be able to start over, and by working with an experienced attorney, they may be able to complete the process while avoiding the foreclosure of their home or other property. Business owners who need to ensure that they receive the payments their company needs to continue operating should work with a collections lawyer to determine their best options for receiving what they are owed and ensure that they are following the correct legal procedures as they pursue debts.

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