Holly Martin: Welcome to the law offices of Martin Attorneys. My name is Holly Martin. In the next few minutes you will be introduced to the members of our staff, who will give you important information about bankruptcy. Our attorneys have many years of experience in bankruptcy and have helped thousands of people since 1989, so don't feel overwhelmed. We are here to help you every step of the way.
I know that this is a stressful time for you, but today you will be meeting with some of our attorneys that have filed more than 8,700 bankruptcies for families just like yours. And our experience will help your case be just as stress-free as possible. Thank you for trusting in Martin Attorneys. Today is your first step in a life-changing direction.
Trey Roberts: Hi, my name is Trey Roberts. I know that stress is probably a big part of your life right now, but don't worry. I'm here to help ease that burden.
To start, you shouldn't feel guilty about bankruptcy. Congress designed a law to give you a fresh start. They want you to get rid of heavy debts so that you can get on with your life. It's important to understand that bankruptcy is a powerful legal force.
Once a bankruptcy is filed, garnishment of wages will stop, repossession of your car or other personal property, foreclosure on your home, and harassing creditor phone calls will all stop. It is sometimes even possible to get a car back that has been repossessed if the bankruptcy is filed quickly enough.
There are some things that are very important that we talk about today. If you are being sued, you are being garnished, your home is being foreclosed on, or your car is in danger of repossession, we need to know about that today. Your case may need to be fast-tracked.
Also, please be sure to tell us if you are behind on a car or house payment. These are very important details so please let us know about this today.
Eric Backstrom: One of the bankruptcy chapters that we consider, is a Chapter 7. Most people think of Chapter 7 as a total liquidation. But we use the bankruptcy laws to protect the things you want to keep, like your house or your car.
The benefit of a Chapter 7 is that it is over with quickly. Most people are done with bankruptcy in a Chapter 7 about 4 to 6 months after we file. However, more complex cases can take longer.
Not everyone qualifies to file a Chapter 7. And even those that do may be better served by filing a Chapter 13. For instance, if you're behind on a car or your house payment and you want to keep these things, a Chapter 13 may be a better fit for you. If your income is higher than the average income in our area, you may not even be able to file a Chapter 7.
If you are interested in a Chapter 7, we will talk with you about your specific case, and compare it with the benefits of a Chapter 13. We will help you make a decision that is in your best interests.
Michael Chase: Hi, I'm Michael Chase, and what I would like to discuss with you is Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is a proposed payment plan to pay for secured debt like your car, furniture or even your house if you are behind on your mortgage.
You are not required to pay back any of your unsecured debt like your medical bills or credit card unless you can actually afford to.
It allows you to catch up on your late payments and is an extremely powerful tool. It gives you years to set of months to catch up, and you can even pay your back taxes in your Chapter 13 plan over 3 to 5 years.
Another great benefit is that many people end up with much less money going out each month to pay for their cars or other secured bills through their trustee than if they were paying on their own before filing bankruptcy.
Trey Roberts: There are several considerations that are important for us to know about today. Some of those considerations include where you have made any student loans, and if any of those student loans are currently in deferral, or if you are paying on it.
If you are married, we would like to talk about whether both you and your spouse should file.
If you are divorced, we need to know if any of the bills you want to get rid of are part of your divorce decree.
It is also important to tell us whether you've transferred over any property of any kind, to anybody, within the last 2 years, and whether you have paid off any creditors recently. We need to know whether you have given anybody any money or property in the past year.
Do you usually get a large tax refund? Is some of the debts you have from taxes? If any of these apply to your situation, please make sure to bring it up so we can talk about it.
Holly Martin: So let's review some of the information we need today.
Please let us know if your home is being foreclosed, your car is being in danger of being repossessed, your wages are being garnished, if you are behind on your payment.
Let us know if this is a personal or business bankruptcy.
Let us know whether or not you owe student loans.
Whether you are self-employed.
Whether you usually receive a large tax refund. If you have tax debt, let us know that.
If your job changed in the past 6 months. Or is it likely to change in the near future?
Have you given property or money to anyone, including to relatives or creditors.
And finally, will you be filing individually or jointly?
This video was to help you ask us questions and identify information that we need to know today. Remember, we are here on your behalf and in your best interests. We look forward to helping you take that first step to a fresh start.