Compassionate Bankruptcy Law Firm Helping Little Rock Residents Plan for Brighter Futures
It is natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious when you are facing insurmountable financial troubles. Sometimes, filing for bankruptcy is the best option for helping you rebuild your life. If you are considering the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, you likely have many questions about the process. For trusted and effective legal guidance, reach out to the knowledgeable and compassionate bankruptcy attorneys at Natural State Law, PLLC. We will listen carefully to your concerns while guiding you through a sound legal approach that will help you achieve your goals.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Arkansas
In order to start the process, a bankruptcy petition must be filed in the federal district of the area you’ve resided in the most during the last 180 days. If you’ve lived in Arkansas for a period of at least 730 days (roughly two years), the court will allow certain Arkansas state exemptions to your case. Exemptions vary from state to state, and Arkansas generally allows certain property to be exempt from bankruptcy seizure, providing you meet some basic criteria.
Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, your debts and property that is not exempt becomes the property of the court. A trustee will be assigned to your case, and this court-appointed individual will oversee all of the paperwork associated with your case. Arkansas law allows qualifying debtors to choose between the state constitutional exemptions and the federal bankruptcy exemptions depending on which is more advantageous for their particular situation. Our knowledgable bankruptcy attorneys will evaluate your situation and determine the best course to protect your property.
Chapter 7 Versus Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are some key differences between filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Typically, if you own valuable property that does not fall under the Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions that you want to remain in your possession, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers you a better opportunity of holding onto this property. If you are current on your secured debts, such as a car note or house note, and meet the requirements to file a Chapter 7, a Chapter 13 offers few upsides. If you do not meet the requirements to file a Chapter 13, or if you are not current on your car note or house note and you intend on curing those defaults, or if you have more equity in your property than the exemptions will protect, a Chapter 13 allows far more flexibility and control over your situation than a Chapter 7 would. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are designed to allow a debtor to repay your overdue payments within a designated amount of time, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy simply eliminates many heavy debt burdens without the obligation to repay creditors.
While a Chapter 7 filing allows you to receive a clean financial slate, blocking any creditors from garnishing your wages or hounding you for money, it makes it difficult to hold on to any non-exempt property. A Chapter 13 filing allows you to gradually repay the money you owe while retaining ownership over your property, but the process takes much longer to resolve.
Chapter 11 and Chapter 12
If your business is having financial, accounting, or other non-legal problems—regardless of the cause—bankruptcy may provide a legal framework and process you can use to address those problems in a controlled fashion. Even if your business is a farm and your problems are caused or worsened by the weather!
Chapter 11 bankruptcy can be used to reorganize the debts of a business so that it can continue to operate. For businesses looking for a plan to move forward, or for the tools and the opportunity to rework their operation if they had some breathing room, Chapter 11 bankruptcy can provide a process to address problems and work towards their solutions in a more regimented environment with court oversight.
Chapter 12 bankruptcy can be used to reorganize the debts of family farmers or fishermen so they can continue to farm or fish. Chapter 12 has strict requirements on eligibility regarding sources of income, amount of debt, and the types of operations that are eligible. For those who qualify, Chapter 12 can be a powerful tool to help recover from bad debt, bad accounting, or just bad luck.
Consult a Skilled Bankruptcy Attorney Today
Bankruptcy laws and rules can quickly become complex and challenging to understand. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, Natural State Law, PLLC is here to help you consider all of your options for choosing the best path forward. We will discuss the pros and cons of the various types of bankruptcy filings, guiding you towards a successful outcome. Contact us today to get started.