The decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one, but with the help of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, the situation is made easier. Filing for bankruptcy is a last option for individuals and families that are unable to manage their debt. Filing can bring a much needed feeling of relief in distressed situations. A bankruptcy attorney will help to stop collection calls and give you a clean slate and a fresh start at a life free of debt. This is accomplished by obtaining a bankruptcy discharge.
Experienced Lee’s Summit Bankruptcy Attorney
WE OFFER FREE CONSULTATIONS AND PAYMENT PLANS
Jeffrey Carey has been assisting clients filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy since 1999. He offers personal service and deep experience. His main office is in Lee’s Summit but he has offices in Independence and Sedalia as well.
Jeff knows that you are going through a very stressful time in your life, and has helped hundreds of people in your situation. Our initial bankruptcy consultation is free, which means that you do not owe us anything unless you decide to continue with our services.
Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions
Answered by Knowledgeable Bankruptcy Lawyers…
Below is a list of frequently asked questions in an effort to help you. For additional questions, please reach out to Jeffrey Carey.
Can I save my home?
Yes. If you are current, or can become current on your mortgage(s), you can reaffirm your mortgage in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy attorney will also need to demonstrate in court that you are able to make future payments. If you are not current and cannot become current, you can save your home with a Chapter 13 filing. For a Chapter 13 plan to be confirmed, it is necessary to be able to pay future mortgage payments, past due payments, and the Chapter 13 trustee’s administrative fees. For more information, contact a bankruptcy attorney at our office.
What does it mean to reaffirm a debt?
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is possible to reaffirm any secured loans that exist on the date of the bankruptcy filing. This is a voluntary agreement between you and the creditor. For the creditor to agree, you will ordinarily need to bring your loan current. Your bankruptcy attorney will also need to show in court that you can afford the future payments without imposing an undue hardship on you or your family.
What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code an individual can obtain an immediate discharge of any debts that cannot be paid. You will need to pass the Means Test and demonstrate to the Court that there is not sufficient future income to make payments on the debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy also involves utilizing your Bankruptcy Exemptions to protect the property that you need to make a fresh start. Any property that cannot be protected, however, is made available for your creditors to partially satisfy any debts.
What is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code you propose a long term repayment plan for your creditors that involves payment of part or all debts. Your disposable income will be calculated and must be dedicated to the payment of those debts. Once the Commitment Period has been completed (generally between 36 and 60 months) any debts that remain unpaid will be discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are filed because your income is above the median income for a household of your size and you have disposable income, because the debtor is attempting to protect non-exempt property, in order to protect a home facing foreclosure, in order to strip a second mortgage that is wholly unsecured from your real estate, or for a number of other less common reasons related to the types of debts that need to be discharged.
Am I required to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
If you make more that the median income for your household size there is a presumption that you must file a long term debt repayment plan under Chapter 13. It is important to remember that even is you are required to file for Chapter 13, a bankruptcy can provide significant debt relief and cancellation. Nevertheless, most consumers prefer the immediate discharge available in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is also important to remember that if you are above the median income level, your bankruptcy attorney may still be able to qualify you for a Chapter 7 filing based on your individual circumstances. The median income levels for Missouri are as follows (for cases filed after November 1, 2019):
Household Size (Income Level)
For more information see: https://www.justice.gov/ust/means-testing
Can I discharge unpaid taxes?
Maybe. Federal taxes that have been due and owing for more than three years may be discharged in bankruptcy. If you are unsure, be sure to consult a bankruptcy attorney for more information.
Can you help with foreclosure?
Maybe. If you cannot afford the mortgage payment, bankruptcy will not help you. In order to remain in your home in this situation you will need to get the creditor to agree to modify your mortgage. This is a time-consuming and frustrating process, in which you will likely be asked to provide the same written documentation to multiple departments. Make sure to keep all information organized in order to be prepared for repeat requests. If you can afford your mortgage but have simply fallen behind, a bankruptcy lawyer can help.
What exemptions are available to protect my property?
In Missouri, the following are the most commonly utilized exemptions.
$15,000 – Homestead
$3,000 – Household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops or musical instruments that are held primarily the use of the debtor and his dependents
$500 – Jewelry
$1,500 – Wedding ring
$5,000 – Any mobile home used as the principal residence
No limit – Professional health aids for the debtor or his dependents
$3,000 – Motor vehicle
$850.00 plus $250.00 for each of such person’s unmarried dependent children under the age of eighteen years – Head of Household
$3,000 – Tools of the Trade
For more details about exemptions, call a bankruptcy attorney at our Lee’s Summit, MO, office.
How to bankruptcy and personal injury intersect?
Jeffrey Carey is a personal injury and bankruptcy lawyer in Lee’s Summit. He has the skill and expertise to protect your interests as bankruptcy and personal injury law intersect.
If you are forced to file for bankruptcy, your claim is an asset of the estate and is not exempt under Missouri law. One exception is worker’s compensation benefits, liquidated or not. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you keep more of your personal injury claim if its value is insufficient to satisfy the claims filed against the estate. When you file for bankruptcy during the case, your attorney must petition to be approved as counsel by the bankruptcy court.
When the person or company that injured you files bankruptcy, the automatic stay in bankruptcy will apply to immediately require you to cease litigation activities and the trial court will grant a stay. You should make sure that your personal injury lawyer is aware of the exceptions from discharge which may apply to the case.
If the potential debt is fully dischargeable, an examination of the assets of the estate and the relief being requested must be performed. After the 341 meeting, the Chapter 7 Trustee is required to either 1) file a report of no distribution and 2) set a claims bar date.
If you are the person responsible for the accident, you will need to notify the court and your lawyer about the claim. You will then want to assess the arguments for a complete discharge and ensure the case is dismissed once the discharge is granted.
It can be beneficial to have experienced bankruptcy counsel work with you if assets are being administered. Presuming your claim is large, you may qualify to be on the claims committee in business bankruptcies. Read more here.
Are there special considerations when I bankruptcy and divorce are both happening at the same time?
Yes. Debts assigned pursuant to a divorce decree are generally not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Lee’s Summit bankruptcy and divorce attorney Jeffrey Carey uses his experience in both fields to maximize your position. Read more here.
Are there any special protections if bankruptcy becomes necessary because of the coronavirus?
There are not currently any special provisions relating to the coronavirus. If you have experienced a sudden loss of income, bankruptcy may help to manage debts coming due when your income in insufficient. Additionally, the uncertain future loss of income will need to be analyzed on the context of the means test and may impact availability of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Attorney in Kansas City
Our attorneys understand that bankruptcy can happen to anyone. Because of this, our bankruptcy lawyers take each client’s individual situation very seriously.
If you are in need of a Kansas City bankruptcy attorney who can help in this time of need, contact us for a free consultation at (816) 246-9445.
Lee’s Summit, MO attorneys dedicated to helping you through one of life’s most challenging times.