Bankruptcy is the best option for preventing repossession and persistent threats from creditors for debtors to pay their debt. If you are unable to pay your credit card debt, car loan, home loan and personal loans, you can employ the services of PA’s best bankruptcy lawyer to help you get legal protection under bankruptcy law. Through this process, you can shed off all your debts through liquidation of your assets or choose to repay your debts under convenient terms and condition in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer avoiding volunatary repossession becomes easier if you would like to retain your car.
When filing the necessary paperwork for bankruptcy, you will have to indicate on the statement of intention whether you’re planning to retain the car or not. If not, the financier will petition the court to lift the automatic stay that comes into effect when you apply for bankruptcy. This will allow the financier to repossess the car that you’ve voluntarily surrendered. If you would like to retain the car, you will notify the court, trustee and creditors by indicating on the statement of intention.
How to Retain Your Car
Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the assets of the debtor have to be sold and the proceeds used to settle their debts. The state of Pennsylvania offers a wildcard exemption of $300 per person, which translates to $600 for married couples filing joint bankruptcy. However, residents can opt to use federal exemption guidelines, which offer a higher car exemption of $3,450 per person, but varies from year to year. If your car has the same value as the car exemption, you do not have to voluntarily surrender it since the asset is exempt and cannot be sold by the trustee during the liquidation process. Exemption may also apply if the value of your car is a little bit higher than the federal car exemption. For instance, if your car is worth $3,700, your lawyer will convince the trustee to let you keep it since the costs associated with selling the car may be significantly higher than the difference. After all, the trustee is required to refund the difference between the selling price and the car exemption. In this case, the trustee will only take $250 to pay your debts and give you back the remaining $3,450, which is the federal car exemption you’re entitled to.
Importance of Hiring an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer
Hiring a PA bankruptcy lawyer with years of experience in the industry is highly recommended. This will help to ensure your rights are protected. The right lawyer should have a lot of experience in Pennsylvania bankruptcy law. The lawyer should also be licensed by the state’s bar association. Experienced lawyers know all the exemptions, procedures to be followed, duties and powers of the trustee. Therefore, they can ensure you get the best deal whether you’re declared bankrupt under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
The Cons of Voluntary Repossession
There are cases where voluntary repossession during bankruptcy may be a great idea. For instance, if the outstanding balance of the car loan is quite significant, but the vehicle has a much lower market value, you can get rid of the debt by voluntarily surrendering it. Please note that if the loan has a cosigner, who is not a spouse filing bankruptcy jointly with you, he or she may be forced to cover the deficiency balance. To ensure that the cosigner is protected, is crucial you work with a lawyer who has years of experience in the industry.
Important Points to Note About Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is meant to protect consumers who are in serious financial distress and should not be abused. It also provides creditors with a legal solution for settling their bad debt accounts. For instance, if a debtor refuses or is not able to make their payments, creditors can petition the bankruptcy court to declare the debtor bankrupt. A bankruptcy trustee is normally appointed to assess the merits of the case and determine whether the debtor qualifies for Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The trustee will put the debtor’s finances under scrutiny to determine their total monthly income, assets and debts. Recent financial transactions will also be looked at to ensure there is no financial impropriety. If declared bankrupt, consumers should know their lives may never be the same again. For instance, getting a new job may be next to impossible. Obviously, getting another loan will be a challenge since lenders can no longer trust you. Renting a house, leasing a car or running for public office will also not be possible. This is because bankruptcy is a matter of public knowledge, so anyone can find out if you are bankrupt or not. Unfortunately, the bankruptcy entry will also remain on the debtor’s credit report for several years, which means you will experience the effects of having a bad credit for years to come.