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Chattanooga Bankruptcy Law Blog

Does a debtor have to sell everything to file Chapter 7?

Getting out from under debt can be a long and difficult process. No matter what path a person chooses to achieve debt relief, they may first wish to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to better understand the bankruptcy process. Some Tennessee residents may have misconceptions about how the bankruptcy process works, particularly when it comes to liquidating their assets through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

When a person liquidates their assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they effectively sell the items they own in order to get money. That money is then used to pay off the individual's creditors. However, the bankruptcy process is not intended to leave a debtor without anything on which to build their new life. Certain items may be protected, or exempt, from the bankruptcy process.

How many times can a person file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

While most people may hope to never have to file for personal bankruptcy during their lifetime, others may successfully use bankruptcy to turn around their financial misfortunes. In the event that they stumble back into monetary troubles after receiving their Chapter 13 discharges, some Tennessee residents may wish to use the legal process again to steady their economic difficulties. While a person can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy more than once, there are time limits on how close together those filings may be.

If a person has a prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge in their history, they must wait at least two years to receive a second discharge. Their desire to use Chapter 13 bankruptcy may also be impacted by a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge: when Chapter 7 has been used by a debtor, they must wait at least four years to be granted a discharge from a subsequent Chapter 13 filing.

Was your bill sent to a debt collector? Here's what to do next

Owing a significant amount of debt is frustrating, especially if your financial frustrations are the result of things that are beyond your control. For example, you may find yourself facing significant medical debt after a sickness, extended stay in a Tennessee hospital or unexpected surgery. You may not have the savings to deal with the bills that just keep coming, and before long, you may be hopelessly behind.

If you cannot pay your bills, the creditor may choose to send the medical debt to a debt collector. This means they hire a third party to attempt to get money from you. This may include calling you multiple times per day, sending you letters and much more. It can be overwhelming, but there are options available to you. It may help you to learn more about what you can do if a collections agency starts calling. 

Motherhood and medical debt: A statewide problem

Having a baby is an incredibly stressful time for an expectant Tennessee mother. While her concerns may surround her own health and that of her baby, she may also worry about retaining her career as a mom, earning an income that will support her and her family, and paying for the medical services that they will need when labor and delivery begin. The financial aspects of having a child are significant, and for some new mothers, debt becomes a problem shortly after they give birth.

For some women, getting health care for their infants becomes an expensive undertaking when emergency services are required. When mothers and babies do not have health insurance or when their insurance does not cover all necessary services, medical bills can skyrocket and become insurmountable burdens on them. On top of the stress of caring for a new child, a mother may be left with financial ruin and overwhelming debt.

Determining if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you

Financial problems can creep up on anyone. Even when an individual or family has lived comfortably and financially secure for years, life events could drastically change that. A job loss or a serious medical condition could cause major financial problems. This can make it difficult when navigating the matter, causing one to wonder if they will ever get out of the hole. There are options, and bankruptcy can be a solid and beneficial process for those seeking debt relief and a fresh financial start.

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process could be the best option for individuals struggling financially. At Mark T. Young & Associates, we understand that it can be difficult to begin this process; however, our attorneys take the time to make sure our clients are well informed of the process and how it could benefit them.

Overcoming medical debt through bankruptcy

For the most part, individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere care about their health. Unfortunately, costs associated with health care can get costly. And when the unexpected happens, such as an injury, illness or necessary surgery, these expenses can be overwhelming. Medical debt can create major financial hardships for individuals and families, requiring them to seek financial relief.

It is expected that those without health insurance or without a good plan are the most prone to medical debt, but even those with good coverage through an employer or the Affordable Care Act marketplace can fall victim to surprising medical bills.

How do bankruptcy exemptions work in Chapter 7?

No one wants to admit that they are dealing with financial problems. Many hope that if they ignore them long enough, that they will just fix themselves. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. What is even worse is that financial problems that go unaddressed have the tendency to get unmanageable. When a debtor has maxed out credit cards, medical bills piling up or suffered a job loss, it can seem impossible to ever get a handle on their finances. While it may not sound like the most appealing option, filing for bankruptcy can be a real option.

The problem so individuals have with the bankruptcy process is how it will impact their assets and property. No one wants to see everything go away in order for his or her debt to get erased. Thus, it is important to understand what bankruptcy exemptions are and how they could apply to your situation. With regards to Chapter 7, this is known as the liquidation bankruptcy. It essentially means that assets are sold off to pay off as much debt as possible.

What are a bankruptcy trustee's duties?

If your financial affairs have been causing you concern for some time or a major event, like the threat of foreclosure, has spurred you into action, you may have come to the decision to file for bankruptcy. At first, you may feel as if this route is your last resort, but you may come to find that successful completion of your case has the results you have needed for some time.

During your case, you will work with an individual known as a bankruptcy trustee. This person's responsibilities throughout your case may differ depending on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Helping you tackle credit card debt

Even when a person makes a good living, financial troubles can make their way into his or her life. It is easy to charge items to a credit card. While this form of payment is useful in certain situations, it can get out of hand in others. This is where credit card debt can become an issue. While it is fine to have some balance of a card, carrying this balance over and continually adding to it can evolve into an unmanageable situation. This is when it may be appropriate for individuals in Tennessee to consider debt relief options.

It is difficult to admit that one needs help, especially when it means filing for bankruptcy. However, the attorneys at Mart T. Young & Associates, understand how to ease this often emotional process. Our law firm is sensitive to the matter, understanding that it is difficult to face financial troubles; however, we are also knowledgeable on the solutions to these problems.

How bankruptcy can help when wages are garnished

Wage garnishment is a legal process. When a Tennessee resident has a job and owes a creditor money, that creditor may be able to secure a wage garnishment against them. If they do, the debtor will see some of their pay removed from their paycheck each pay period and sent to the creditor in consideration of their debt.

Therefore, a wage garnishment can be a major problem for a person who relies on their entire income to make ends meet for themselves and their family. When different creditors seek to garnish an individual's wages, that individual may find that they simply cannot earn enough money to care for their needs. However, filing for bankruptcy can help with this problem because it allows an individual to enjoy the benefits of an automatic stay.

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Mark T. Young & Associates
2895 Northpoint Blvd.
Hixson, TN 37343

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
Phone: 423-933-1606
Fax: 423-877-0363
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