While you might understand the basics of filing for Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy in Maryland, the reality is much more complex. Steiner Law Group, LLC offers guidance throughout the bankruptcy process for both straightforward and complex cases.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
It’s safe to think of Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a fresh start. All debts will be wiped clean from the slate, and you will be starting again from scratch. A trustee will gather all assets and sell any non-exempt assets to fulfill debts. The net proceeds of the liquidation process will be given to creditors.
A number of debts cannot be eliminated using Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including alimony, child support, student loans, certain tax responsibilities and fraudulent debts.
Some secured debts, like a car or home, can be retained by signing a voluntary agreement to reaffirm those debts. If you do choose to reaffirm debts, you cannot bankrupt that same debt again for 8 years. Reaffirmation also requires bringing the debt “current” if you have missed payments. Another common type of bankruptcy is Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
A trustee will attempt to seize any assets you may have, but Steiner Law Group, LLC can advise you on how to exempt those assets and other strategies to prevent the trustee from taking anything.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically used by businesses, but it can be used for small business owners or specific individuals. Chapter 11 allows the restructuring of debts so that they can be repaid over time. When filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the business can remain active while repaying creditors.
In this type of filing, the debtor will have a set time frame to develop a reorganization plan and determine when each creditor will be repaid. Unlike Chapter 13, Chapter 11 has no limit on the amount of debt that is restricted. That is why it is used by large corporations and businesses that need to handle a great deal of debt.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor will develop a 3-5 year repayment plan and present it to the creditors, to the trustee and to the Court. This plan can offer to pay off the entire sum or a portion of debts from the debtor’s future income. Depending on the situation, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to prevent a foreclosure and allow you to pay back any amounts owed on a mortgage, become current with missed car or mortgage payments, pay back taxes, prevent interest from being added to tax debt, retain non-exempt property and more.
Providing that you follow the terms of the agreement, all dischargeable debt will be released at the end of the 3-5 year term. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the repayment amount must be equal to or greater than the amount that creditors would receive in a Chapter 7 filing, and the debtor must have regular income.
Steiner Law Group, LLC also offers guidance for complex bankruptcies. To learn more about the differences between each type of bankruptcy and filing in the state of Maryland, please contact Steiner Law Group today.