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Bankruptcy

Focused, Efficient Representation

Focused and efficient representation

I understand that a large number of persons seeking my consumer financial services will likely consider bankruptcy as their best overall option. While I will be happy to represent you in your bankruptcy case, I don't like to start any client relationship assuming that a person requires a particular service before having a thorough understanding of their situation and their needs.

I prefer to begin with an overall evaluation of your needs and then work down through potential considerations with you only resorting to a bankruptcy as a last option. Along the way, we will have a conversation about specific details of your situation and review all documentation related to your finances. Only after I have a solid and complete understanding of your situation will I provide specific, focused options for you to consider.

I don't want you to be discouraged by this approach because you think it will add unnecessary time or expense to your situation. It won't. Because of my experience in handling consumer credit and finance legal issues we will be able to move along quickly, but efficiently, to thoroughly analyze your situation and begin to create a plan with realistic options for you to consider.

Because of the efficiencies provided by the technology I utilize in my practice, I am able to spend more of my time working with my clients to make sure they receive nothing short of excellent care and legal representation. After all, I believe that's the whole point in hiring an attorney to begin with.

Bankruptcy, Generally

Lake Mary Bankruptcy and Consumer Attorney - Law Office of Alex McClure

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person who cannot pay his or her bills can get a fresh financial start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law, and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all of your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you, at least until your debts are sorted out according to the law.

I provide representation for both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies in Brevard, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola and Volusia counties. Eligibility for bankruptcy depends on a multitude of factors such as your income, household size, types of debt, length you have had certain debts, and many other factors depending on your specific situation. I offer free consultations to review your financial situation with you individually and I can determine whether you are eligible for bankruptcy and explain in depth specific options you may have in your case. Contact me today to find out if I can help you find realistic solutions and help you create a sustainable financial future for yourself.

Chapter 7

Referred to as “chapter 7” because of where it's found in the bankruptcy code, chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally what people are referring to when they casually use the term bankruptcy. Statistically, chapter 7 bankruptcies make up the majority of bankruptcy filings nationwide. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, all assets of the debtor which are not exempt (meaning they are protected from being taken by creditors) are sold by the trustee and the proceeds are distributed amongst your creditors. For this reason, chapter 7 is generally inappropriate for persons with significant assets which they intend to keep or for persons with significant income which can be used to pay creditors.

Many people file for chapter 7 when they have little or no assets and significant unsecured debt such as credit card and medical debt. Although there are always exceptions, a well advised and prepared bankruptcy under chapter 7 is generally a straightforward, predictable process which takes a minimum of time and expense to complete.

If you want to keep property like a home or a car and are behind on the mortgage or car loan payments, a chapter 7 case probably will not be the right choice for you. That is because chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate the right of mortgage holders or car loan creditors to take your property to cover your debt. This means that unless you can "make up" your past due payments in short order, a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge cannot protect you from losing property that is secured.

If your income is above the median family income here in Florida, you may consider filing a chapter 13 case. Higher-income consumers who are above the state median must fill out “means test” forms requiring detailed information about their income and expenses. If the forms show, based on standards in the law, that they have a certain amount left over that could be paid to unsecured creditors, the bankruptcy court may decide that they cannot file a chapter 7 case, unless there are special extenuating circumstances.

There are many considerations to weigh when deciding whether a chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you. Contact me to schedule your free consultation so that we can discuss your situation and I can make recommendations tailored for you.

Chapter 13

Referred to as “chapter 13” because of where it's found in the bankruptcy code, chapter 13 bankruptcy is typically thought of as the personal “reorganization” form of bankruptcy. It is often utilized by individuals with too much income, too much un-dischargeable debt, property which they wish to keep or individuals who otherwise may not qualify for Chapter 7.

In a chapter 13 case you file a “plan” showing how you will pay off some of your past-due and current debts over three to five years. The most important thing about a chapter 13 case is that it will allow you to keep valuable property--especially your home and car--which might otherwise be lost, if you can make the payments which the bankruptcy law requires to be made to your creditors. In most cases, these payments will be at least as much as your regular monthly payments on your mortgage or car loan, with some extra payment to get caught up on the amount you have fallen behind.

You should consider filing a chapter 13 plan if you:

  • Own your home and are in danger of losing it because of money problems;
  • Are behind on debt payments, but can catch up if given some time;
  • Have valuable property which is not exempt, but you can afford to pay creditors from your income over time.

There are many considerations to weigh when deciding whether a chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. You will need to have enough income during your chapter 13 case to pay for your necessities and to keep up with the required payments as they come due. I will discuss with you more in-depth specifics of the requirements, benefits, and potential pitfalls of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Compassionate, Personal Advice

Lake Mary Bankruptcy and Consumer Attorney - Law Office of Alex McClure

Even in the most distressing financial situations, bankruptcy may not be your only option. Together we will review your entire financial situation to determine the best course of action to suit YOU, today and into the future. If in fact you do file for bankruptcy, I want you to feel comfortable and confident that you took the time to explore all available options and made the best choice for yourself after a thorough and considered analysis. Simply because you qualify for a bankruptcy filing doesn't mean that it's necessarily the best option for you.

During our consultation, I will gather not only information about your financial situation but information about you and your plans for the future. I want to make sure that the advice and services that I provide fits you as a person and not just what makes sense on a balance sheet.

I understand that your financial problems may be a result of or contributing to other difficulties you are facing in your life. If this is the case, I would be happy to consult and work collaboratively with other professionals providing you with services at this difficult time.

The Law Office of Alex McClure provides services in Lake Mary, Sanford, Longwood, Deltona, Deland and all of Seminole, Volusia, Orange, Brevard and Lake Counties.  

Solutions For a Sustainable Future

I make every effort to tailor my services to the individual needs of my clients by approaching their issues with an eye towards both their short and long-term goals. I strive to provide solutions which address their immediate concerns and helps them create a realistic and meaningful path towards long term financial sustainability. I look forward to working with you to develop those solutions and help you successfully navigate your consumer legal issues.

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