Arkansas Bankruptcy Attorneys
Bankruptcy, as far as the US Federal Bankruptcy Code is concerned, is the process undergone when a business or individual seeks relief from their debts. While the bankruptcy laws have changed, many people are still able to file for bankruptcy, obtain debt relief, and rebuild their credit in a surprisingly short amount of time. The Fort Smith and Rogers, Arkansas Bankruptcy Attorneys at Nolan, Caddell & Reynolds represent clients in the following kinds of bankruptcy:
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
Know the facts
Q: What types of bankruptcy cases are available to me, the consumer?
A: Consumers have two options under the Bankruptcy code:
Chapter 7; a debtor may liquidate certain of his/her debts. Chapter 13; a debtor may repay all or a portion of his/her debts under the supervision and protection of the bankruptcy court.
Q: How does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy differ from a debtor consolidation plan through a consumer credit counselor organization?
A: In a Chapter 13 case, the Bankruptcy Court can provide aide to the debtor that private debtor consolidation services cannot provide. For example, the Court has the authority to prohibit creditors from foreclosing or attaching the debtor’s property, to force unsecured creditors to accept a chapter 13 plan that pays only a portion of their claims, and to discharge a debtor from unpaid portions of debts. Private debt consolidation services have none of these powers.
Q: Will bankruptcy stop harassing telephone calls, letters, lawsuits, and garnishments?
A: Yes. After the bankruptcy petition has been filed with the bankruptcy court, all telephone calls and written correspondence must be directed through your attorney’s office. Furthermore, all lawsuits and garnishments will be stopped.
Q: Will I lose all of my property by filing bankruptcy?
A: No. You are entitled to keep property which is designated as exempt by the bankruptcy code or Arkansas law. In general, the exempt property which you are allowed to keep is your home, automobiles, furniture and clothing. A complete list of all items which you are allowed to retain will be given to you during your free consultation.
Q: How long will bankruptcy appear on my credit record?
A: Bankruptcy may be reported on your credit records for up to ten years. However, in some instances, bankruptcy may actually improve your credit history. For example, if there are compelling reasons for filing bankruptcy that are not within the debtor’s control (such as an illness or injury), some credit reporting agencies may take that into account in rating the debtor’s credit after filing.
Q. What bills may be included (i.e.,
discharged) in a bankruptcy?
A. The most commonly discharged bills are: medical bills, credit cards, loans through banks, finance companies and credit unions, deficiency judgments that were the result of repossessions and/or foreclosures, back rent, balances that remain from broken leases or contracts and utility bills. Back taxes owed to the IRS and the state may be addressed in certain cases.
Q: How can I obtain more information about bankruptcy?
A: Call us to set up an appointment for a free consultation.
Q. Will I have to go to court?
A. Yes. However, in most cases, you will never attend a court proceeding over which a judge presides; rather, you will be required to attend what is called a
341(a) meeting. This type of proceeding takes place in a federal courtroom, but it is less formal and much less intimidating than what most clients expect. This meeting provides an opportunity for your bankruptcy trustee to review your filing with you and your attorney and to make sure that the documents you signed and your attorney filed with the court contain the correct information. Because the court sets several cases for one time slot, you might spend some time waiting for the trustee to call you and your attorney to the table to sit down and discuss your case, but once your case is called, the meeting usually only lasts five to ten minutes.
Q. How much does bankruptcy cost?
A. The filing fee charged by the bankruptcy court for a Chapter 7 is currently $299; the filing fee charged by the bankruptcy court for a Chapter 13 is currently $274. Attorney’s fees, which are additional, are determined on a case-by-case basis. During your free consultation, your NCR attorney will, in most cases, be able to quote you a firm price for the entire bankruptcy that will include all costs and fees for your particular bankruptcy.
Put us to work for you
Our Fort Smith and Rogers, Arkansas Bankruptcy Attorneys will provide a full financial evaluation of your situation and explain the options that are available to you. Most bankruptcies allow you to keep your home, furniture, business, and vehicles. While every case is different, understanding which assets you are allowed to keep and which assets you may not be able to keep is important in determining whether a bankruptcy is appropriate for you, and if so, how best to proceed with your case.