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Choctaw County Bankruptcy Attorney

Don't Let Debt Define Your Future

Are you overwhelmed by your or your bussiness' financial obligations? Rest assured, you're not the only one going through this. Many people across Choctaw County and the United States are currently struggling with similar fiscal hurdles. Though insurmountable debt can feel crushing, you may have more options than you realize.

In particular, bankruptcy might be a viable option to help you manage your debts and provide immediate relief from creditor harassment. At Ryan Legal Services, Inc., we stand ready to guide you through the available debt alleviation solutions, helping you find a better way forward.

Our Choctaw County bankruptcy lawyer can help you with a variety of debt relief matters, including:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 bankruptcy (for businesses)
  • Debt negotiations
  • Foreclosure defense
  • Credit report errors
  • Fair credit reporting
  • Federal and State appeals

Call (251) 241-5234 or contact us online to discuss your bankruptcy options with our team.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal procedure designed to help individuals or businesses grappling with substantial debt. While it may seem daunting, the process, governed by federal law, is intended to offer a fresh economic start. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed - Chapter 7, 11, or 13 - the process varies. Generally, it can involve liquidating assets to pay off debts or formulating a repayment plan while retaining your assets.

How Does Bankruptcy Work?

In essence, filing for bankruptcy places an "automatic stay" on your debts, temporarily halting creditors and collection agencies from pursuing you. This process begins when you file a petition with the bankruptcy court. The petition includes detailed information about your debts, income, assets, and financial transactions. A court-appointed trustee will oversee your case, possibly liquidating your non-exempt assets to repay creditors or helping to formulate a repayment plan.

Bankruptcy may seem like an extreme measure, but it comes with several potential benefits:

  • Debt Discharge: Certain qualifying debts can be entirely wiped out in a bankruptcy proceeding, providing you with a fresh financial start.
  • Creditor Intervention Stoppage: Filing for bankruptcy invokes an "automatic stay," which temporarily halts all collection efforts, lawsuits, wage garnishment, and creditor harassment.
  • Asset Protection: Depending on the type of bankruptcy, you may be able to retain possession of significant assets like your home or car.
  • Credit Score Recovery: While bankruptcy impacts your credit, many people can rebuild their credit score over time post-bankruptcy.
  • Psychological Relief: The peace of mind that comes from having a clear path to a debt-free future can be a significant emotional benefit.

Understanding the Bankruptcy Means Test

The bankruptcy means test is a crucial part of the bankruptcy process as it determines your eligibility to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. First, your average household income over the past six months is calculated and compared to the median income for a comparable-sized household in your state. If your income is below the median, you're typically eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The means test for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a bit more nuanced. This test determines how much of your unsecured, non-priority debt you must repay over a three to five-year period. It considers your disposable income - essentially, your monthly income minus certain allowed expenses. If your disposable income is high, you may need to pay a substantial portion of your unsecured debts in your repayment plan.

Remember, every situation is unique, and bankruptcy law can be complex. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, like ours at Ryan Legal Services, Inc., who can help you navigate the process.

Why Choose Ryan Legal Services, Inc.?

At Ryan Legal Services, Inc., we have seen firsthand how significantly a bankruptcy filing can help someone dealing with overwhelming financial obligations. We also understand that filing for bankruptcy is a big decision. When you choose to work with our firm, you can trust that you will receive the attentive, thoughtful representation you need to feel heard.

When you choose our firm, you can expect:

  • Compassionate counsel
  • Personalized attention
  • Experienced representation

If you are struggling with debt in Choctaw County, you have options. At Ryan Legal Services, Inc., we can help you explore your debt relief options and determine the best path forward for you and your family.

Are you looking for debt relief options? Give our firm a call at (251) 241-5234 or schedule an appointment with us online to get started.

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Have questions? We are here to help. Still have questions or can't find the answer you need? Give us a call at 251-241-5234 today!

  • What are Exemptions?

    Most of the exemptions which will apply in a Chapter 7 case are found under Alabama state law. States are all given the option by Congress to decide whether to operate under their own exemption statutes, or under the exemption statutes set out under Title 11 of the U.S. Code ( the “Bankruptcy Code”). There are additional statutes ( “laws”) in both the United States Code and under the Alabama Code.

    Whenever there is a statute that provides additional protection for your property over and above the standard list of exemptions, you can claim these exemptions to further protect your property. Failure to timely claim an exemptions can have the effect of a waiver of that exemption. This means it is highly important to provide your lawyer ( “attorney”) with all of the information he or she requests from you concerning your property. The panel trustee is only able to seize and liquidate property to pay creditors which is not subject to a legal exemption under Alabama OR federal law.

    In Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, the Debtor keeps all property. Exemptions are still important to identify and claim in your case, however. Failure to claim all of your exemptions in a Chapter 13 case can result in you being required to pay your creditors more than you would otherwise owe them if all exemptions were claimed.

    At Ryan Legal Services, Inc., we are highly knowledgeable and keep up to date with respect to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy exemptions. We represent individual clients in Baldwin, Mobile and Washington Counties.

    Kevin Ryan is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who will be there for you. Call us to set up a free telephone or office consultation. Kevin Ryan is admitted to practice before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

  • What is a Reaffirmation Agreement?

    You may decide that you would like to keep your relationship with certain creditors in a Chapter 7 case. The procedure to maintain certain debts post-bankruptcy is called Reaffirmation. Reaffirmation is accomplished by entering into a written agreement with the creditor using one of a number of Official Bankruptcy Forms. Usually, the debtor and creditor simply re-establish the original terms of the loan. In some cases, the creditor may agree to reduce an interest rate, or modify the original contract terms as an incentive for the debtor to reaffirm the debt.

    Reaffirmation of a long term mortgage loan or an auto loan may be something a debtor would want to consider in the context of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The terms of the agreement, and whether the agreement would be in the client's best interest is something that a competent lawyer will discuss with a client. Reaffirmation of a mortgage or auto loan will cause the future payments to be reported to the major credit bureaus ( Trans Union, Experian and Equifax). Timely payments will help raise the debtor's credit score after the bankruptcy discharge order is issued in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

    A debtor will generally have only forty-five (45) days after the conclusion of the Meeting of Creditors to file the Reaffirmation Agreement. The debtor is required to file Official Bankruptcy Form 8 ( Statement of Intent) with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that identifies the debtor's intent with respect to secured debts like auto and car loans. A debtor is never required to reaffirm any debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

    At Ryan Legal Services, Inc, we have been representing individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy matters since 1998. We represent individuals in Baldwin, Mobile and Washington Counties.

    Kevin Ryan is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who will be there for you. Call us to set up a free telephone or office consultation.

  • Should I Transfer Property Pre-Bankruptcy?

    There are some cases where a client can meet with a lawyer and make arrangements to change the ownership of property, sell property, or dispose of property prior to filing a bankruptcy case. However, this should never be interpreted as a blank license to indiscriminately transfer assets out of your name. You should never transfer title to any property, or spend any amount of money that is not allocated towards necessary household bills, utilities, and pre-existing secured debt payments prior to consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer. The initial office consultation with a lawyer is dedicated mostly to discussing these issues. A lawyer will always be interested in meeting with you sooner rather than later so that these potential issues can be identified and properly addressed prior to moving forward on your case.

    Transfers of property, or spending discretionary funds prior to filing a bankruptcy case can often result in negative consequences when you later file a bankruptcy case. Every bankruptcy case presents different circumstances, and different opportunities to legally protect your property from creditors. The objective in most bankruptcy cases is to protect all or as much of your property while terminating all or most of your debt. This is usually where a bankruptcy case can become too complicated for a person to obtain all of the benefits of a bankruptcy filing by filing a case without hiring a lawyer. The best bankruptcy attorneys set and accomplish goals with their clients to protect the maximum amount of property and obtain a discharge of all or a maximum amount of the client(s)' debt in the least amount of time.

    You should not transfer any of your property until you speak with a qualified, experienced bankruptcy attorney. At Ryan Legal Services, Inc., Attorney Kevin Ryan has more than 18 years experience handling complex Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy matters. Call now to schedule a free telephone or office consultation. We are happy to discuss these issues with you personally and confidentially.

    Kevin Ryan is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who will be there for you. Call us to set up a free telephone or office consultation.

What to Expect When You Contact Us

Serving Mobile, AL Since

  • We offer payment plans for ch 7 and ch 13 cases
  • Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Free & Confidential Case Consultations
  • Solely Focused on Consumer & Business Bankruptcy Law
  • Saturday Appointments in Robertsdale or Mobile
  • 24/7 Access to Case Updates
  • Technologically-Savvy Law Firm
  • Available 24/7 to Take Your Calls

Take the First Step Towards Financial Freedom.

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