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Don’t Fear Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The thought of filing for bankruptcy can be scary. The type of law firm you choose to represent you can help take the fear out of the process.

If you want your questions handled by an experienced attorney who is committed to delivering one-on-one, personal client service, contact my law firm today. I am Pittsburgh Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney Susan J. Pearlstein,* and I am dedicated to walking beside you through the entire bankruptcy process. I will do my best to make sure you understand each step of the journey.

Solving Problems For Pennsylvania Clients For More Than 30 Years

When clients contact me about filing bankruptcy, they usually have many questions. In your situation, the answers to these basic questions may be different, but I hope this can help alleviate some of the fear you may have.

  • How long will Chapter 7 bankruptcy take to complete?
    In most cases, it takes approximately six months from the day the petition is filed with the court in order to complete a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • Can I keep my house and my car even if I file a bankruptcy?
    While it may not be possible in every situation, most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection are able to stay in their homes and keep their cars.
  • Will my boss know that I am going through a bankruptcy?
    Only if your boss has a habit of reading the legal journals or you bring it up in conversation. Because Chapter 7 bankruptcies do not involve wage withholdings, it is unlikely that your employer will be aware of your bankruptcy.
  • After the bankruptcy, will I be able to obtain new credit?
    Frankly, your credit score is probably already low or you would not be considering this option. But after you complete the bankruptcy process and are debt-free, creditors are typically more willing to provide you with credit, should you choose to seek it.
  • How is Chapter 13 bankruptcy different from Chapter 7?
    Both Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies start the same way: You cannot afford to repay your debt. But in Chapter 13 you commit to repaying a portion of the debt, either because you have to do it to save the asset (like a house) or because you can afford to do it because you have some (usually limited) disposable income.
  • How do I know which chapter is right for me?
    That’s where I can help. We will analyze your entire financial situation and determine which is the right type of bankruptcy for you. If it’s a Chapter 13, my job is to make sure you can afford any repayment plan we propose. You and I will prepare the repayment plan; it’s not up to your creditors.

If you would like additional information about the practical considerations of bankruptcy, I encourage you to read my article: Restarting Your Financial Life.

Resolving Contested Matters And Adversary Proceedings Through Mediation

In those Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings that lead to contested disputes, mediation can be a valuable alternative to litigating the disagreement before a bankruptcy court judge. Nearly any kind of contested matter or adversary proceeding can be resolved confidentially through voluntary mediation.

My background in bankruptcy law and training as a mediator are invaluable assets for parties who wish to reduce the emotional and financial costs associated with bankruptcy disputes, including fair market value, exemption disputes, plan disagreements, discharge matters, marital distribution problems and more. I am listed as a bankruptcy mediator with the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

I Provide Personal, Real-Life Answers

I know that the overwhelming majority of people who file for bankruptcy are decent, hard-working folks who never intended to be in financial distress. In most cases, they have made valiant efforts to repay their debt.

When real life happens and things like medical bills, job loss or increased expenses are added to an already stretched budget, it may be time to talk with a bankruptcy lawyer. Contact my law office by calling 412-567-6143 or sending me an email.

*I practice law primarily in the areas of domestic relations and consumer debt. My law office is designated as a debt relief agency that helps people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.