If you’re confused about the bankruptcy process our bankruptcy attorneys can help you decide if you need to file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.
There are actually five different types of bankruptcy. Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13. Most consumers need only worry about chapter 7 or chapter 13. Chapter 9 is for governments, 11 is for individuals or companies that want to reorganize who have a LOT of debt, usually over $1 million; chapter 12 is for farmers and chapter 13 is for those with total debt of under $1 million, roughly.
So, assuming you are a person needing chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, the next decision is do I need a 7 or 13? Generally, if you want to just wipe out all your debt (with exceptions like student loans that cannot be wiped out) and start over financially, you need a chapter 7. On the other hand if you want to avoid foreclosure and pay your mortgage arrears or keep most or all of your assets or pay back taxes, then you need the chapter 13 variety bankruptcy. This means you will pay some or all of your debt back over 3 or 5 years. This type of bankruptcy is for you if you want to save your home or you need to pay back taxes or if you want to modify your car loan. There may be other reasons as well which we will help you with.
Under the new bankruptcy code changes that went in to effect in October, 2005, you now have to take a consumer credit counseling class before AND after you file your case. The class must be taken from a certified provider. We will get you that list.
What about attorney fees? Our fees are reasonable and in line with other attorneys in the Denver metro area. Because all attorneys must report to the court the attorney fees you are charged, the fees really do not vary that much from lawyer to lawyer. Basically, for a chapter 7, the total fees start at $1,500 and go up depending on the complexity of your case. For a chapter 13, you can expect to be charge from $3,300 and up. Why $3,300? The Colorado federal bankruptcy court requires all lawyers who represent chapter 13 clients to file a detailed fee application IF the fees to be charged will exceed $3,300.00. Be clear that if we will be stripping off a second or third mortgage the fees will be closer to $6,000.00 because we have to sue the second mortgage company and prepare for a hearing.
We are always asked if we accept payments. The answer is yes, but there is one big warning: we cannot file your case until all fees are paid first. So if you wish to make payments of $200 per month, it will be several months before you file. If you decide to file a chapter 13 on the other hand, we can file your case for the filing fee only which is $274.00. (The filing fee for a chapter 7 is $25 more or $299).
Once you file, all creditors must stop calling you and harassing you. If you home is in foreclosure, the sale is stopped once we notify the public trustee of your county. If your wages are being garnished, that must stop.
If you need to meet to discuss your case, please call us at 303.830.7274 or 303.830-3546. We can work quickly to help you immediately! We have offices at 925 East 17th Avenue, Denver; 9035 Wadsworth Blvd., Westminster; and satellite offices in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction. Our Grand Junction phone number is 970-683-1040. You can reach us anywhere in the street by phoning toll free 800-626-6437.