If you have insurmountable debt, you need a bankruptcy lawyer who can give you straight answers and help you decide what solutions best fit your situation. At the law offices of Anthony J. Vignier, we understand that bankruptcy often results from circumstances beyond your control such as unemployment, foreclosure, medical problems, divorce, spiraling credit card debt or other difficult life events.
An Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer
Anthony J. Vignier is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who gets results for his clients. Anthony has over 25 years of legal experience. He is the bankruptcy lawyer you want on your side. Anthony considers the situation of all his prospective clients by meeting with them and going over their unique circumstances. Anthony develops a plan, which will help them with their financial struggles. In most cases, after a Bankruptcy is successfully concluded the client receives a Discharge Order that legally removes most Debt. Anthony’s clients are able to start fresh after receiving their Discharge.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is meant to give a person an opportunity for a fresh start. It is a financial reset button.
Bankruptcy provides relief to people and businesses in serious financial trouble. Generally, the bankruptcy process involves assessing the debtor’s assets and liabilities and providing a structure where the debtor is allowed to keep some, and in most cases, all property and asked to satisfy the debts that they can pay in an order of priority established by law. Any remaining debt that can’t be paid is discharged.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy meaning it can eliminate most debt such as credit card debt and medical bills. Individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships can all file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if eligible. In many cases, you may keep your car and your personal belongings. This will allow you to eliminate your debt and get a fresh start.
A Chapter 7 will stop the phone calls! If creditors are calling you at home, work or on your cell phone you can end the harassment by calling the Law office of Anthony J. Vignier. Once you retain Anthony as your bankruptcy attorney, you will be able to refer your creditors to his office.
A Chapter 7 will stop Stop Garnishments! Are you currently experiencing garnishment of your wages? Have you been notified that garnishment may soon begin on your wages? A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most effective ways to stop garnishments.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is reorganization where individuals pay back a portion or all of their debts over a period of time through a plan which can be three to five years. During this time, creditors must abide by the plan and are not permitted to collect from you or contact you. The repayment plan is typically an interest-free debt repayment plan. At the end of the Plan Period, you receive a discharge for all the amounts that you were not able to pay. You must have a regular income stream to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
A Chapter 13 is typically filed if you are behind on your mortgage payments and want to prevent foreclosure. Past due mortgages payments can be spread over a period of time not to exceed five years and the foreclosure is stopped.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is very powerful because it provides a mechanism for debtors to prevent foreclosures and sheriff sales and stop repossessions and utility shutoffs while catching up on their payments.
When Anthony J. Vignier meets with you he can help determine whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is best for your financial future.
A requirement for a person filing for bankruptcy protection is to receive credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency before the bankruptcy filing. Anthony helps educate his clients and meet the credit counseling requirements.
How do I know if I should file bankruptcy?
If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may owe it to yourself to explore seeking bankruptcy relief.
- Are you only paying the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards?
- Are your credit card balances growing?
- Is your pay check being garnished or is there a threat that it may be garnished?
- Is your car about to be repossessed?
- Is your home near foreclosure?
- Do you have medical bills that you cannot pay?
If I file for bankruptcy will my creditors stop calling and harassing me?
Upon retaining the Law Office of Anthony J. Vignier, we will deal directly with your creditors.
How long does the bankruptcy process take?
If there are no complications, it usually takes about four months to obtain a discharge which successfully concludes the bankruptcy.
Should all creditors be listed?
By law, all creditors that do not have a zero balance should be listed with their names and addresses on your petition. You can reaffirm debts such as your home, car and other secured loans. You can also make voluntary payments to family or medical providers if you wish.
Can I use my credit cards?
If you know you are going to file for Bankruptcy you must stop using your credit cards. In addition, many credit card issuers may not let you keep them unless you sign a reaffirmation agreement.
Will I lose all my property if I file for bankruptcy?
Most debtors do not lose any property. Most cases are administered as “No Asset” cases. Many assets are exempt from bankruptcy or are not worth enough for the estate to pay the costs of administration. If you have an asset, tax refund or other non-exempt asset that may be at risk, our office can advise you on these issues.
Will I be allowed to keep my car?
Under most cases you can keep your car. If you are considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you must be current with your car payments. If you are not current when you file, you have to quickly bring your payments current.
If you are filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you are current with your payments you can keep your car. If you are not current with payments your car debt can be included in your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Will I be able to keep my house?
Most people that own a home and have missed payments on their home file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will have to make your regular mortgage payments and repay your missed payments through the Chapter 13 plan.
If you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you are current on your mortgage payments, whether or not you can keep your home will based on the existing equity in your home. This is unique to each case and you should consult with our office for more information.
If I co-signed a loan to help someone out, do I have to list that debt?
Yes, you should list all your debts on the petition.
Can child support or alimony be discharged?
Child support and alimony cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
If I’m married can I file for bankruptcy without my spouse?
Yes, if the debt is in your name. Keep in mind however that your spouse’s income information will be needed. This is because their income can have an impact on whether you can file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Can I discharge my student loans through bankruptcy?
Student loans cannot normally be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however there are exceptions. In some cases, you can work out a reasonable payment plan through a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Can I discharge my tax debts through bankruptcy?
Tax debts may be dischargeable if you file bankruptcy more than 3 years after you have filed a timely and accurate tax return. If your tax return was filed late, the tax debt is generally dischargeable only if you file bankruptcy more than 2 years after filing an accurate return. Tax matters can be complicated. Anthony J. Vignier will review you matter on individual basis to determine the best course of action. In addition to being a bankruptcy attorney, Anthony is also an IRS Tax Resolution specialist and if your only debt involves Federal taxes there may be other solutions outside of Bankruptcy that can solve your problem. See the tax area of this website for more information.
Can I get credit and loans after filing bankruptcy?
Yes. Many of our clients have received credit card offers even before their bankruptcy is concluded. Some clients have even purchased homes within two years of their bankruptcy.
I’m interested in retaining your firm. What should I have for our first meeting?
- You should bring the last six months of your pay stubs.
- Your last three years of tax returns.
- All recent bills, credit card statements, mortgage statements and debt notices that you cannot pay and want to include in the bankruptcy. Don’t forget all complaints, collection suits or demand letters.