Bankruptcy Attorney in Louisiana
Depressed over debt? Unsure as to what to do next? Find out your options fast by browsing our informative site and taking the free legal debt evaluation. Many individuals find that filing bankruptcy may be one way they can discharge their personal unsecured debt and start again. An experienced Louisiana Bankruptcy Attorney can help eliminate creditor calls, stop a home foreclosure, and stop wage garnishments.
The Federal government has developed the bankruptcy process so individuals who are facing a financial crisis may discharge most of their unsecured debt through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or create a more favorable debt repayment schedule by filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy in the state of Louisiana, it is important to talk to a Louisiana Bankruptcy Attorney. A bankruptcy lawyer in Louisiana will be able to help you determine if filing bankruptcy is the best course of action for your family and can answer all of your bankruptcy questions. A Louisiana Bankruptcy Lawyer will also be familiar with all the current bankruptcy laws and can determine if you qualify to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
« Back to the Top
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Louisiana
If you own a home or property you would like to keep, or you do not qualify to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be another option for your family. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will not be an immediate discharge of your assets but will require you to pay either a portion or all of your debt by creating a three to five year repayment plan. The benefit of filing Chapter 13 in Louisiana is your assets will not be liquidated, and you may be able to develop a more favorable payment schedule.
A Louisiana Bankruptcy Lawyer will file your all the bankruptcy documents and will work with you to complete your bankruptcy repayment plan. After the completion of the plan, which will be three to five years, your qualifying unsecured debts will be discharged.
The Federal Bankruptcy code outlines certain assets or personal property which will be exempt from the bankruptcy process. The goal of the government is to allow individuals filing bankruptcy maintain certain assets. Exemptions are determined at the federal level, but many states have also created their own list of bankruptcy exemptions. Depending on the state where you live, you may be able to choose between the state exemption list or the federal exemption list. Other states will only allow you to choose the state exemption list. In the state of Louisiana you are only allowed to use the Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemption List.
« Back to the Top
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Louisiana
If you have few assets and you qualify to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, it is the most popular, least expensive and fastest type of bankruptcy. Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will allow for an immediate discharge of your debts.
The first step in Louisiana chapter 7 bankruptcy is to hire a bankruptcy lawyer who will file your bankruptcy petition and a statement of your financial affairs in the correct Louisiana Bankruptcy Court. These bankruptcy forms will include a list of all your creditors, the amount of debt you owe them, your income, your expenses and all of your property. Most debt collection efforts will be at least delayed through an "automatic stay". Debt collection efforts may begin again if a Bankruptcy Judge decides there is "cause".
A trustee will be appointed to work with your creditors and he will use the proceeds from the sell of your assets to pay them. Priority creditors will be paid first according to federal bankruptcy law. It will take up to four to six months for your debt to be discharged. Not all unsecured debt will be discharged, but common debt that may be eliminated can include: credit card debt, hospital debt, and unsecured personal loans. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be available for an individual, corporation, partnership, and married couple.
In the last four years, it has become more difficult to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Louisiana. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Act (BAPCA) was passed in 2005, and required individuals to pass an income test to qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The goal of this legislation was to force more individuals to repay at least a portion of their debt by filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The legislation also required individuals to take a credit counseling course prior to filing for personal bankruptcy and complete a financial management course before their debt is dismissed.
« Back to the Top
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and your Median Income
If you would like to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, your median income in most cases must be below the state average compared to other families of similar size in the state of Louisiana. If your income is higher, a Louisiana Bankruptcy Attorney can help you complete additional "means testing". In general the means testing will review your ability to pay your creditors by subtracting certain expenses such as your house payment, car payment, taxes owed and a certain amount of school tuition from your income. If you income minus these expenses leaves you enough disposable income to pay up to $6,000 or $100 per month to your unsecured creditors in the next sixty months, you will most likely have to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. If you fail this test, but you have enough remaining disposable income to pay 25% toward debt repayment in the next 60 months, you still may have to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. This is general information. It is important to have a Louisiana Bankruptcy Attorney analyze your income and perform the means tests to determine if you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The median income for the state of Louisiana is published by the United States Trustee program. The State Median Income for the state of Louisiana after March 15, 2009, for a single wage earner is $36,945. For a family of two it is $46,741, for a family of three it is $52,628 and for a family of four it is 66,634.
« Back to the Top
Automatic Stay: as defined in our Bankruptcy Glossary
Need Help Filing a Louisiana Bankruptcy?
If you live in Louisiana and you're considering bankruptcy, please complete the form below. A local Louisiana Bankruptcy attorney will contact you and answer your questions for free. Don't wait -- Get Help Today!