If you feel your debt is out of control, that pressure could have an adverse effect on the quality of your work, relationships, and even your health. You could be vulnerable to debt consolidation companies that offer to resolve your debts but leave you even further in the hole than you were to start.

Even if you see no way to get back on your feet, you always have options. Consult an Edison debt management lawyer before deciding how to get out from under crushing debt.

Our trustworthy bankruptcy attorneys can explain your alternatives and the pros and cons of each strategy. Do not fall victim to debt consolidation firms that charge high fees and fail to inform you of the drawbacks. Resolving your debt problems might be easier than you expected when you work with Gillman, Bruton & Capone.

Negotiating Down Your Debt

Your options depend in part on whether your debt is secured or unsecured. You risk your personal assets if you default on your secured debt. We will help you keep your home, vehicle, and other assets that you have pledged against a loan.

The creditors holding your unsecured debt might be willing to negotiate. When they get a call from an attorney, they recognize you are probably considering bankruptcy. Settling for a reduced amount puts them in a better position than they would be if you declared bankruptcy.

However, debt negotiation carries risks. The creditor could still pursue you with collection calls or even sue you for payment unless your settlement agreement contains clauses preventing this conduct. If the creditor forgives some of the debt, the IRS will consider the forgiven sum to be “income” and may tax it accordingly. A debt management attorney from our Edison office ensures you are aware of the risks, can make an informed decision about whether negotiation is the best solution, and enter a settlement agreement that appropriately protects your interests.

Get a Fresh Start by Filing for Bankruptcy

“Bankruptcy” is the catch-all term for legally discharging debt but there are several different forms referred to as a “Chapter” of bankruptcy. Each is appropriate in different circumstances and only one option might be available in your specific case. An Edison attorney could review your debt management situation and recommend a form of bankruptcy protection to meet your needs.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the preferred option if you have a regular income, since it allows you to restructure your debts, including late mortgage payments, and pay an amount you can afford into bankruptcy court every month. A standing Chapter 13 trustee distributes the payments to your creditors.

Creditors must cease collection efforts and interest does not accrue while you make payments. Chapter 13 could allow you to forestall foreclosure, although you must make your current mortgage payments every month during the repayment period.

The repayment period could last three to five years, depending on your income and real estate holdings.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the form of bankruptcy most corporations and businesses use. However, if your income exceeds the limits for Chapter 7 or your debt exceeds the limits for Chapter 13, you could file Chapter 11 as an individual or married couple. It could be beneficial for debtors who are significantly in arrears on their mortgage but want to keep their home. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows you to restructure mortgage arrears but does not require paying them within five years, as Chapter 13 does.

Debtors need not have a regular income and the amount of debt they could restructure is theoretically unlimited. However, the debtor’s plan of reorganization is subject to creditor approval. Payments under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan do not begin until the creditors and bankruptcy courts have approved it, which could be six months or more after submission.

Chapter 7

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor may be required to sell their assets and pay them toward their debt, and the bankruptcy court discharges the remainder. The good news is that a debt management lawyer based in Edison can help you retain your vehicle, home, and nearly all possessions if you choose this option.

It could be an option for individuals whose income does not allow them to pay their debts over time. A means test determines whether the debtor’s income qualifies them to file for Chapter 7.

Consult an Edison Debt Management Attorney Instead of an Unreliable Debt Consolidation Firm

Sadly, many businesses that advertise themselves as debt consolidation strategists or credit repair companies are scams. They charge consumers high fees but do little in the way of helping you get free of debt. Many of their actions come with fine print or unwanted consequences.

A reputable Edison debt management lawyer can provide an honest assessment of your options. Members of our team have been practicing bankruptcy law for over 25 years and know all the ways that debt management firms can take advantage of debtors. Reach out to us now and ask for a free case review.