Dealing with debt problems can have emotional and physical consequences. For many people, struggling with debt problems leads to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia. Answering endless calls from creditors, receiving threatening letters from collection companies, and living with the fear that you will lose your home or car is extremely frightening and stressful. Bankruptcy may provide the solution to your debt problems that you need but deciding to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be difficult.
Is Chapter 7 the Best Way to Solve My Debt Problems?
Before you choose to file bankruptcy as a way to solve your debt problems, you should discuss your financial situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Filing bankruptcy is a big step; however, in many cases, it is the best way to resolve your debt problems so that you can move forward with a fresh start.
The first step is to determine if you qualify to file under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. In order to be eligible for a discharge under Chapter 7, you must meet the eligibility requirements of the Means Test. The Means Test compares your gross household income to the median income of a household of the same size in the same county as you reside. If your income is below the median income, you can proceed with a Chapter 7.
Even if your gross income is slightly higher than the median income, you may still be eligible to file under Chapter 7. The second part of the Means Test allows you to deduct certain types of expenses from your gross income. If your net income is still too high once your expenses are deducted from your gross income, we can discuss filing a Chapter 13 case to resolve your debt problems.
If you do “pass” the Means Test and you are eligible to file under Chapter 7, this may or may not be in your best interest. Other issues must be considered before filing a Chapter 7 case. For example, if you have non-exempt assets that could be at risk if you file a Chapter 7, this should be addressed before you file your bankruptcy case. We may be able to protect those assets in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Another consideration is preferential or insider payments during the past year. Those payments could also be handled differently in a Chapter 13 case.
Taking Action to Resolve Your Debt Problems
In order to solve your debt problems, the first step is to seek advice about your bankruptcy options and non-bankruptcy alternatives. Our attorneys offer a free bankruptcy consultation so that you can get the advice you need to make an informed decision about the best way to deal with debt problems. You are under no obligation so there is nothing to lose by coming into the office to discuss bankruptcy except the stress and anxiety of dealing with debt problems.
Contact Our Office for a Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney
The bankruptcy lawyers of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols represent individuals who need help solving their debt problems. We assist clients throughout McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria counties by providing compassionate, competent legal services. Contact our office at 309-938-4838 to schedule your free consultation.
When you need the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney in central Illinois, call Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. We are dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional service and support throughout the bankruptcy process.