Bankruptcy Lawyers in Chattanooga
If you are facing creditor harassment, foreclosure, garnishment, and other consequences of excessive debt, it may seem like your creditors hold all the cards. Remember, however, that you have a powerful legal tool at your disposal that can stop your creditors while helping you achieve debt relief — bankruptcy.
At Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr., our lawyers have extensive experience helping clients file for bankruptcy. We will work with you personally to help you explore your debt relief options. If you decide bankruptcy is right for you, we will guide you through all the necessary legal steps.
Bankruptcy Solutions for People & Businesses in Tullahoma
We represent individuals, families, and businesses in a wide range of bankruptcy matters.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers total debt relief within six months for most people who qualify. It is a good option for people facing excessive credit card debt, medical debt, and other types of unsecured debt.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes debt into a manageable payment plan to be paid monthly over three to five years. Chapter 13 is a good option for people who earn a steady income but have fallen behind on mortgage payments and other secured loans.
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy is bankruptcy for businesses. Chapter 11 is the financial reorganization of a business, which allows the business to stay open.
- Chapter 12 bankruptcy is for family farmers or family fishermen. Chapter 12 is similar to Chapter 13 in that it allows debtors to pay a portion of their debt over a period of time.
Understanding the Benefits of Bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy can be challenging, yet it can offer significant relief to individuals and businesses burdened with excessive debts. At Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr., our Chattanooga-based bankruptcy attorneys are ready to navigate you through this process and shed light on the benefits of filing for bankruptcy.
Some of the benefits of bankruptcy include:
- Debt relief: Bankruptcy enables you to settle or restructure your liabilities, offering a clean slate and the chance to reconstruct your economic outlook.
- Protection from creditors: Bankruptcy, in any form, stops creditors from harassing you. Filing for bankruptcy enacts a legal injunction known as the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay stops creditors from foreclosing on your property, repossessing your car, garnishing your wages, and taking other legal actions against you. It even prevents them from calling or writing you to collect the debt.
- Peace of mind: Initiating a bankruptcy filing can ease the tension and worry associated with massive debt. It offers a feeling of ease and gives you the ability to concentrate on restoring your balance in your finances.
- Opportunity to rebuild credit: Although bankruptcy might momentarily affect your credit score negatively, it also presents a chance to rebuild your credit. By managing your finances responsibly, you can gradually enhance your credit in the long run.
- Legal protection: Initiating a bankruptcy claim offers legal safeguards and guarantees just treatment throughout the proceedings. Our skilled bankruptcy attorneys will champion your rights and assist you in maneuvering through the intricate legal processes.
If you are considering bankruptcy as a solution for your financial struggles, contact our office today. We offer personalized guidance and support to individuals and businesses in Tullahoma, Kingsport, and the surrounding areas.
Protect Your Assets with Bankruptcy Exemptions
When considering bankruptcy, it's important to understand that not all of your assets may be at risk. Bankruptcy exemptions exist to protect certain types of property from being liquidated to pay off your debts. These exemptions vary by state and can help you retain important assets such as your home, car, and personal belongings.
At Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr., our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys in Chattanooga can assist you in identifying the exemptions that are relevant to your case. We will collaborate closely with you to make certain that you fully utilize all accessible exemptions, enabling you to safeguard your assets while also attaining debt alleviation.
Some common bankruptcy exemptions in Tennessee include:
- Homestead exemption: Protects the equity in your primary residence
- Motor vehicle exemption: Shields a certain amount of equity in your car or truck
- Wildcard exemption: Allows you to protect other personal property of value
- Personal property exemptions: Covers household goods, clothing, and other necessities
By utilizing these bankruptcy exemptions, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can start fresh financially without losing everything you've worked hard for. Contact our bankruptcy lawyers today to learn more about how we can help you protect your assets through the bankruptcy process.
What Is The Process for Filing for Bankruptcy in Chattanooga
The process for filing for bankruptcy in Chattanooga, Tennessee is generally similar to the process in other jurisdictions. Here is a general outline of the steps involved:
- Gather Important Documents: Collect copies of important financial documents, such as utility bills, credit card statements, bank statements, tax returns, and payroll records.
- Determine Eligibility: Assess your eligibility for bankruptcy by considering factors such as your income, debts, and financial situation. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney for personalized advice.
- Choose the Appropriate Bankruptcy Chapter: Work with an attorney to determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right option for you based on your circumstances.
- Complete Required Forms: Fill out the necessary bankruptcy forms, including a petition, schedules, and other relevant documents detailing your financial situation. You may need to provide information about your assets, debts, income, expenses, and more.
- File the Bankruptcy Petition: Submit your completed bankruptcy forms to the bankruptcy court serving Chattanooga. You can file the documents by mail or in person. Electronic filing may only be available to attorneys.
- Pay Filing Fees or Request a Fee Waiver: Pay the required filing fee when submitting your bankruptcy petition. If you cannot afford the fee, you may apply for a fee waiver with the court.
- Attend the Meeting of Creditors: After filing, you will be required to attend a meeting of creditors, also known as a 341 meeting. This meeting allows the bankruptcy trustee and creditors to ask questions about your financial situation.
- Complete Financial Management Course: Before receiving a bankruptcy discharge, you must complete a financial management course from an approved provider. This course helps educate individuals about personal finance and money management.
- Follow Court Orders and Requirements: Adhere to any court orders, requirements, or repayment plans associated with your bankruptcy case. Cooperate with the bankruptcy trustee throughout the process.
It's crucial to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Chattanooga to understand the specific requirements, procedures, and local rules that apply to your bankruptcy case.
Depending on the bankruptcy chapter you file, the process could look a little different.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee takes control of the debtor’s assets and uses them to pay off creditors (although most people who file have no qualifying assets to lose). The debtor must first take a bankruptcy means test to determine if they qualify for Chapter 7. Most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have their debt discharged within six months.
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the first step in establishing a payment plan that lasts between three and five years. We will work with you to propose a payment plan to the bankruptcy court. You will pay back all or a portion of your debt to your creditors through the bankruptcy trustee. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debt discharge does not occur until the payment plan is completed.
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, businesses are protected from debt collection activities, while getting time to reorganize debt and restore the business to profitability. Some debt can be discharged in a Chapter 11, depending on the circumstances. The bankruptcy court must approve the debt reorganization plan.
The Chapter 12 bankruptcy process is very similar to the Chapter 13 process, except it is designed to aid a family farmer or fisherman who is burdened by debt.
If you are seeking effective debt relief, we are here for you. Contact us online or by telephone at (423) 690-7712 to arrange a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney. We offer remote consultations, affordable rates, and flexible payment plans. Our Chattanooga bankruptcy attorneys are committed to helping you achieve your debt relief goals.