Vidrine & Vidrine is a defining leader in bankruptcy law. Consumer bankruptcy is complicated and ever-changing. This is why it's important to choose the right people when researching your financial options. An experienced Lafayette bankruptcy lawyer at Vidrine & Vidrine will provide you with information, answers and choices to help you lift the heavy burden of debt. The information included here will give you a general idea of how bankruptcy works. This is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you decide to find out if bankruptcy is right for you, our free consultation will show you how bankruptcy laws apply to your specific case.
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is protection. Under federal law, bankruptcy prohibits your creditors from collecting on your outstanding debts once your bankruptcy case has been filed.
Filing for bankruptcy also prohibits creditors from:
- Calling you at home or work
- Foreclosing on your property and home
- Seizing property, like your cars, boats, etc.
- Garnishing your wages
Chapter 7: Liquidation. A trustee is appointed to collect and sell, if economically feasible, all property you own that is not exempt from these actions. Louisiana law dictates what assets are exempt from seizure. Below is a list of the most common assets that are exempted. Please contact Vidrine & Vidrine for a free consult if you have questions regarding the exemption laws and what assets are exempt.
Your homestead up to $35,000
A vehicle up to $7,500
Household goods and furnishings
Qualified retirement accounts
Life insurance proceeds
Chapter 11: Chapter 11 is a reorganization chapter most commonly used by businesses, but is also available to individuals. Creditors vote on whether to accept or reject a plan, which also must be approved by the court. The Debtor remains in control of the assets and will continue to run the business. The goal of Chapter 11 is to give the business relief from creditors to allow for a reorganization of the debtor's company.
Chapter 12: Chapter 12 offers relief to those who qualify as family farmers or fishermen. Family farmers or fishermen must propose a plan to repay their creditors over a three to five year period and it must be approved by the court. Plan payments are made through a chapter 12 trustee, who also monitors the debtor's farming or fishing operations during the pendency of the plan by receiving and reviewing monthly operating reports that will be prepared and filed by the Debtor.
Chapter 13: Chapter 13 generally permits individuals to keep their property by repaying some creditors out of their future income. Each chapter 13 debtor creates a plan which must be approved by the bankruptcy court. The debtor must pay the chapter 13 trustee the amounts set forth in the plan. Debtors receive a discharge after they complete their chapter 13 repayment plan. Chapter 13 is only available to individuals with regular income whose debts do not exceed $1,162,075. This figure may change periodically.
What are the costs of bankruptcy for consumers?
Attorney fees and court costs: $1,500 (paid prior to filing the case)
Attorney fees: $2,800 ($600 up front; remaining fees are paid in the Chapter 13 plan)
Court costs: $281
Credit report: $60
Attorney fees are on an hourly basis. A retainer will be required, the amount of which is dependent on the complexity of the issues involved.
All bankruptcy cases are different, your attorney at Vidrine & Vidrine will discuss this with you during your no-charge consultation. Contact our office today at 337-205-4603.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.