THE DRAZIN LAW CENTER

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How long will it take to file my Chapter 13 plan?
A. Usually when you come for your first appointment, if you bring all of your documents with you, time permitting we can complete all of the required filings before you leave our office. Your bankruptcy can be filed within 48 hours, almost immediately if necessary. For an emergency filing, we can file just the Voluntary Petition, but we also need a list of all of your creditors, collection agencies, sheriffs, attorneys and others who are seeking to collect debts from you. If we do an emergency filing, the additional documents must be filed within a 15 day period or your bankruptcy will be dismissed.

Q. What documents should I bring to my first consultation with your law firm?
A. Your first consultation is usually treated as a Free Initial Consultation. As such, there is no requirement to bring any documents. We have tried to be as comprehensive as may be possible within this WebPage and to explain many of the aspects of a Bankruptcy Filing. The first consultation is usually meant to explain the “overviews” given within this WebPage and to address how the United States’ Bankruptcy laws will apply in your specific instance. There is a comprehensive listing of required documents to file your Bankruptcy action within the WebPage should you desire to immediately file your case. For an emergency filing, we can file just the Voluntary Petition, but we also need a list of all of your creditors, collection agencies, sheriffs, attorneys and others who are seeking to collect debts from you. If we do an emergency filing, the additional documents must be filed within a 15 day period or your bankruptcy will be dismissed.

Q. What will it cost to file for Bankruptcy Protection?
A. For a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, our fees can be as low as $800.00 plus court costs of $306.00 and $35.00 for the credit report. For a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, our initial retainer fee to file the Bankruptcy Petition with the Court (which will stop the foreclosure and the sale of your house) can be as low as $1,000.00 plus court costs of $274.00 and $35.00 for the credit report.

Q. How long will it take until the Confirmation Hearing and until my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan is confirmed? ,
A. The first meeting with the Trustee takes place four to six weeks after your documents are filed. Chapter 13 plans are usually confirmed within 90 days of filing, depending on the Court's backlog.

Q. How many months will I have to make payments under the plan?
A. The minimum time period for a pay plan is 36 months but most of our clients prefer a 60 month pay plan (thus, usually, a lower monthly payment).

Q. Where is the U.S. Bankruptcy Court located?
A. If you live in Allegany, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, or Washington Counties you file your petition with: United States Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Courthouse, 6500 Cherrywood Lane, Greenbelt, MD 20770. Phone: 301-344-8018 If you live anywhere else in Maryland (e.g., Howard County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, etc.) you file your petition with: United States Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Courthouse, 101 W. Lombard Street, 8th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201. Phone: 410-962-2688

Q. Is there a reason to be embarrassed?
A. Because over a million people a year have filed for the past seven years, the process has changed so that there is, or should be, no embarrassment.

Q. Will I be able to get new credit?
A. Some of our clients get cars a week after their case is closed and houses within a year.

Q. Will Bankruptcy will destroy my life?
A. Bankruptcy actually gives you a “fresh start” to a better life.

Q. Will I lose control of my life?
A. Bankruptcy returns to you control over your life by ending the harassment, calls, and payments you can't afford.

Q. Is Bankruptcy expensive?
A. We offer low fees and payment plans in most cases.

Q. Will I lose everything?
A. In most bankruptcies, you may keep all, or virtually all, of your property.

Q. Is a Bankruptcy published in a newspaper?
A. Very few people, if any, will know about your case.

Q. What will my future be like?
A. In most cases, when you go through the bankruptcy process, it gives you a brighter future.

Q. Will I lose my bank accounts?
A. Bankruptcy will protect the exempted monies in your bank account; except if the bank has the right to “set off.” This will discussed with you at our initial consultation.

Q. What if my employer finds out? ,
A. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Proceeding, your employer will most likely not find out and even if so, you cannot lose your job.

Q. What will I do if I have to start over?
A. The fear should be: What would you do if you didn't have a chance to have a “fresh start”?

Q. When will the harassing phone calls, garnishments, suits, letters stop?
A. They all stop once the bankruptcy case is filed.

Q. Will Bankruptcy will hurt my credit?
A. Most people's credit is already bad or will be bad soon by the time they call a bankruptcy attorney. The bankruptcy gives you a “fresh start.”

Q. What kind of Bankruptcy protection is available to individuals?
A. There are generally four primary types of bankruptcy filings, but you may not be qualified to file each type. Generally, Chapter 7 Bankruptcies are liquidations; Chapter 13 Bankruptcies are filed to help you reorganize your debts, and make payments to a Trustee who will then pay your creditors. (Chapter 11 and 12 Bankruptcies are not generally for individuals, but for businesses). We can help you decide what type of bankruptcy filing is best for you.

Q. Will I qualify for Bankruptcy protection?
A. This will be completely analyzed with you. You may qualify to file either a Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy. Each type of bankruptcy has unique advantages and disadvantages. In particular, Chapter 13 requires you to have a source of income; Chapter 7 does not have such a requirement. We can help you choose which chapter serves your needs the best.

Q. If I file Bankruptcy, can I keep my house or my car?
A. The law is very complicated and your circumstances require careful examination. Whether you will be able to keep your specific property is a question that can only be answered by experienced counsel reviewing the facts of your particular situation, including the amount of equity (ownership interest) in your property, your payment record, and other important factors.

Q. Can a Bankruptcy filing stop creditors from suing me or calling on the telephone?
A. Once a bankruptcy is filed, creditors are generally stopped from pursuing collection activities, including telephone calls and filing or continuing law suits to collect their debt. Garnishments and foreclosures can be stopped.

Q. Can I file Bankruptcy with my spouse?
A. There may be advantages or disadvantages to a joint filing with your husband or wife. We'll help you decide based on the type of debts and the assets you need to protect.

Q. Can I file for Bankruptcy protection if I own a business?
A. Yes, but it depends on how the business is owned, the value of your business, and other factors including what you intend to do with the business. The business itself may require bankruptcy protection; if you are a sole proprietor, or have guaranteed your business' debts, you may require bankruptcy protection for yourself, as well.

Q. How do different types of debt affect a Bankruptcy filing?
A. Different kinds of debt may affect a Bankruptcy filing in different ways. We analyze your debts, and use this information to decide what type of bankruptcy filing is best for you. These debts may be classified as individual or joint, and can be dischargeable or nondischargeable (which means that they can be resolved by the Bankruptcy filing, or remain after the Bankruptcy is over). This determination is very important. You should consult with a Lawyer to determine the classification and dischargeability of your debts.

Q. Will I still owe taxes after filing Bankruptcy?
A. This is one of the least known advantages of filing for bankruptcy protection. Many people do not know that the bankruptcy laws do provide certain protection against federal and state tax obligations. It is possible to discharge some tax obligations, depending on a number of factors, including the type of tax owed, the age of tax obligation, and whether you filed a tax return (and whether such return was timely). If this is one of your concerns, you need to see an experienced Lawyer to determine whether your tax obligations can be discharged in bankruptcy.

Q. How can I get more information?

A. Call or contact us at The Drazin Law Center for your Free Initial Consultation today!

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