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    The Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorneys Who Can Help

    The Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers at Cibik & Cataldo realize that everyone’s circumstances are unique. That is why our debt relief lawyers take the time to learn about your situation and what your goals are. Our main objective is to help explain your legal options and offer the best debt relief strategy possible. In many cases, filing for bankruptcy is the best way to resolve your debt and start a new chapter of your life.

    Philly Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving Center City, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties

    Our law office is centrally located in downtown Philadelphia, and we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania in Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware counties. Our bankruptcy lawyers have filed over 18,000 personal bankruptcies for clients. We are certified by the American Board of Certification in Bankruptcy Law, and all of our bankruptcy lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in Philadelphia bankruptcy court. 

    We understand the stress of filing for bankruptcy. That is why we do everything we can to make our clients feel confident in their decisions. We will walk you through the bankruptcy process after having an initial consultation to discuss your options. We offer clients a free initial consultation to learn more about our bankruptcy services and discuss their legal options with us in a pressure-free environment.

    What is Bankruptcy? 

    Federal bankruptcy courts oversee the legal process of filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy helps individuals and businesses eliminate part or all of their overwhelming debt. Bankruptcy can also help applicants repay a portion of the debt that they owe. There are several different types of bankruptcy filings, including Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Each type of bankruptcy filing has different eligibility requirements and a different process for eliminating debt. One of our experienced lawyers can review your financial situation and goals and help you determine which type of bankruptcy filing will work best for you.

    Filing for Bankruptcy: How it Works

    Filing for bankruptcy is often a complicated process, and you will benefit from working with an experienced lawyer who can walk you through it. Before you file for bankruptcy, you will need to educate yourself on the process and gather all of your relevant financial documents. Bankruptcy applicants must compile their financial records, including a list of their assets, income, debts, and expenses. 

    The bankruptcy court requires applicants to pay for a credit counseling course within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy. Next, you will need to file the bankruptcy petition and complete all of the associated forms. Finally, after you filed your petition, you will need to meet with creditors and work with the bankruptcy trustee to complete the process.

    What Will Happen After I File for Bankruptcy?

    If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee would sell off some of your assets to repay at least a portion of what you owe creditors. At the end of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, most of your debts will be eliminated. In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee will not set off any of your property to pay your debts. Instead, the trustee will develop a reorganization plan that allows you to pay off your debt partially or in total over the next three to five years. Once the repayment plan is complete, most of your debt will be eliminated.

    What to Expect in Bankruptcy Court

    Most people are surprised to learn that applicants who filed for bankruptcy rarely have to go before a judge. However, all applicants who filed for bankruptcy must attend one official meeting, called the meeting of creditors. During the meeting of creditors, you will have to meet with the bankruptcy trustee to clarify information disclosed in your bankruptcy paperwork. 

    Creditors are allowed to attend this meeting, as well. These meetings typically last around 10 minutes, and they can occur over the phone. Creditors rarely attend. You may need to attend court if your lawyer files certain motions or the proceeding becomes adversarial and a lawsuit is filed.

    What are the advantages of filing for bankruptcy?

    Filing for bankruptcy can seem overwhelming. Unfortunately, many people who qualify for bankruptcy do not take advantage of the benefits because they are worried about their credit score in the stigma of filing for bankruptcy. If you are considering whether to file for bankruptcy, we recommend discussing your case with one of our experienced lawyers. We will help you evaluate the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy. 

    Several unique advantages come with applying for bankruptcy, including receiving an automatic stay against your creditors. When you file for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will issue an automatic stay against all debt collection activity. This order does not cancel your debt, but it stops debt collectors from proceeding against you until the stay is lifted or the bankruptcy case is complete. As a result, creditors cannot call you or send you letters, file lawsuits against you on your debts, engage in wage garnishment, property possession, or home mortgage foreclosures.

    Additionally, you may be able to discharge or cancel some or all of your debts. Dischargeable debts can be eliminated by the bankruptcy process and include credit card debt, utility bills, medical bills, and personal loans. Finally, you can take bankruptcy exemptions that might allow you to keep ownership of some of your property after bankruptcy. Exemptions include a specific dollar amount of an asset and may apply to certain types of assets like wedding rings, motor vehicles, or personal property.

     

    How long does bankruptcy stay on a credit report?

    Filing for bankruptcy will have an immediate impact on your credit score. In most cases, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay in your credit report for 10 years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven years. However, you can use several strategies to try to increase your credit score during this time frame.

     

    When should I declare bankruptcy? 

    Declaring bankruptcy is an involved process, and the choice to declare bankruptcy should be made with ample thought and consideration. Generally, people file bankruptcy when they are facing divorce, are in danger of foreclosure, or when debt becomes overwhelming. Every situation is different, so it can be hard to know when it’s time to declare bankruptcy. Cibik & Cataldo, P.C. offers free consultations for anyone in need of debt relief or considering bankruptcy. Schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Cibik & Cataldo to discuss whether or not bankruptcy is the best option for your financial situation. 

     

    Does bankruptcy clear all debts?

    Bankruptcy can help eliminate some debt, but it does not necessarily clear all debt. Some kinds of debt cannot be cleared by filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy cannot eliminate child support or alimony payments, most tax debt, or other non-dischargeable debts such as personal injury payments, fines, or criminal penalties. Bankruptcy also cannot eliminate student debt in most cases. 

     

    How much does it cost to declare bankruptcy?

    Filing for bankruptcy can be costly on its own. Fees for bankruptcy can grow as high as $1500 to $4000. At Cibik & Cataldo, we understand the stress that our clients face when dealing with debt and bankruptcy. We offer cost-effective services so that our clients can focus on eliminating their existing debt without incurring new debt.

     

    Do I lose everything if I file bankruptcy? 

    Under chapter 13 bankruptcy, people generally keep all property by committing to a payment plan to pay off creditors. If you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is possible to lose assets. At Cibik & Cataldo, we strive to help our clients retain as much of their property as possible when facing bankruptcy. 

     

    How does bankruptcy affect credit? 

    Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file and the severity of your debt, bankruptcy can help improve your credit score. Failing to file bankruptcy and facing collection agencies can hurt your credit score even more. Call the attorneys at Cibik & Cataldo to discuss whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you. 

     

    How soon will my credit score improve after bankruptcy? 

    The key to rebuilding credit after filing is to stay out of debt, pay off all bills on time, and maintain a strict budget. We often see credit scores improve within a year of filing bankruptcy.

     

    Call the Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyers at Cibik & Cataldo Today

    Are you considering filing for bankruptcy in Philadelphia, Center City, Bucks, Montgomery, or Delaware counties? If so, the lawyers at Cibik & Cataldo are here to help. We offer our clients a free initial consultation, and we are ready to discuss your options. We can help you start a new debt-free chapter of your life. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

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    Cibik Law: Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyers