Consumer Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy code is divided into four chapters. Chapters 7 and 13 are the form of bankruptcy where most people find relief from their debts. Chapter 12 does not apply here.

Contact us to discuss your situation and possible options.

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Stop the Harrassment

Bill collectors must treat you with truth, fairness, dignity, and respect. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") is a federal law that dictates the manner in which bill collectors must behave when dealing with you.

For example, a debt collector cannot call you at work if they know that it's inconvenient for you, or if your employer prohibits it and you've previously advised the collector. Debt collectors are prohibited from communicating with others about your debts, including your family, neighbors, co-workers, or your boss. They cannot threaten to garnish your wages or sue you unless they are licensed attorneys in Oregon. They cannot get you fired from your job,embarrass you, or humiliate you. As a consumer, you have consumer protections against bill collectors in both state and federal regulations. We work for consumers whose rights have been violated under the FDCPA and other consumer protection statutes. If you have been subjected to any collection harassment, please contact our office.

Immediately document every communication you have with any debt collector, whether by letter, phone or by message. Keep detailed notes of any conversations you have with a debt collector. For ease of management you may download the collection communications log.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is also called "straight bankruptcy" or "liquidation bankruptcy." An individual, family or business that is financially struggling, is eligible to file a Chapter 7. Credit cards, medical bills, deficiency balances on repossessed cars are examples of debts discharged in a chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. In some instances back taxes are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes about 90 days from start to finish. It is important to remember that some debts are not dischargeable including child support, some taxes, student loans, traffic tickets, restitution and court fines. Contact us to discuss whether Chapter 7 fits your insolvency situation.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is typically used to reorganize debt during a period of three and five years. During the life of the bankruptcy, a monthly payment is made to the bankruptcy trustee who then distributes the funds to the creditors while protecting the debtor from ongoing creditor collection or property seizure. The Chapter 13 plan payment may be used to catch up on delinquent house or car payments. A Chapter 13 action may be used to reduce the loan amount or interest on a car loan, or stop a tax or child support garnishment. Contact us to discuss whether a Chapter 13 fits your situation.

 

M. Caroline Cantrell, Attorney at Law