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Oregon Personal Bankruptcy Lawyers

Personal Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy laws have been in existence for more than 400 years. Originally, the laws were designed only for the benefit of creditors so that they could more easily get paid and get a debtor's property. Uncooperative debtors were put in prison or had their ears cut off. If the debtors were lucky, they would escape with only having their ear nailed to a post (while still attached to the body, of course) in a public place. Today, bankruptcy laws protect both creditors and debtors and are much more "debtor friendly."

Bankruptcy laws today in the United States are federal laws which allow debtors to reduce or cancel a debt and to obtain a fresh start without the fear of being constantly harassed by creditors. Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers can help you. There is no specific amount of debt required to file a bankruptcy. No one will ask you why you are filing.

The two most common types of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Most consumers file Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions. Your Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyer will help you decide which one is right for you. The process takes about 4 months from the time of filing until the final notice from the court indicating that the debts have been discharged. During this 4 month time period, an "automatic stay" is in effect which prohibits creditors from taking any legal action to collect debts without special court permission. An Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyer from Oregon Fresh Start can help you put an automatic stay in effect quickly. Most consumers will be allowed to keep their property. However, there are some limits. Oregon law provides at least 33 different categories of "exemptions" which covers most property. One of our Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers will be able to help you keep as much of your property as possible. However, if the value of the property exceeds the exemption, the court may require the debtor to turn the property over to the trustee so it can be sold and the proceeds used to pay on debts of the debtor. Concerning secured property, the general rule is that the debt must be paid or the property returned to the creditor. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. Bankruptcy law is complex and requires expert knowledge of the laws and exemptions to get through the process. That's why you need an Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyer to help you through the process.

Chapter 13 - Under certain circumstances, it is required of consumers to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. This requires debtors to pay a certain amount per month to the court for 3-5 years. The amount is determined by calculating the net amount of money available each month (after deducting taxes, health insurance, etc.) and subtracting from that the monthly living expenses such as rent, utilities, food, clothing, gas, car payments, etc. Your Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyer from Oregon Fresh Start will help you with this calculation. If expenses are more than income, the debtor cannot file a Chapter 13 petition. Frequently, debtors are behind on house or car payments. A Chapter 13 petition can make provision to make up the past due payments during the 3-5 years and allow the debtor to keep the collateral. A good Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyer from Oregon Fresh Start can help you get your finances back on track.

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