Bankruptcy law provides protection to people who cannot pay off their debts so that those people can get back on track and make a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy cases generally fall under federal law and claims must be filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Understand Your Options
One question many people have when they are first considering filing for bankruptcy is what type of bankruptcy do they qualify for. Many people are aware that there are two major types of bankruptcy for individuals, which have different characteristics and requirements. Our attorneys will help you understand your options:
- Chapter 7 Debt Relief: This type of bankruptcy provides immediate cancellation of your eligible debts when the bankruptcy is approved. Many people qualify for Chapter 7.
- Chapter 13 Reorganization: This type of bankruptcy allows you to partially repay your debts over the course of three to five years. This is a good approach for many people with regular sources of income.
Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will carefully examine your eligibility and help you sort out the differences between these very different types of bankruptcy.
Helpful Bankruptcy Law Information
Different people file for bankruptcy for different reasons, and everyone has their own priorities when it comes to debt relief. We have experience with many different types of bankruptcy cases, and we are fully prepared to address any of the following issues and concerns:
- Bankruptcy and divorce
- Car loans and repossessions
- Credit card debt and personal loans
- Foreclosure assistance
- Gambling debts
- Lawsuits and garnishments
- Liability claims and lawsuits
- Medical debt relief
- Student loan debt relief
- Taxes and bankruptcy
- Unemployment and disability
- Small business bankruptcy
- How to prepare for filing bankruptcy
- Life after bankruptcy
The type of bankruptcy you should file—if any—depends on a number of factors, such as the types of debts, the amount of debt, what your income is like, and
your goals. There are also certain eligibility requirements for each Chapter of bankruptcy.
All bankruptcy filings are public record, which means anyone can theoretically see who has filed a bankruptcy. Sometimes an employer will receive direct
notice of an employee’s bankruptcy, such as if the employee owes the employer money, or if the employee files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and makes payments by payroll deduction. In other cases, an employer (or potential employer) may indirectly become aware of an employee’s bankruptcy, such as by performing a credit report or case search in the Federal database.
However, the Federal bankruptcy law provides certain protections against employment discrimination for people who are in an active bankruptcy or who have been in the past. Speak to an attorney for more information about these
The length of the bankruptcy process depends on the type of bankruptcy. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcies take 3–4 months, where as most Chapter 13 bankruptcies take 3–5 years (plus a month or two).
There is no requirement to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to file your own bankruptcy. The forms to file a bankruptcy are publically available from the U.S. Courts’ website.
Whether you should hire a lawyer mostly depends on the complexity of your situation and how comfortable you would be filing the case yourself.
Bankruptcy law is a highly complex and specialized area of law. Additionally, most districts have their own Local Rules (including Nebraska), as well as their
own practices and traditions that experienced bankruptcy attorneys are aware of.
Most bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation, which will help you get a feel for the potential complexities your situation may pose, as well as the
attorney’s knowledge, character, and friendliness.
The cost to file a bankruptcy varies greatly depending on your situation and the type of bankruptcy you need to file.
Chapter 7 bankruptcies often cost less than $1,500 and sometimes even less, sometimes more, depending on complexity.
For Chapter 13 bankruptcies, the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska sets attorney fees at $4,000 (paid through the Chapter 13 Plan) for most cases.
Because most of the attorney fees in a Chapter 13 are paid through the Plan, the upfront costs are typically much less than a Chapter 7.
It is also important to understand how different attorneys quote their fees. For example, not all attorneys include the Court’s filing fee ($338 for Chapter 7,
$313 for Chapter 13) in their quotes. If you have a consultation with any bankruptcy attorneys, you should how their quotes are broken down.
Help from a Trusted Advisor
While the internet is full of information, bankruptcy law is complicated and nothing can replace the advice an attorney will give in response to information about your individual circumstances. Don’t hesitate to contact us to talk to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
We can help. Contact us to speak to one of our experienced Omaha bankruptcy lawyers or to arrange a free initial consultation. If you live in Nebraska or Iowa and cannot come to our Omaha offices, we can consult with you by telephone.