Are you overwhelmed with medical bills, or credit card debt where you are struggling to make even the minimum monthly payments? Are you facing a foreclosure of your home? Bankruptcy might be the right way for you to get a fresh start in your financial life. You need the advice of a good bankruptcy lawyer to figure out if bankruptcy or a non-bankruptcy alternative is best for your situation. We have handled more bankruptcy cases for individuals than any other law firm in Indiana County. For over forty years Attorney Vaporis has handed bankruptcy cases in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Contact us to schedule your appointment.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sometimes called “straight bankruptcy,” is the most common bankruptcy filed. It allows you to eliminate nearly all of your debts; the exceptions are student loans, alimony-child support, and most (but not all) taxes. In a Chapter 7 the law allows you to retain your property up to certain limits (called exemptions). Ninety-five percent of the cases filed are cases in which no property is lost or turned over to the bankruptcy trustee. If you have property worth more than the exemptions allow you to keep a Chapter 13 might be the better option. Finally, if your household income is too high (as defined by Congress), you could be ineligible for a Chapter 7 and have to file a Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 Reorganization.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, with the help of your attorneys you will file a Chapter 13 Plan in which, over three to five years, you pay some or all of your unsecured debts in regular monthly payments, but you usually keep all of your property. Chapter 13 is a good option when you have property you want to keep, but will lose in a Chapter 7, or if your income is too high to allow you to file a Chapter 7. It also allows you three to five years to get caught up on a delinquent mortgage or taxes, and may prevent the foreclosure of your home.
Taxes and Bankruptcy.
Taxes that may be wiped out in a bankruptcy are income taxes more than three years old (if you filed all your returns on time), real estate taxes, per capita taxes and other “local” taxes in Pennsylvania. Taxes that survive bankruptcy, and which you have to continue to pay, are basically trust taxes (sales tax, employee tax withholdings), and taxes less than three years old. Be sure to ask us any questions you might have with your taxes and a possible bankruptcy case.
In order to determine if a Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or non-bankruptcy option, is best for you contact us to schedule a free consultation. Call (724-465-5653) or contact us on-line. We also have a financial worksheet that you can fill out and bring in with you.
The Chapter 7 Attorneys of Indiana County Who Handle the Most Bankruptcy Cases
Which option is best for you?
Chapter 13 Lawyers in Indiana County Know How to Handle Your Case
Why file for Chapter 13?
A regular bankruptcy case filed by an individual, or husband and wife, is under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Most debts that you have at the time you file are “discharged” or forgiven. You keep “exempt” assets/property, which for most means you do not lose any assets/property that you own when you file.
The Chapter 7 Attorneys of Indiana County Who Handle the Most Bankruptcy Cases
Is Chapter 7 right for you?
Bankruptcy law is a federal process available to you if you’re seeking to either eliminate or repay your debts. One of the most common types of bankruptcy for individuals is Chapter 7, which allows you to erase the majority of your debts. At Kayden & Vaporis, we handle more bankruptcy cases in Indiana County than any other firm. We evaluate your situation, explain all of your options and based on your goals, we work together to decide if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.
Property you can keep
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep all property that is exempt under federal law. The most experienced Indiana County Chapter 7 attorneys can help you take inventory of your exempt assets and ensure that you will be on solid ground after filing bankruptcy.
Property you are allowed to keep when filing Chapter 7 includes:
equity in a home you are living in equity in a motor vehicle household goods (up to $600 per item) tools of your trade All term life insurance and unmatured life insurance All disability benefits and health aids
Debts you still owe
Although many of your debts will be excused, there are some you won’t be able to discharge with a bankruptcy filing. These debts include:
Income taxes due for the last three years Property taxes if you are keeping the property Student loans Alimony and child support Most fines Debts arising from a DUI
Chapter 7 can truly give you a fresh start.
Our team is now your team
Hiring the most accomplished Chapter 7 lawyers in Indiana County means you get our entire team of bankruptcy professionals working on your case. When you come in to get started, our experienced attorneys Michael Vaporis and Katrina Kayden review your situation in detail. Our bankruptcy staff answers your additional questions and offers guidance in fill out the necessary forms. We stand by your side through the entire process, including representing you at hearings and court appearances.
Connect with the Indiana County lawyers who understand your concerns about bankruptcy
Schedule a consultation with the bankruptcy lawyers in Indiana County who handle the most Chapter 7 cases. Call Kayden & Vaporis at 724-465-5653 or contact us online. Your first half hour consultation is free. We also handle cases in Armstrong, Cambria, Clearfield, Clarion, Jefferson and Westmoreland Counties.
Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to make up overdue payments, pay off a portion of your debts, eliminate other debts and keep some of your valuable, non-exempt property. In order to qualify for Chapter 13, you must have a regular source of income to apply toward your payment plan. The skilled attorneys of Kayden & Vaporis help you add up your assets, calculate your debts and develop a three- to five-year repayment plan to present to the court.
Your Chapter 13 goals
When considering filing for this type of bankruptcy, you need to find an experienced Chapter 13 attorney. Indiana County hosts two of the state’s premier bankruptcy lawyers, Michael N. Vaporis and Katrina Kayden. They start by asking you what property you want to save or what debts you want to pay off by filing Chapter 13. For example, you can:
Prevent a house foreclosure Make up missed car or mortgage payments Pay back taxes Stop interest from accruing on a tax debt Keep valuable non-exempt property
Michael and Katrina work with you to calculate your debt against your income and develop your payment plan. If you can stick to the terms of the plan, whatever debt remains at the end of that time is eliminated.
What you need to file
To actually file for bankruptcy, your Indiana County Chapter 13 lawyers draft and submit to the court a petition, your payment plan and several other forms collectively called schedules. The schedules ask you to describe your current financial status and recent financial transactions you’ve entered into within the last two years. Be honest when filling out these forms with our staff or you could jeopardize your petition.
The next steps in a Chapter 13 filing
Once your petition and schedules are filed, an automatic stay goes into effect, which halts any court action or foreclosure that is pending against you. Creditors may not contact you directly, but have to go through your attorneys.
A meeting of creditors is scheduled which we will attend with you. You will be asked about a dozen simple questions and a plan will be established. The plan will then be reviewed by the attorney for the Chapter 13 Trustee. One month after you file, you will begin your planned payments.
A typical Chapter 13 Plan goes for five years. At its conclusion you emerge caught up on your loans for property you want to keep (house, car, etc.), with some or all of your old debts wiped clean-discharged.
Our attorneys are experienced in handling Chapter 13 cases and will guide you through every step of your bankruptcy.
Team up with our confident bankruptcy lawyers in Indiana County
Schedule a consultation with bankruptcy attorneys in Indiana County who know how to create a successful Chapter 13 petition. Call Kayden & Vaporis at 724-465-5653 or contact us online. Your first half hour consultation is free. We also handle cases in Armstrong, Cambria, Clearfield, Clarion, Jefferson and Westmoreland Counties.