Personal Bankruptcy Ch 7 Ch 13

Do You Qualify for Debt Relief Through Bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy laws were written to provide a financial “reset” for people who are trapped by their debts. If your debts have mushroomed beyond the hope of paying it all off, or if you are facing foreclosure, repossession, or wage garnishment, you may be a candidate for bankruptcy.

At The Cooney Law Offices, our attorneys help individuals and couples in the greater Pittsburgh area – including many small business owners – get relief from debts and creditor actions through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges unsecured debts such as credit cards, medical bills, utility bills and personal loans. From the day you file the petition, creditors and collection agencies must stop trying to collect the debt through methods including harassing calls and legal actions, such as garnishment of your paychecks. Chapter 7 will not discharge secured debts like mortgages, car loans, student loans, child support arrears, or recent tax debts.

You might forfeit some property in exchange for erasing your debts. However, under Pennsylvania’s bankruptcy exemptions, most of our clients are able to keep all or most of their assets, including their homes, vehicles and retirement savings. Our attorneys work to discharge the maximum amount of debt and exempt as much property as possible.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you are not a candidate for a discharge of debts under Chapter 7, you may qualify for a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Under Chapter 13, you repay a portion of your debts over several years. You make one monthly payment that is based on your disposable income after household expenses. At the end of your plan, any remaining debts are forgiven.

Chapter 13 can save your home from foreclosure and prevent or stop wage garnishment and auto repossession. You may have to file for Chapter 13 if you earn too much for Chapter 7, have mortgage arrears, or have nonexempt assets. We make sure that your Chapter 13 plan is realistic so that you can keep up with the payments and achieve debt freedom.

Personal Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners

We welcome people from all walks of life who need bankruptcy relief. Many of our clients filing for personal bankruptcy are owners or partners in a small business who are struggling financially because they personally guaranteed business debts. For example, a business owner may take out a second mortgage on their home to start a business or cover operating expenses.

Our lawyers may be able to strip down those secured claims in bankruptcy or otherwise get out from under the personal guarantee. Sometimes, pre-bankruptcy planning can help our business clients protect assets that would be jeopardized in a Chapter 7. Our attorneys have handled scenarios where the business entity seeks Chapter 11 protection and the owners need to file for personal debt relief.

Get the Facts About Bankruptcy

Many people suffer needlessly or dig themselves into bigger holes because of misconceptions about bankruptcy. You won’t “lose everything” or “ruin your credit.” Attorney Ryan Cooney has shepherded many individuals and businesses through personal bankruptcy. As an officer of the Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section of the Allegheny Bar Association, he is well-versed in the law and can help you take full advantage of the protections and opportunities of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing.

To discuss your situation, call our Pittsburgh office at 412-546-1234 or reach out by email to arrange a consultation.

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