Debt doesn’t just consume one person at a time, in the event there is a co-debtor, (and several of your debts include co-debtors). Also known as co-signors, the people who sign with you on a debt are often family members and the closest friends you have.
By signing a legal document guaranteeing that your debt would be paid, the co-debtor is now in a precarious situation as you file for bankruptcy.
If your goal is to wipe out as much of your debt as possible, as quickly as possible, Chapter 7 would be a good choice. However, under Chapter 7, co-debtors are not protected. If you receive a Chapter 7 discharge, you would no longer have any legal responsibility to repay the debt that was also signed by your co-debtor. But creditors would then be able to collect from the co-debtor.
The only way to protect a co-debtor is to file a Chapter 13 repayment plan, although that virtually guarantees a 60-month schedule to pay your disposable income, after necessary expenses, to your creditors.
Enormous Debt : More than ever, young adults are being saddled with an enormous amount of debt right after they earn their college degree. They spend the rest of their twenties giving a sizable portion back to the University who just won a bowl game and is hardly hurting for cash. Meanwhile, you’re a twenty something lawyer who passed the Bar exam, works for a prestigious firm, yet you eat Ramen and take the bus and duck your landlord at the end of the month. That’s no way to enter the workforce–straddled with debt.
More young adults are filing for bankruptcy than ever. There is a stigma and almost a shame that comes with it, but there needn’t be. Think of bankruptcy less a retreat and more a reset. Yes, it will reflect on your credit report and yes it will complicate your financial future at least for the next seven years. “So why would I want that?” You ask…
Here’s the alternative. Continue on eking it out. Giving most of your pay to your wealthy college who’s degree you might not even be using! Take the bus. Go broke trying to impress clients by paying for your meals only to find your wages have been garnished and your card doesn’t work.
You can expect that for much longer than seven years if you don’t file for bankruptcy. You don’t want to have to play that game where you act like: “it’s the banks fault” in front of potential clients. You know good and well there was a fifty-fifty chance your card would work, which is why you only ordered salad and water. You cringed when the potential clients ordered swordfish and champagne. And then came the coup de grâce? Potential client #1 liked the swordfish so much he wants a second to go. For his dog! Your mental cash register just exploded. You know what’s coming. Epic embarrassment. You see it on the waiter as his or her demeanor has now changed. They have your card in their hand and a single, short, stubby receipt. We all know what that is. The rejection letter of debit machines. Just like when you got into college. Thin envelope meant: “Sorry! Try again!”. Thick envelope meant :”Pack your bags”.
Don’t get another thin envelope or short receipt. Get your affairs in order. What you handle today will greatly behoove you tomorrow. We will get creditors off your back and allow you to entertain those potential clients without fear of embarrassment.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY?
Filing bankruptcy can be a daunting and emotionally draining experience. Going it alone will only make the task even more monumental. It doesn’t have to be so bleak though. Sometimes in life we need a reboot, if you will. Many of great financiers, moguls, and millionaires alike have filed for bankruptcy. As well have average salary earners, college students, contract holders et al. The point is, at one time or another many of us have been “in over our heads”.
Once you file the petition there are a number of documents you must submit to the court and your Trustee within specific time frames. Failure to comply may cause your case to be dismissed. Unfortunately, if you file without an attorney, there is no one who will tell you what has to be filed and when. Which is why whenever dealing with anything above parking ticket a lawyer is your best course of action.
The Bankruptcy Court sends out a notice of your bankruptcy filing to all of the creditors listed in your schedules. This notice advises the creditors that you have filed for protection, which chapter you filed and advises them that an “automatic stay” is in effect, preventing creditors from pursuing any further efforts to collect the debt. This would include staying a foreclosure sale, wage garnishment, and even a civil court proceeding or trial. Criminal cases are not stayed, nor are child support hearings.
For more information regarding bankruptcy, chapters, filing bankruptcy, or simply answering any questions you may have, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at www.gregorywald.com for a consultation.
What Rights Do I Have When Facing Vehicle Repossession?
Getting behind on your credit card payment can be a hassle but when you go into arrears on your car payment, your life can be drastically interrupted. Whenever you enter into a lease/credit agreement with a finance company, they have the right to recover their property, any time of day or night and still invoice you for the balance due on the loan as well as late fees and towing fees. Pretty harsh huh? However, there are strict laws in place that limit what a creditor can and cannot do when carrying out a Vehicle Repossession.
What Can Creditors do
According to state law, and likely the contract you signed while purchasing the vehicle, your creditor can legally seize your vehicle when you default on your loan. The seizure can legally occur immediately. The contract between you and your creditor will usually define “default”, but it normally means a failure to make timely payments. One missed payment may be just enough, but typically not. This is because your creditor can agree to accept a late payment or can change the payment date, however this may change the terms of your original contract. These changes can occur by speaking with the creditor, by writing, or by the creditor simply accepting multiple late payments without objection.
When default occurs, state law may permit the creditor to repossess your vehicle at any time of the day – even in the middle of the night while you sleep. Creditors do not need to give proper notice, and may come on to your property to repossess.
What Can’t They Do?
Creditors cannot “breach the peace” while confiscating your vehicle. Examples of breaching the peace violations can be using force or threats of force to repossess, seizing your vehicle over protest, or removing it from a closed garage.
If a breach of peace is committed when your vehicle is repossessed, you can be entitled to money damages or your creditor may be required to pay a penalty. Importantly, your creditor may also lose the right to enforce a deficiency judgment against you. A deficiency judgment is the difference between the remaining amount on the loan and the resell amount obtained by the creditor.
If you or someone you know has had their vehicle repossessed or is facing repossession, call us now. There are limited, but effective actions that can be taken such as bankruptcy, that allow you to keep your vehicle. Remember, time is of the essence. Once they’ve repossessed your vehicle you have ten days to pay the debt. In some cases the creditor may even refuse the payment and keep your vehicle. Eventually they will sell it and reduce it from the debt you owe them. Don’t let it get to this.
For more information regarding your specific situation when facing vehicle repossession, contact Minneapolis Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 for a consultation.