At Halcomb Singler, LLP, we have met with thousands of people about debt issues and have represented enough people in bankruptcy filings that we have lost count. What we have learned over the years is that debt issues happen for a wide variety of reasons and, as a result, the best way to solve debt issues really depends on the client as well as their income, spending habits, home equity, type of debt, number of children, etc., etc.
Over the years at Halcomb Singler we have determined that the only way to determine what the best plan is for a couple or individual is through a meeting at our office. During that free meeting the attorney can get an understanding of how/why the debt was incurred, what assets are owned, what debts are owed as well as the clients household income and monthly living expenses. All of this information is really essential to an attorney coming up with a plan that is going to be the best opportunity for a person to get out of debt once and for all.
Getting into debt is kind of like putting on weight, it is really easy to put on and a lot harder to take off. Bankruptcy is an option for many people to get out of debt without losing any assets. Specifically, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a tool for those who earn average or below average income and who own minimal assets. Chapter 7 can allow people to get out from under crushing credit card debt and medical bills and often allows people to keep their car and home so long as they can continue to make the payments timely.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an excellent way for those who have fallen behind on their home mortgage to get out of debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay your mortgage arrearage for up to 5 years and also allows you to continue making your regular mortgage payment to your lender. In addition, a Chapter 13 can allow you to pay your non-priority income tax debt over the course of time as well. Chapter 13 is best-suited for those who had a temporary setback but continue to earn income in excess of their living expenses.
When bankruptcy doesn’t make sense we will often look at debt settlement. Debt settlement is a process of negotiating your debt so that it can be resolved. Debt settlement works best when the client can come up with funds to settle debts in a lump-sum as they are resolved. Sometimes clients obtain the funds from friends or family members. Other times they sell a valuable asset. Debt settlement is normally a faster process than Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but does have some tax disadvantages.
The bottom line is that it makes sense to talk to an expert about your debt if you find yourself worrying and have fallen behind or are about to fall behind on your obligations. Halcomb Singler offers one free meeting with an attorney to discuss your debt issues and to formulate a plan at our Carmel, Indiana office. We are happy to offer a process of finding solutions to debt that sometimes include bankruptcy and other times do not. For your appointment call our law firm at (317) 575-8222 x0 or click here. We are looking forward to helping you get debt free in 2018.