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Discover The Advantages of an Automatic Stay In Bankruptcy

While the bankruptcy law provides many legal definitions of the dos and don’ts of an automatic stay, the laws are often not easy to understand. Here’s what the advantages of a stay are in layman’s terms – terms that debtors can clearly understand.

That “automatic stay” is a provision that stops any legal actions against you. This includes foreclosure actions, actions to get a judgment against you, actions to evict you, and actions to harass you into paying your debt. It can help you with utility shutoffs and can help protect your unemployment benefits and even your job.

Here are some of the practical benefits of the automatic stay:

It stops Foreclosure actions: Any actions of foreclosure (actions to force a sale of your home) must stop as soon as you file your petition. The stay isn’t a long-term remedy – but it will give you time to breathe and time to calmly review your financial affairs to see if there’s a real way to save your home. You may be able to rid yourself of the obligation to pay second and third mortgages if the first mortgage is worth more than the home. You may also be able to keep your house through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. The key is the stay stops any foreclosure immediately and give you time for you and your lawyer to see what you can really manage.

It stops collection actions: If you hate to check your mail because another overdue payment option is in the mail or you hate to answer the phone because a collection agency is calling, then you should know that the automatic stay will stop those actions. All actions to collect the debt must cease immediately. Creditors have to file their claims with the bankruptcy court and then work with the trustee and the debtor’s bankruptcy lawyer. In many cases unsecured debt will be discharged completely (in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy) or will be significantly reduced (in a chapter 13 bankruptcy)

It may temporarily stop eviction actions: The new bankruptcy law does make it easier for your landlord to evict you even when you file a bankruptcy. This is especially true if the landlord already has a judgment for possession or if you are using a controlled substance or causing damage to the property. Still, the automatic stay can help in some cases stop the eviction for a short time until the landlord is able to get relief from the stay. Sometimes that short time may be all you need to catch up though – so the stay can be a big help for some renters.

Turning off your utilities: The automatic stay can stop the turn-off, for about 20 days, of the disconnection of utilities such as water, gas, electric or telephone service. Just the short 20 day period can be of help to some debtors – especially if it’s the middle of winter.

It can help stop wage garnishments. The automatic stay stops the garnishment of your wages so you can get your full salary. If the underlying debt is not secured, then the debt may be discharged completely and the garnishment stopped permanently. If the debt is secured, then the creditor is probably trying to repossess your collateral (such as your home or car) instead of garnishing your wages. The automatic stay is especially useful if there are multiple creditors trying to garnish your wages.

What the Creditors Will Do to Get Around the Stay

The automatic stay can be lifted by court order in some cases. The creditor will often try to lift the stay if the debt is secured by property such as a home or a car. If the creditor does have a legitimate security interest and the debt is in arrears, then the creditor will normally ask that the stay be lifted if the debtor filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The debtor may counter that the property is protected by federal or state exemptions or that the debtor is willing to reaffirm the debt. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, the creditor with a security interest will normally wait for the chapter 13 plan to be reviewed by the trustee.

The creditor may also assert that the automatic stay doesn’t apply in many situations. The stay doesn’t prevent the police from charging a debtor with a crime. It doesn’t stop tax audits or attempts to determine a tax liability. The stay doesn’t stop the debtor from having to pay alimony or child support. Your obligation to repay a loan from a pension may continue.

Bankruptcy Prevention

Bankruptcy can be America’s best weapon in the rebuilding process. Looking on the bright side you realize there are many things in life you can do to prevent decisions from repeat results.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy you will find it not be an easy choice. CEO’s and their companies are similar to father’s and their family. Bankruptcy is the last thing you want to do for a company because everything is lost. The biggest problem associated with bankruptcy is the number of jobs which were lost. Job loss becomes a huge problem when there is no company to replace the company. When you decide to make big plans future companies best interest to plan thoroughly. Bankruptcy is usually caused by lack of a relevant business model.

When you planning your company your business model the best thing you can have going forward. Business models are the only thing one can do when wanting to succeed in life. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all business model. Personally, the best business model is the one which lack flexibility.

A business model which lacks flexibility prevents you from making too many decisions too quickly. When you make quick decisions you cause confusion at lose the trust of your market. There is a clever way to avoid losing a market with a simple mentality purchase investments. Purchasing investments are easy but difficult. Bankruptcy prevention can take place if you are willing to part ways the mega salaries.

Bankruptcy prevention will not be easy since there is no real way to execute the plan. However, you can actually take precautions when you build your business. Hiring the right people is the most important step when executing the right moves. One of the main culprits is usually change in consumer behavior no matter how great the company’s business model. As an entrepreneur there are so many challenges they quickly go up and they quickly go down. When you make the right call you can find breathing room.

In conclusion, you want to stay away from bankruptcy but then again so many good things come from bankruptcy. When bankruptcy happens you realize what on the books make have nothing to do with the inevitable. Bankruptcy is the greatest to shape the economy without it we would not be able to move forward. The best thing to in case of bankruptcy is accept and reward yourself. Never build a company on the number of employees but the number of value.

Learning About Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

The federal bankruptcy laws do allow consumers some rights to keep some of their assets even though they are starting over. The goal of the bankruptcy law is not to punish the debtor and make it impossible to start fresh.

The goal is to address your debt situation so that creditors are treated fairly while balancing the right of the consumer to have some cushion before starting anew, to save some personal assets and to have some means of starting over.

For these balancing reasons, the federal bankruptcy law allows the debtor to exempt certain property from creditors. Even if the creditor has a security interest in the asset, the debtor can still protect some property depending on the amount due on the loans and the debtor’s equity in the property.

Here are the core exemptions offered by federal law. Please note that Connecticut has their own exemptions which may be a better alternative. Generally, you have to choose one or the other set of exemptions (federal or Connecticut). Some states mandate that you have to use the state exemptions.

Connecticut is not one – you can choose the federal exemptions but you can’t mix and match. An experienced Connecticut lawyer will explain the pros and cons of both the state and federal exemptions.

Special considerations

Married couples who both for bankruptcy protection each get their own set of exemptions. This means married couples can double the amount of the exemption in most cases – as long as they both have an interest in the property at issue.

The exemptions are adjusted regularly to account for inflation and other economic factors. The next adjustment should occur in 2016. Adjustments happen only once every three years.

The Homestead Exemption

This is the exemption in your real property. It’s meant to help you keep the equity in your property. It’s only good for your personal residence – where you sleep at night. Personal residence does include mobile homes and condos as well as stand-alone homes. As of 2015, the federal homestead exemption is $22,975.

This means if you have a house worth $150,000 and you owe $75,000 then – using the Connecticut exemption, you would be able to keep your house (provided you continued to make the monthly mortgage payments). If you used the federal exemption, the trustee could sell your house and pay your $22,975 from the proceeds – if you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then the right of the Trustee to sell you home becomes more complicated. It depends on how you will be handling the arrears and your other debts.

A real estate appraiser is normally used to determine the value of your house.

Exemptions in personal property

The main exemption is $3,675 in your motor vehicle. This means if you have a car worth less than $3,675 you should be able to keep it regardless of most other factors. If your car is worth $10,000 and you owe $7,500 then you also should be able to keep it provided you continue to make the monthly payments on the car

Other personal property exemptions include:

Jewelry – up to $1,550
Tools of your trade including books and implements – up to $2,300
Health aids you need to stay healthy and to function
Life insurance policies that haven’t matured and up to $12,250 in the loan value of a life policy. Credit life insurance policies are handled differently.
Household goods, furnishings, appliances like stoves and refrigerators, clothes, books, your pets or animals, musical instruments and crops – up to $12,250 total but no more than $575 for any individual item. Keep in mind, the value is what the item could get if you sold it – not what you’d have to pay to replace it.

Many personal benefits that directly relate to your ability to support yourself

These benefits do not have a dollar limit. For example, you are entitled to keep all your social security benefits.

Money you get for alimony or for child support for your children is exempted. This means creditors can’t go after it and the Trustee can’t force you to use it to pay your debts.

Here are the personal benefits that are exempted:

Social security payments
Unemployment benefits and compensation benefits
Benefits because your are a veteran
Disability benefits or benefits due to being ill
Public assistance benefits

Money because you were injured

Before you settle a case through your personal injury lawyer, it may be wise for your personal injury lawyer to speak to your bankruptcy or credit lawyer to maximize the money you can keep. The federal bankruptcy exemptions are:

$22,975 of personal injury benefits. Check with your Connecticut bankruptcy lawyer whether pain and suffering can be exempted or just the lost income and medical bills payment portions.

These injury sums do not have a dollar amount associated with them.

Future sums needed for support. This income sum is often reduced to a present-day value
Wrongful death benefits because someone you relied on for funds died due to the wrongful conduct of another
Crime victim compensation amounts

An overall wildcard exemption

This is an extra exemption on top of the exemptions listed above. You can use $1,225 to help save any property. For example, you can add to your car exemption of $3, 675 to save $4,900 equity in your car.

You are also allowed to use up to $11,500 of the homestead exemption. This means if you don’t have a home, you can use this sum to save your cash, your car, or any other asset. If you have a home, then it depends on how much of the homestead exemption you used to save your home. The federal homestead exemption is $22,975. If you only used $12,975 to save your home, then you can the balance of $10,000 to save some of your other assets.