You May Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer In Pennsylvania
If the quality of your daily life has declined due to persistent financial troubles, consumer bankruptcy may provide a way out of debt and back to security. Unfortunately, because there are many stubborn misconceptions about what bankruptcy means, many people are initially hesitant to consider filing. However, not only is the reality of bankruptcy considerably more positive than what its reputation suggests; it’s also a more common solution to issues with debt than you may think.
In 2013, over one million Americans filed for bankruptcy. In Pennsylvania, the numbers continue to reflect just how widespread consumer bankruptcy really is. According to statistics from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, over 2,000 filings have already been made for the current fiscal year — and that doesn’t even take the other portions of the state into consideration.
You may be surprised to learn that, after Philadelphia County and Montgomery County, Bucks County has the highest consumer bankruptcy rate of all the counties in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. For the current fiscal year, there have been:
- 2,615 total filings (main cases)
- 1,509 Chapter 7 filings
- 1,082 Chapter 13 filings
- 323 filings in Bucks County
Only Philadelphia County and Montgomery County have a higher bankruptcy rate, with totals of 704 cases and 334 cases, respectively. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Bensalem or Bucks County, you are not alone. Bankruptcy affects thousands of Pennsylvanians every year and is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, taking charge of your finances by filing for bankruptcy is a responsible and decisive action that can positively change your entire life.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy in Bensalem?
Naturally, people who are on the cusp of filing for bankruptcy may be concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney. Sometimes, this concern even leads petitioners to forego the assistance of a lawyer in the interest of saving money.
Unfortunately, the ultimate cost of representing yourself in bankruptcy court, known as a pro se case, is virtually guaranteed to outweigh any attorney fee by a considerable margin. Representing yourself in a bankruptcy case is a mistake.
To quote statements from the United States Bankruptcy Courts:
“Pro se litigants, whether debtor or creditor, are expected to follow the rules that govern procedures in the federal courts. Pro se litigants should be familiar with the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the local rules of the court in which the case is filed.
It is very important that a bankruptcy case be filed and handled correctly. The rules are very technical, and a misstep may affect a debtor’s rights. […] Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences — hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.”
Our bankruptcy lawyers are affordable and cost-effective. At Young, Marr & Associates, we are sensitive to our bankruptcy clients’ financial concerns, and we offer flexible payment plans to accommodate budgets of every size.
Not only are we affordable, we are experienced. Our Bensalem, Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorneys have handled over 5,000 cases in more than 20 years practicing bankruptcy law. We know how to get results for our clients — that’s always our bottom line.
How Can Bankruptcy Help Me?
Bankruptcy has an undeserved reputation for being harmful, when in many instances, bankruptcy is actually extremely helpful. There are numerous ways bankruptcy can help consumers.
Freedom from Debt
According to statistics from the Federal Reserve, debt is a serious problem for most American consumers. As of January 2014, the average American’s credit card debt exceeds $15,000. Meanwhile, the average American’s mortgage debt is ten times that high, at just under $150,000. As of 2012, the average Pennsylvanian is saddled with over $39,000 of debt.
The numbers illustrate plainly that debt is a rampant problem in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and the nation as a whole. Bankruptcy offers petitioners freedom from the majority of common debt types, including but not limited to:
- Credit Card Debt
- Utility Bill Debt
- Personal Loan Debt
- Business Loan Debt
- Medical Bill Debt
There are several types of debt which cannot be discharged through a bankruptcy. Alimony, child support, and most student loan debt cannot be eliminated.
Freedom from Creditors
In addition to carrying the weight of immense debt, people considering bankruptcy often suffer from harassment from aggressive, persistent creditors. Relentless creditor contacts and debt collection attempts via phone, mail, and email can cause debtors to live in fear, stress, and anxiety. Fortunately, bankruptcy provides immediate relief.
When an individual files a petition for bankruptcy, they instantly fall under the protection of a court injunction known as the automatic stay. The main purpose of the automatic stay is to freeze collection actions while a bankruptcy is in progress, giving the debtor time to assemble their resources and make financial arrangements for the future. When you file a petition for bankruptcy, your creditors will be notified, and they will be prohibited by law from continuing to contact you or make collection attempts.
The benefits of the automatic stay don’t stop with ending creditor harassment, either. The automatic stay also ends wage garnishment, and delays or prevents foreclosures, repossessions, and service shut-offs.
If you or a loved one is considering filing for bankruptcy, our experienced team of Bensalem, Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorneys is ready to help you get started. For a free and confidential consultation with a Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyer, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755 3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701 6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.