Bankruptcy Attorney Baton Rouge

When you get into financial trouble, you may consider a variety of options, such as debt relief programs, bankruptcy, and other options. Filing for bankruptcy is a complex and stressful process that can require the advice of an attorney to help guide you through the process. For most petitioners, it is their first time filing, making bankruptcy seem even more daunting. There are many benefits and consequences of filing for bankruptcy, which is why you should be fully educated before you go down this path. The Baton Rouge bankruptcy attorneys at Murray & Murray, LLC understand this and sympathize with our clients. Our Baton Rouge law office is committed to helping our clients eliminate their bankruptcy debt and regain their financial freedom. 

Bankruptcy law is complex and dictated by a combination of federal bankruptcy laws and Louisiana regulations. Fortunately, our Baton Rouge Louisiana law firm is well-versed in a wide variety of practices, including bankruptcy law. For years, our law firm has worked in bankruptcy law, serving our clients inside and outside of court. Our Baton Rouge Louisiana law firm has helped countless petitioners file for bankruptcy, providing our clients with guidance throughout the entire bankruptcy process. Contact our Baton Rouge office for your free and confidential consultation today! The Baton Rouge bankruptcy attorneys at Murray & Murray, LLC law office are here to help you.

Debt consolidation vs bankruptcy infographic

Types of Bankruptcy

Although our law firm is located in Baton Rouge Louisiana, bankruptcy law is not dictated by just Louisiana state law. Rather, Title 11 of the United States Code codifies bankruptcy law at the federal level. Title 11 stipulates a few types of bankruptcy options available, most commonly Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our Baton Rouge bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience working with Chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy cases both inside and outside of the courtroom. The chapter of bankruptcy that you file will be contingent on multiple factors. Therefore, prior to filing for bankruptcy, it is best to first consult with a reputable bankruptcy lawyer, so that you can plan an effective course of action.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The most commonly filed form of bankruptcy in the United States is Chapter 7, also known as “liquidation” bankruptcy. Unlike Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, under Chapter 7, a petitioner is not required to partake in a repayment plan. Instead, a court-assigned bankruptcy trustee is responsible for collecting and selling the petitioner’s non-exempt property. Non-exempt property may include a vacation home, investments, or musical instrument. The court-appointed trustee then takes the proceeds to repay creditors.

What Are the Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

As with any other bankruptcy chapter, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy leads to a court-mandated automatic stay. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy also allows a petitioner to retain exempt property, such as their pension, motor vehicle, and household appliances. In many instances, a petitioner may retain all of their belongings. Furthermore, a portion of a petitioner’s property may be subject to a secured lien of the creditor, including a loan for a car or mortgage for a house, allowing the petitioner to keep their home or vehicle.

Who Is Eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the petitioner must either be an individual, partnership, corporation, or other business entity. Moreover, as in other jurisdictions, to be eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the petitioner must pass the “means test.” The means test assesses whether a filer’s income is below or above the Louisiana median. Generally, if a petitioner’s income is lower than the Baton Rouge median, they qualify for Chapter 7. However, if a petitioner’s income is higher than the Baton Rouge median, the petitioner will not be eligible for Chapter 7 and will need to look for other options. To determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is best to meet with a well-versed Baton Rouge bankruptcy lawyer.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Also known as “reorganization” bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy  is used to reorganize business affairs, debts, and assets. Because of the complex and costly nature of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it is only typically reserved for big corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Although, in specific scenarios, individuals and small businesses may opt to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A business will usually file for Chapter 11 in order to restructure their debt to creditors, while also keeping their business afloat. 

What Are the Benefits of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

The most notable advantage of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that a business is able to continue operation while going through the bankruptcy process. The business does not have to shut down. Therefore, cash flow is still generated during the bankruptcy case, allowing the business to partake in the repayment process.

Who Is Eligible for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Generally, if a person or business qualifies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they also qualify for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, the majority of petitioners will typically choose to file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy over Chapter 11 bankruptcy because Chapter 11 bankruptcy tends to be more time-consuming and costly and involves higher risk. To learn more about whether Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the best option for you or your business, consult a Baton Rouge bankruptcy attorney from our law firm.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Comparable to Chapter 11, Chapter 13 is also a type of restructuring bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a petitioner to file a repayment plan with the court. The repayment plan allows individuals and small businesses with a “regular” income to develop a plan that restructures their debt. A petitioner will make payment installments to creditors over a three to five-year timeframe in accordance with the repayment plan. After the repayment plan is completed, the petitioner’s personal debt will be discharged.

What Are the Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that creditors are prohibited from beginning or continuing collection efforts throughout the repayment plan period. Because of this, a petitioner can focus on making timely and complete payments during this period. Additionally, foreclosure proceedings cease, allowing individuals to retain their homes.

Who is Eligible for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not require a “means” test. Instead, a petitioner qualifies for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if:

  • Their income tax filings are current.
  • They possess sufficient disposable income.
  • Their unsecured debts are less than $394,725.
  • Their secured debts are less than $1,184,200.

A corporation or partnership cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may still be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Contact one of our Baton Rouge bankruptcy lawyers at Murray & Murray, LLC Law firm as soon as possible to learn more about Chapter 13 and whether it is an option for you.

Common types of bankruptcy infographic

Benefits of Having a Baton Rouge Bankruptcy Lawyer

The attorneys at our Baton Rouge law firm have years of experience with bankruptcy law. We recognize that bankruptcy is oftentimes surrounded by negative misconceptions and we are here to help dispel any preconceived notions you may have. You may have questions related to your future circumstances, for example whether you’d be able to get a house again or if you should file a joint or separate bankruptcy when married. For many individuals and businesses, bankruptcy can be an effective tool. With an experienced, compassionate, and well-versed attorney by your side, you can effectively utilize these bankruptcy benefits and protections.You won’t get lost or deluded in the process through direct guidance from a reliable law firm.

Our Baton Rouge Bankruptcy Lawyers Help You Avoid Common Mistakes

One of the most notable benefits of enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney is that they are able to quickly recognize any potential mishaps that could take place during your case. From there, your attorney can plan accordingly, saving you time and money. For instance, experienced bankruptcy attorneys may first consider what potential alternatives there are to bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy may not be your best option for achieving your financial goals. If you and your attorney find that bankruptcy is the best course of action, your lawyer will then assess what chapter you qualify for and most effectively meet your goals. Ultimately, the attorneys at our Baton Rouge law firm are here to provide you with exceptional legal advice and services.

The Bankruptcy Attorneys in Baton Rouge Prepare You for Bankruptcy

Many factors contribute to the bankruptcy process. When determining what bankruptcy chapter will best serve a client, our attorneys will conduct the necessary legal research and analysis. For instance, applying the means test to see whether a client qualifies for Chapter 7 or whether a client can afford to make payments under Chapter 13. Your lawyer will also be responsible for assessing the value of your property, which assures that the value of your disclosed assets is accurate. Regarding more technical information, your lawyer will also conduct research to see if there are any applicable Louisiana exemptions and bankruptcy protection rules that will help you protect your assets. Essentially, your bankruptcy attorney is here to help you discharge your personal debt, while also retaining as much of your assets as possible.  

Repair Your Credit

Once your debt is discharged and your case has closed, you can finally take advantage of your fresh financial start. Many clients choose to continue to enlist the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. After your bankruptcy case, having a lawyer can help ensure that no post-bankruptcy discharge violations take place. For example, if a creditor attempts to collect a debt that the bankruptcy has already discharged, your attorney can help mitigate and resolve this issue. Additionally, bankruptcy attorneys can be a source of guidance, providing you with advice on how to rebuild your credit and how to stay debt-free.

Common FAQ Questions

Here are common questions that new bankruptcy applicants ask their attorneys.

Do I Need An Attorney, Can’t I Claim On My Own?

Your attorney will manage your case and get all of the information organized so they can best represent your case to get the best results. Before you file your claim, your attorney will help you make sense of your situation. They can review all of the information you provide and assess whether filing for bankruptcy is the best decision for you at this time.

What Do I Need To Organize Beforehand?

Your attorney will want to know all about your personal circumstances, for example whether you are single and married, how many dependents you have, your age, your career status, and other details. They will need to review your assets, benefits, and other streams of income. You’ll want to provide as much detail as possible. 

What Kind Of Documentation Should I Bring?

It is a good idea to bring your bank statements, titles, and other documentation of ownership for any assets and funds that you own. You should also include all of your debt statements and accounts that you may be struggling with, behind on, or neglected. 

Will I Be Eligible For Bankruptcy?

If you feel that your situation is unrecoverable and requires intervention, this can be a good case for bankruptcy. However, if your lawyer believes that you can recover from your situation, then you may not need to file for bankruptcy. Your case may not be so dire to require a bankruptcy trial. 

Contact Us for Your Free and Confidential Consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney Baton Rouge

It can be a long road to recovery after your bankruptcy, but you will get the direction and help you need to get through this difficult time. Before you initiate your bankruptcy claim, your attorney can go through your finances and help you prepare for next steps. They will help you review all of your options before you decide to make a decision. 

Our Baton Rouge Louisiana law firm is dedicated to providing our clients with the best legal services, offering competent legal advice and legal representation for their bankruptcy cases. Contact our Baton Rouge office to request your judgment-free and confidential consultation today! The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner a Baton Rouge bankruptcy lawyer from our office can help you regain your financial future.

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