Towson MD Bankruptcy Lawyers
Do you live in the Towson, Maryland area and are facing severe financial difficulties? These difficulties may be due to lifestyle change such as death, divorce or loss of job. Other times money problems may be due to factors such as getting in over our heads financially, medical bills or fiscal irresponsibility. When faced with these financial hardships we may feel a vast array of emotions that are related to being in our financial position. You may feel as though there is now way out or that there is no hope. The truth is that there are options for solving our financial and economic problems. One of these options is filing for bankruptcy. In Maryland there are several different types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you live in the Towson, Maryland area and are enduring difficult financial times it is in your best interest to consult with a Towson Maryland Bankruptcy Attorney.
Please do not hesitate to contact the bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of John P. Downs by dialing (410) 838-0100 for a free consultation. Towson Bankruptcy Attorney John P. Downs and his associates have over 20 years experience helping Maryland residents obtain the financial relief they need by filing bankruptcy. The serve those struggling financially in the Towson, Bel Air, Havre De Grace and Elkton, Maryland areas.
Towson Maryland Bankruptcy Statistics
Towson, Maryland is located in Baltimore County, Maryland and is right next to Baltimore City. Towson is the county seat, meaning it is where the local government offices and courthouses are located. The Towson area has a population of almost 60,000 people and many Towson residents, as well as residents throughout Baltimore County, are facing severe financial struggles for one reason or another. According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Maryland District 3,471 Baltimore County residents filed for bankruptcy in 2014. Many of these were by Towson residents. Approximately 75% of these filings were Chapter 7 bankruptcies and the remaining 25% were Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Less than 1% of bankruptcy filings in Baltimore County were Chapter 11 filings.
Chapter 7 Compared To Chapter 13
When deciding to file bankruptcy one of the first, and most important, things to consider is what type of bankruptcy to file. A Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy. This is the most common and the least expensive. You essentially walk away from the debts that you owe provided they are dischargeable. Certain debts such as student loans, tax debt and child support arrears are not dischargeable.
By comparison, a Chapter 13 is a long term repayment plan where you do not walk away from any debt. You consolidate any arrears payments and roll them into the plan and make payments to the trustee over a period of 3-5 years. From the time you file you immediately begin to make payments on things such as mortgages, vehicle loans and student loans in addition to the bankruptcy repayment plan.
Common Bankruptcy Causes
There are many different causes of severe financial strain for Maryland residents. Some of the most common are:
Divorce: This is the most common cause of severe financial strain leading to the need for debt relief.
Job loss: No one expects to go to work one day and be let go or laid off. When employment status changes many people go on unemployment which is only a fraction of what their annual wages or salary was. It is a very short term solution but in time your bills can start to pile up. With jobs being scarce job loss can often times lead to the need to file bankruptcy.
Death of a spouse: Losing your husband or wife is very tragic no matter how they died. In many cases there is no life insurance policy or a very minimal policy that barely covers funeral expenses. If the deceased spouse was the primary earner, and there is no savings to fall back on, severe financial strain can soon follow. That makes an already stressful situation even more stressful financially and emotionally.
Change in lifestyle: A change in lifestyle is normally related to job loss, divorce and in some cases health and medical issues come into play. All of these can send Baltimore and Harford County residents into a downward spiral financially.
Mortgage rates adjusting: The housing boom from a few years ago enabled almost anyone to get a mortgage. That coupled with rolling profit from the sale of one home into another set many homeowners up for financial strain. Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM’s) were very attractive as they offered a low monthly payment initially. Once these ARM’s adjust, and the rate increases and principal becomes part of the payment (if you had an interest only loan) the payment can become too much and you cannot sustain it.
Unsecured debt such as credit cards and medical bills: These types of debt are very common culprits in terms of financial strain. Credit card bills can be a result of reckless spending. Medical bills can be attributed to health issues and many times inadequate or no health insurance.
There are many other causes of bankruptcy. To discuss your scenario and how our Harford County bankruptcy lawyers can help please contact our office today.
Benefits Of Filing Bankruptcy
Many people think of filing bankruptcy as a bad thing. There may be emotions associated with bankruptcy such as failure, shame and guilt. While this is a very common response bankruptcy can actually be a very positive thing as there are many benefits. One benefit is that the constant, harassing phone calls from creditors will stop immediately upon filing. Depending on your situation you may also be able to prevent foreclosure and vehicle repossession. If you owe child support or spousal support arrears you may be able to get caught up via Chapter 13 and avoid jail time or legal consequences. Speaking with our experienced Towson MD bankruptcy lawyers is a wise move as they will explain all options to you. Armed with this information you will be able to make the best decision regarding your financial future.
What Bankruptcy Cannot Do
While filing for bankruptcy offers Towson resident debt relief and the ability to start over there are also certain things it cannot do. Certain types of debt cannot be walked away by filing bankruptcy. If you are behind on child support payments, alimony and spousal support payments, student loans and or tax debt filing bankruptcy will not provide relief. With these types of debt you cannot file Chapter 7 and walk away. What you may be able to do, provided you qualify, is consolidate the arrears into a Chapter 13 and begin to pay the normal payments IN ADDITION to the Chapter 13 plan payments. If you are a Towson area resident and have questions regarding how bankruptcy can help you and if you qualify for a Chapter 13 contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney serving the Towson, Maryland area.
What To Look For In A Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing bankruptcy is a very paper intensive and formulaic area of law. The information needed for each case is similar so that it can be presented properly and you are able to file with no hurdles to overcome. With that, there are certain attributes you should look for when deciding which Towson BK attorney to retain for your case.
The first thing to look for is experience. While filing bankruptcy is routine in terms of what documentation is needed there is a very large margin for error if your bankruptcy attorney does not consistently handle bankruptcy cases.
Something else to look for is compassion and understanding. The months and years leading up to you filing bankruptcy were most likely very challenging. The Towson bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Offices of John P. Downs understand the emotional and psychological side of filing bankruptcy and put no pressure on you at all. They will explain all options to you so that you can make the best decision possible.
Contact Our Towson MD Bankruptcy Lawyers Today
Call the Towson bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Offices of John P. Downs regarding any viable options you may have for obtaining financial relief. Dial (410) 838-0100 to arrange a free initial consultation. With the aid of an experienced bankruptcy attorney the harassing phone calls from creditors can stop, the stress of your financial situation may be lessened and you can focus on starting over financially.