Denver Bankruptcy Lawyer Helping Debtors Throughout Colorado
Most people aim to manage their finances prudently and pay any debts that they incur, but even financially cautious people can become mired in debt that leaves them unable to make ends meet. When debts become insurmountable, it does not mean that no reprieve is available. Many people and businesses are eligible for debt relief via bankruptcy. If your debts exceed your assets and income, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your options for protecting your interests. David M. Serafin has dedicated his practice to helping people and businesses seek debt relief by filing for bankruptcy. Guided by over 20 years of legal experience, Mr. Serafin will assess your financial situation and advise you on whether bankruptcy is suitable for your unique circumstances, and if so, which type of bankruptcy will be most beneficial.
There are several chapters under which bankruptcy can be filed. The type of bankruptcy filing that is appropriate will depend on numerous factors, including whether the filing party is a person or a business, the total liabilities and assets of the filing party, and whether the filing party wishes to retain any property or assets. Once a petition for bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay is entered that prohibits other parties from pursuing claims against the debtor or seeking to collect certain debts. It is important to note, however, that certain debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, and filing for bankruptcy will not stay efforts to collect such debts. Some examples include money owed for child or spousal support, student loan obligations, criminal penalties, fines, and many taxes. Denver bankruptcy attorney David M. Serafin can advise you on how much of your debt may be discharged, which may affect your decision on whether filing for bankruptcy makes sense for you.Chapter 7
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, is what most people imagine when they think of bankruptcy. There are strict requirements that a debtor must meet to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. First, the person must pass the means test, which is an objective test to determine if the person is truly facing financial hardship due to his or her debts. Essentially, the means test assesses whether a person lacks sufficient disposable income to pay off the debts. Even if a person passes the means test, he or she cannot seek relief via Chapter 7 bankruptcy if he or she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past eight years or for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past six years. A person who is eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must list all of his or her assets and exempt and non-exempt property. Any property that is not exempt will be liquidated, and the proceeds will be used to pay the person’s creditors.
People who do not meet the means test, or who wish to retain certain non-exempt property, may be eligible for debt relief via Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is often known as reorganization bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can advise Denver residents on whether Chapter 13 may be more appropriate than Chapter 7. As an overview, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a person to restructure his or her debts and develop a plan to pay off the debts within three to five years. The debtor submits payments to a trustee, who then pays back the debtor’s debts in order of priority. Generally, support obligations have the highest priority, followed by secured debts and then unsecured debts. If the debtor complies with the agreed-upon payment plan, any remaining qualifying debts will be discharged at the end of the applicable period. If the debtor fails to comply with the payment plan, however, his or her debts will most likely not be discharged. While Chapter 13 bankruptcy imposes the burden of continuing to make payments on debts owed, it provides the benefit of allowing the debtor to retain his or her property.Chapter 11
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a common option for businesses. You can consult Denver bankruptcy lawyer David M. Serafin for guidance on whether Chapter 11 can help you save your business. This type of bankruptcy allows a business to restructure and reorganize its finances to help alleviate debts. If the business filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a corporation, the personal assets of any stockholders will not be placed at risk. If the business is a sole proprietorship, however, the personal assets and business assets of the filer are at risk. When a business owner files a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they must include certain information, such as a request for relief, a reorganization plan or a statement of intent to file a plan, and financial information related to assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. The business owner will typically maintain control of the business’ assets during bankruptcy proceedings and assume many of the duties that a trustee would typically perform, such as handling creditors’ claims, filing tax reports, and accounting for property. There are multiple ways in which a business can be restructured, including obtaining financing that is more favorable, granting lenders priority on earnings, or canceling contracts.Speak with an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney
Circumstances can change in an instant, and debts that initially seem manageable can rapidly become overwhelming, leaving debtors feeling as if they have no options for regaining financial stability. If you are overcome with debt, and you lack the ability to make your required payments, you should speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in the Denver area to determine whether you may be eligible for relief through this process. Attorney David M. Serafin can assist you in navigating the complicated procedures of filing for bankruptcy so that you can regain financial stability and peace of mind. His office is in Denver, and he regularly assists people and businesses throughout Denver, Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe, Weld, Summit, and Eagle Counties. You can reach him via the online form or at (303) 862-9124 to schedule a confidential and free meeting to assess your options.