Effective, Compassionate Representation Standing Between You & Your Creditors Over 30 Years of Experience Experienced, Supportive Staff

Effective, Compassionate Representation

Standing Between You & Your Creditors

Over 30 Years of Experience

Experienced, Supportive Staff

Lee Anne Graybeal Follow us on
follow us on facebook  follow us on twitter

Office Location

Address: 5 Webhannet Place,
Suite 4, Kennebunk, ME 04043
View map

Toll Free Phone: 888-985-4644
Phone: 207-985-4644
Fax: 207-985-4495

Contact Us

Areas of Practice

BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is your tool to get back on track financially. In a bankruptcy proceeding, you can eliminate or reduce your debts, or get time to catch up on missed payments. There are several types of bankruptcy proceeding you can file, depending on what you need to accomplish.

All bankruptcies start with the filing of a petition with the Bankruptcy Court. In the petition, you are required to list all of your assets, name all of your creditors, and disclose your income and expenses. You must be completely open and forthcoming about this information, as it is the basis upon which the court decides that you are entitled to a discharge. About 30 days after filing, you and I will attend a meeting with the trustee appointed to handle your case. It’s his or her job to look for assets that can be liquidated to pay something to creditors.

You are entitled to keep certain property in the bankruptcy process. That property is considered to be “exempt” from your creditors, so that you can get a fresh start after bankruptcy. For instance, you can exempt a certain amount of equity in your residence and car, and keep paying any loans that are secured by those assets. In addition, you get exemptions in your household goods and furnishings and certain other assets. We can discuss how the exemptions would affect your particular case at our initial consultation.

Generally, any kind of unsecured debt is dischargeable, but special attention and analysis has to be given to income tax debts, some other types of tax debts, student loans, support obligations, and pending charges for criminal activity or driving under the influence. But even if in your case these debts exist, discharging the debts you can eliminate may help you deal with the ones you can’t. And it may be that some of these debts can be discharged in your case, depending on the precise circumstances.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is the most basic and simple form of bankruptcy. The whole process takes about 90 days to complete. Usually you can keep your residence and car and just keep making payments on them. You qualify for this type of relief if you do not have extra income in your budget each month after paying your necessary and reasonable living expenses, and if you do not have non-exempt assets of value that you want to keep.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is the second kind of bankruptcy most often used by individuals. It is sometimes called a “wage earner plan” because you need regular income to make payments to a trustee. Chapter 13 is appropriate if you are behind on a mortgage or car loan, or if you have enough income to pay some but not all of your debts. You make payments under a “plan” for a period of up to 5 years, and at the end of your plan any remaining balance of your dischargeable debts will be wiped away. Chapter 13 can be used by an individual who operates a small business.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 is for individuals with debts too large to file a Chapter 13, and for business entities that want to reorganize. It is more complicated than the Chapter 13 reorganization, but it can accomplish great changes. Chapter 11 is available for small business as well as large. If you think you might need a Chapter 11, call my office to set up a consultation to discuss your situation.

Chapter 12

In a Chapter 12 proceeding, in addition to being able to catch up on payments over time, you may be able to reduce the amount owed on your residence to the market value of the property, and change the terms of your mortgage, including the interest rate and monthly payment.  To qualify for Chapter 12, there are a few special requirements.  For instance, more than 50% of your gross annual income must come from farming or fishing, and at least 80% of your debts (leaving aside debts on your principal residence) must be the result of the operation of the business.