Q- How can I get a loan modification on my home?
A- You can request a loan modification directly from your mortgage company or your mortgage servicer who collects your mortgage payments or you can contact our firm for assistance. You can qualify for a modification and lower your monthly payments if you have a hardship such as loss of your job or reduction in your income. You will have to document your income and provide the details of your particular hardship.
Q- Are there any alternatives to foreclosure?
A- Yes you can stop foreclosure proceedings through the filing of a chapter 7, 11 or 13 bankruptcy petition if you qualify. We also assist clients who wish to pursue non-judicial or non-bankruptcy options such as a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
Q- I have not been able to pay my mortgage for many months can you help me?
A- Yes we may be able to help you if you are very behind in your mortgage payments but do not wait until you receive a foreclosure notice before speaking with us or another qualified professional. Almost all options are gone after the mortgage company conducts a foreclosure sale so don’t wait until the last minute!
Q- Can I keep my house and continue to live there if foreclosure has started?
A- Yes there are options to keep your house and stay there even though you are in foreclosure including filing a bankruptcy petition and negotiating a work-out or modification with your lender.
Q- How does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding work?
A- A chapter 7 filing allows you to get a discharge of all your dischargeable debts. Some debts are not dischargeable such as student loans and income taxes which last became due in the past three years. In a chapter 7 a trustee is appointed to liquidate all your non- exempt property. You are entitled to exempt a lot of your property including-
Q- Can I keep my home if I file a chapter 7 proceeding?
A- It is possible to keep your home after filing a chapter 7 case if the equity in your home does not exceed your exemption amount (above) and you are able to keep your mortgage payments current. If you are not able to pay all your past due mortgage payments current you may be able to keep your home by filing a chapter 13 case and paying your mortgage arrearage over time.
Q- I filed chapter 7 years ago can I file again?
A- You can only get a chapter 7 discharge once every 8 years but you may qualify for a chapter 13 filing after 4 years from receiving a chapter 7 discharge.
Q- What is chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code used for?
A- Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is used for a business reorganization of an individual sole proprietor, limited liability company, corporation or partnership.
How does it work?
A- The filing of the chapter 11 bankruptcy petition acts as a stay against any collection actions including foreclosures, garnishments, levies by creditors and taxing authorities, and lease terminations/dispossessory action. There are special provisions for small business debtors who have less than $2,566,050.00 in non-contingent, liquidated secured and unsecured debt but generally a chapter 11 debtor has 120 days after the filing of the petition to file a plan of reorganization and disclosure statement. The disclosure statement must detail the debtor’s financial history, future projections for income and expenses and show that it is feasible for the debtor’s business operations will be able to make the payments provided for in the plan of reorganization. The plan of reorganization must set forth classes of creditors and provide for payments to those classes of creditors over periods of time and with treatment provided for in the Bankruptcy Code. Once the disclosure statement has been approved by the Court as containing sufficient information to allow a reasonable investor to make an informed decision on voting to accept or reject the proposed plan of reorganization, it is sent out to all creditors with a copy of the plan of reorganization and a ballot. Each class of creditors can vote to accept or reject the plan and even if some creditors vote to reject the plan, the Court can confirm the plan over objection if certain requirements for “cram down” are satisfied. Once the plan is confirmed all creditors’ claims are governed by their treatment as set forth in the plan and upon substantial consummation of the plan are discharged.
Q- What can I do if I need a Tax Workouts or Settlement?
A- Non-judicial negotiations between your attorney and the relevant taxing authorities can lead to resolution of tax problems in the most efficient and cost effective manner. If consensual resolution is unsuccessful, individuals and companies can utilize the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code to force a repayment schedule on the tax authorities. Generally, a wage earning individual can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, depending on the amount of the tax debt, and make payments over time. In a business case the individual or corporate debtor can make payments on priority taxes, ie income taxes which last became due in the past three (3) years or withholding taxes, over sixty (60) months from the petition date.
What type of Business can file for Chapter 11?
Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
Where can I file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?
A CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY PETITION MUST BE FILED IN THE BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR THE FEDERAL DISTRICT IN WHICH THE PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS IS LOCATED OR WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE COMPANIES ASSETS ARE LOCATED.
How does Chapter 11 Works for Small Businesses?
Chapter 11 is different for small businesses, and some special rules apply to these business bankruptcies. There are two qualifications for the small business case:
· The debtor must have NONCONTINGENT LIQUIDATED SECURED AND UNSECURED debts less than $2,490,925.00 and must be an ongoing business. Unlike Chapter 11 for larger businesses, there is no creditor's committee (a group of creditors who agree on how business assets are to be distributed to creditors).
The debtor-in-possession must provide initial financial statements, including the most recent tax return, cash-flow statement a balance sheet, statement of operations, and other statements. We work closely with accountants to make sure the documents are in compliance with applicable laws. The small business case requires more oversight by the trustee, including frequent reports and financial statements.
The benefit of small business Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it can be accomplished more quickly than a traditional Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
What is Debtor-In-Possession?
The debtor (owner of the business) becomes a debtor-in-possession AFTER A CHAPTER 11 PETITION IS FILED. That is, the debtor is still in possession AND CONTROLof the business. The debtor-in-possession has fiduciary responsibilities to manage the business and bring it back out of bankruptcy. ThE DEBTOR-IN-POSSESSION HAS THE POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A bankruptcy trustee, with (according to the Bankruptcy Court) responsibility for "accounting for property, examining and objecting to claims, and filing informational reports as required by the court and the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator."
What is the Process for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?
The bankruptcy process begins with your meeting with a bankruptcy attorney, who can help you decide which form of bankruptcy is best. You will need to file bankruptcy in the state where you are doing business.
FILING A BANKRUPTCY PETITION is the formal beginning of the bankruptcy process.
What is a Petition?
The petition includes an intent to file a plan for reorganization.
A disclosure statement is also required at the beginning of the bankruptcy process. The US Courts website says this disclosure:
"must contain information concerning the assets, liabilities, and business affairs of the debtor sufficient to enable a creditor to make an informed judgment about the debtor's plan of reorganization."
What is Automatic Stay?
An automatic stay is set in place at the beginning of Chapter 11. This stay prevents judgments, collection activities, foreclosures, and repossessions against the business during the process. The stay gives the debtor company a breather and allows time for negotiations on the company's behalf to resolve financial difficulties.
What happens After Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?
AFTER A PLAN OF REORGANIZATION IS CONFIRMED BY THE BANKRUPTCY COURT a business CAN emerge from Chapter 11 and continue to operate normally. In other cases, IF A PLAN OF REORGANIZATION IS NOT APPROVED THE COMPANY MAY BE LIQUIDATED OR THE CASE DISMISSED.