Abington Bankruptcy Lawyers
In today's economy it is not uncommon for Pennsylvania residents to face difficult times financially. For various reasons you may be dealing with wage garnishment, tax liens, foreclosure and automobile repossession. It is important to know that no matter how daunting your financial situation seems there is always hope. You may be able to obtain financial relief by filing for bankruptcy and it behooves you to consult with an experienced lawyer handling bankruptcy cases.
I am bankruptcy attorney James V. Monaghan and I represent individuals, couples and families throughout all of Montgomery County including Abington, Conshohocken, King of Prussia, Lansdale, Norristown Plymouth Meeting and Pottstown obtain the financial relief they so desperately need. Call my Norristown law office at (610) 275-5800 for a free consultation.
Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Facts
The United States Bankruptcy Court has 3 divisions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: eastern, middle and western. Montgomery County is located in Southeastern Pennsylvania and is part of the eastern district. In 2014, almost 1,300 Montgomery County residents filed for bankruptcy. Almost 75% of those filings were Chapter 7 bankruptcies and the remaining were Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Who Can File For Bankruptcy In Pennsylvania
According to federal and bankruptcy law anyone can theoretically file for bankruptcy. Single people can file, married couples can file, in certain situations 1 spouse can file but not the other, self employed persons can file as can unemployed individuals. Your exact situation, and what you are trying to accomplish, will dictate whether or not you can file bankruptcy. Speaking with a Plymouth Meeting bankruptcy attorney is a wise move as they will walk you through the entire bankruptcy process.
Filing Bankruptcy And Your Credit Score
One of the biggest concerns Montgomery County residents have is how filing bankruptcy will impact their credit score. This is a very valid concern and there are many myths surrounding the topic. The truth is that filing bankruptcy will cause your credit score to dip. How much it dips is contingent upon how good (or bad) your credit was to begin with. If you are to the point that you are considering bankruptcy then your credit is already blemished. In many cases filing bankruptcy will ultimately improve your credit once the bankruptcy is completed as you eradicate most of, if not all of, your debt. Since your debt to income and debt to asset ratios impact your credit score filing bankruptcy can help improve your credit rating in time.
Experience Counts When Filing Bankruptcy
I have been practicing law in the Abington, Norristown, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting and Pottstown, PA areas for many years. In that time I have handled a wide range of legal areas related to bankruptcy and debt relief such as:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: This is a liquidation type of bankruptcy that offers a fresh financial start.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: This is a consolidation and repayment type of bankruptcy.
- Automobile Repossession Prevention: Filing bankruptcy can prevent you from having your vehicle repossessed.
- Foreclosure Prevention: Bankruptcy may allow you to prevent foreclosure and you can keep your home,
- Judgment Satisfaction
- Tax Debt Relief: Learn how you can prevent IRS liens by filing bankruptcy.
What Bankruptcy Can & Cannot Do
Each bankruptcy case is different and people need the debt relief offers by bankruptcy for different reasons. Regardless of how or why you got into the financial situation you are in the constant is that there are certain things bankruptcy can help you with and things it cannot help you with.
Bankruptcy can offer you a fresh start financially, it can help you to gain peace of mind knowing relief is on the way, it can make the harassing calls, emails and letters from creditors' stop and it can help you to get your finances in order. It can also help you to rebuild your credit score once it is discharged or all plan payments are made (applicable to Chapter 13 only). Filing bankruptcy can also allow you to keep your home, not get evicted, enable you to keep your vehicle and relieve you of credit card debt and medical bill debt.
Bankruptcy cannot help you to walk away from certain debts such as back taxes, child support arrears, student loans and spousal support arrears. Speaking with an experienced Conshohocken bankruptcy attorney will help decide which option is best for you and your family.
Events Leading To Financial Strain
Financial instability can be caused by various changes in your life or life style. These include divorce, job loss, death of a spouse, extraordinary amounts of unsecured debt such as credit cards and or medical bills. Other reasons that can result in severe financial strain can be excessive gambling, taking out payday loans or car title loans and fiscal irresponsibility.
Regardless of the series of events that resulted in your financial situation you may be able to file bankruptcy and get a fresh start.
Types Of Bankruptcy
Many people struggling financially are unaware that there are different bankruptcy options. The option best for you will depend on your current situation, whether or not you have an income problem or cash flow problem and what you hope to achieve by filing bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is a liquidation type of bankruptcy and can help you get a fresh start quickly. Filing Chapter 7 allows you to keep certain property and assets depending on your situation. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you pay back all arrears via the payment plan. This payment plan lasts from 3 to 5 years and allows you to keep real estate, assets and you begin to make payments according to the original agreement in addition to the repayment plan.
What To Look For In A Blue Bell Bankruptcy Lawyer
Many Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Norristown and Pottstown residents may need to hire a bankruptcy lawyer at some point n their lives. When looking for any type of attorney or a law firm it is imperative that you find one that specializes in the area of law you need help with. As each specific area of law, in this case bankruptcy law, is very complex each lawyers have had to become knowledgeable in a few areas and the sub-specialties within them. Bankruptcy practice is no different-but, how should people choose a lawyer? What makes a good Abington bankruptcy lawyer?
Internet searches are the most common method by which people search for just about anything-including lawyers. A few key words will produce a list of lawyers in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania who have offices in areas such as Abington, Blue Bell, Lower Merion Township, Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting and Pottstown. Enter a zip code and narrow the list even more to local offices nearby. But, simply because a lawyer or law firm shows up on list of bankruptcy lawyers does not ensure that he or she will be a good fit for a client.
Start with the phrase, "Bankruptcy Lawyer" or "Bankruptcy Specialist." But understand that in many states, includingPennsylvania, there is no additional testing or bar exam that a lawyer must take to advertise as a "Specialist." That means that any lawyer wanting to practice in this area of law can simply call himself or herself a bankruptcy lawyer or specialist. In other states the use of the term, "Specialist" is completely prohibited. There are only a few areas of law where qualification to practice law in a specialty area is granted upon passing an additional bar exam.
Other than tax law, patent law, immigration law-in some states, and a few others, the term "Specialist" really has no meaning other than that a lawyer has some level of expertise or experience in some area of law. So, going back to the original list of bankruptcy lawyers that came up during a search, which one should you choose?
A client must feel comfortable with a lawyer to entrust him or her with the funds to proceed with a case and an open door into the client's life, money and debts. Call a few offices and get a "feel" for the way a client is treated simply by speaking to the receptionist, legal assistant or the attorney.
A bankruptcy attorney must be an experienced, professional, compassionate and local advocate for his or her client. A client should not feel ashamed of the situation and should feel relieved knowing that the lawyer always has the client's best interest in mind. Bankruptcy attorneys are not therapists, but must be good listeners and able to console clients during a very emotional process.
When meeting the lawyer for the first time, asking a few questions is perfectly acceptable. I encourage my potential clients to ask me as many questions as they want during the initial meeting and they are welcome toreach out to me anytime after that as well. It is during this first consultation that a client and lawyer evaluate whether the relationship will be a good match. The lawyer will want to obtain a full history of your financial situation, will discuss potential fees and usually determine if bankruptcy is a good or viable option, given the facts. If the fees the attorney quotes are affordable, and in line with what other bankruptcy attorneys are charging, make certain to ask what services are actually included in the fee.
Many legal proceedings can be split into two or more parts. Some law firms charge per part, some charge an hourly rate and some will charge a flat fee for a case from start to finish. Generally, bankruptcy attorneys charge a flat fee for their services. Again, make certain to ask and understand the fee and what services it will cover before signing a contract with that attorney or law firm.
After the initial consultation, understanding and agreeing to the fees, the client will be requested to sign a retainer agreement. The retainer agreement is a contract that sets forth in writing, the terms of the lawyer's representation, such as the scope of the legal services being provided, the fees and costs that the client must pay to receive these legal services, the beginning and the completion of the bankruptcy and other terms of the relationship. For example, It is important that the client understands that his or her cooperation with the lawyer's requests for information and documents is essential. If a client fails to disclose information to the attorney or fails to communicate, the client is jeopardizing the success of the case.
Throughout the course of the bankruptcy case, the client and lawyer will work closely together to provide the court with the information required by the law, to make a ruling on the case. Because there a various types of bankruptcy actions that a client can file, the information and documentation might vary. Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, not state law and most hearings take place in a special administrative court specifically to hear bankruptcy cases.
When the case is concluded, the attorney will apprise the client of any follow up action required. A good bankruptcy attorney will not abandon the client on the courthouse steps when the hearing is over. Rather, the attorney will explain the results of the hearing, whether there is an option to appeal or if the attorney recommends that an appeal be filed, and whether the attorney will be providing any further services related to the matter. If the case is finished, expect to receive a "closing" letter from the attorney and make sure to comply with the court's order.
An Abington Bankruptcy Lawyer Helping You
The journey to financial stability can seem overwhelming at times. I am dedicated to the timely, affordable resolution of my clients' legal problems. I employ the latest computer technology for research and case preparation, and to stay abreast of emerging litigation techniques and changes in the bankruptcy code. As your bankruptcy attorney I will work tirelessly to seek the best possible results on your behalf. I pride myself on my ability to communicate effectively with each and every client. It is imperative that you are aware of all viable options so that you can make the best decision possible for yourself and your family. Empowering my clients to understand all possible options before making decisions that will affect their futures is of utmost importance at my law firm.
If you live in the Abington, Blue Bell, Cheltenham. Conshohocken, King of Prussia, Norristown or Pottstown, Pennsylvania areas please do not hesitate to contact my bankruptcy law office to discuss your case. I have many years experience handling bankruptcy cases in Montgomery County, PA. Dial (610) 275-5800 for a free consultation.
I proudly serve those enduring financial difficulties throughout the entire Philadelphia metro area which includes Abington Township, Blue Bell, Chester, Lower Merion Township, Media, Malvern, Haverford, West Chester, Kennett Square, Plymouth Meeting, Conshohocken, Wayne, Doylestown, Media, Norristown, King of Prussia and Center City Philadelphia.
"We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code."