Bankruptcy Attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The financial curveballs of life can strike unexpectedly and sideline you from settling debts, paying bills, and meeting your other financial obligations. Thankfully, individuals, families, and businesses who are overwhelmed with debts may be able to seek financial relief through bankruptcy. If you're going through financial distress, consulting with a seasoned Louisiana bankruptcy attorney can prove immensely helpful.
At Hoke Law Firm, we're committed to offering comprehensive and knowledgeable advocacy to clients in bankruptcy-related matters. As your legal counsel, we can assess your unique financial situation and determine whether bankruptcy is right for you. In addition, our attorney will help file your bankruptcy petition, represent you diligently at every phase of the legal process, and help you achieve the debt relief you deserve.
Our firm—Hoke Law Firm—is proud to serve clients across Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the surrounding areas of New Orleans and Lafayette.
Bankruptcy can be described as a tool designed to help people and small businesses who are unable to pay back their outstanding debts achieve financial relief or a fresh start. Through bankruptcy, a debtor may be eligible to fulfill their debt obligations or remedy their financial situation by liquidating their assets, creating a repayment plan, or reorganization plan.
Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy can help preserve some of your assets. It will also protect you from continuous creditor calls or harassment, wage garnishment, foreclosure, and vehicle repossession. When overburdened with debt, filing for bankruptcy isn't something you should be ashamed of. Rather, you should know that a fresh start is available to you, and act accordingly.
The most common bankruptcy options that are available to consumers in Louisiana include Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation bankruptcy, can help individuals and business owners eliminate most of their general unsecured debts, such as credit card debts, medical debts, and personal loans. Once you file your Chapter 7 petition, the Louisiana court will appoint a trustee to manage your case. The trustee will collect, evaluate, and sell your non-exempt assets.
Non-exempt assets are property and personal belongings that the trustee can sell in a Chapter 7 case. These include second homes, second cars, stocks, family heirlooms, bonds, vacation homes, bank accounts, cash, and other investments. Once sold, the net proceeds will be used to repay some or all of your creditors. Keep in mind that you will be allowed to keep your exempt assets, such as your primary house, furniture pieces, primary vehicle, household appliances, and clothing.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or wage earner's bankruptcy, is designed to help regular income earners who are experiencing financial hardship achieve debt relief. In Chapter 13, you will propose a structured repayment plan – usually over 3 to 5 years – to gradually settle your debts using your future earnings.
Thankfully, none of your property and assets will be sold in a Chapter 13 case. However, you must put all your disposable income into the Chapter 13 repayment plan. At the end of your debt repayment plan, some of your non-priority unsecured debts will be discharged.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy, also known as reorganization bankruptcy, is designed to help businesses facing financial instability restructure their debts, assets, operations, and affairs. Through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company will have enough time to reorganize its business affairs and pay back its debts gradually while the business continues to function.
Furthermore, the bankruptcy court will categorize creditors in a Chapter 11 case into priority debt creditors, secured debt creditors, and unsecured debt creditors. Both the creditor and the court must approve the debt reorganization plan that the debtor proposes. Seeking financial relief through Chapter 11 can be time-consuming and costly.
Deciding Which Bankruptcy Chapter Is Right for You
Every case is unique. In order to determine the right bankruptcy chapter for your specific circumstances, you should consider the following factors:
Do you qualify for the eligibility requirements?
What will happen to your assets upon filing for bankruptcy?
Who will oversee your bankruptcy case?
Do you have to repay all your debts, or will you receive a discharge at the end of your case?
Do you need to propose a repayment plan?
How will the bankruptcy filing affect your credit rating?
Are you filing individually or jointly with your spouse?
If you or someone you know is facing financial hardship and considering filing bankruptcy, you should speak with a dependable Louisiana bankruptcy attorney. Your legal counsel can help you understand the benefits and limitations of each bankruptcy chapter, determine your eligibility, and help you make informed decisions every step of the way.
How We Can Help
According to statistics from the American Bankruptcy Institute, there were 7,321 business and non‐business bankruptcy filings in Louisiana in 2022. Filing for bankruptcy in Louisiana involves several complex procedures, but at Hoke Law Firm, we're committed to guiding clients through it. Our team can evaluate your unique financial condition, determine the right bankruptcy chapter for you, and help file your petition. In addition, our legal counsel can help prevent vehicle repossession, wage garnishment, or foreclosure on your home.
Vehicle repossessions can be undone through the filing of a bankruptcy. If your vehicle is repossessed, the lender will typically give you 21 days to either (1) Catch up the back owed amount or (2) pay the balance of the loan. If neither of these is a practical option for you, filing for bankruptcy could allow you to get your vehicle back. Here at our firm, we can help get your vehicle back quickly and allow you to catch up on the payments overdue.
In Louisiana, when a creditor gets a judgment against you, they can then ask the court for permission to begin garnishing your paycheck. Creditors can garnish up to 25% of your paycheck after standard deductions. Interest will continue to run on this debt, so it's possible that your monthly garnishment if it is not enough, will not cause the underlying debt to go down. The filing of bankruptcy will stop the wage garnishment immediately and allow you to begin receiving your full paycheck again.
There are many considerations that go into determining whether or not to file bankruptcy, from the amount of debt you have, the amount of income, and what assets you have. Ultimately, bankruptcy can be a useful—and liberating—tool in addressing wage garnishment, vehicle repossession, foreclosure, and many other actions taken by creditors to collect outstanding debts.
Bankruptcy Attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Bankruptcy has helped countless individuals in Louisiana regain confidence and control over their financial life. Contact us at Hoke Law Firm today to schedule a simple consultation. We’re proud to serve clients across Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lafayette, Louisiana.