Find a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Elkhart, Indiana
In Elkhart, Indiana, bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person or business has some or all of their debts legally absolved, when they are unable to pay them. This hopefully allows them to start over with a clean slate and move on, after having learned to better manage their use of credit in the process. However, bankruptcy is not a free ride, allowing someone who simply doesn't feel like paying their debts to get out of that legal obligation. It is designed to prevent debt which has minimal chance of ever being paid back from ruining the life and finances of the debtor. It also carries significant long-term consequences, which must be carefully weighed against the potential benefits. For example, bankruptcy makes it very difficult for the debtor to obtain credit in the near future.
For that reason, it would be prudent to speak with a good Elkhart, Indiana bankruptcy attorney. This attorney will be able to advise you as to whether or not filing for bankruptcy is a good idea, given your individual situation. This determination is highly dependent on the details of each individual case, so a Elkhart attorney's advice is absolutely indispensable.
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Types of Bankruptcy in Elkhart, Indiana
In Elkhart, Indiana, 3 types of bankruptcy procedures are in common use: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. Being governed by federal law, the procedures involved in filing for bankruptcy in Elkhart, Indiana will be about the same as anywhere else in America. Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires the debtor to liquidate some of his or her assets in order to pay off as much debt as possible. Once the sale of the assets is complete, and the proceeds handed over to the creditors, the debt is viewed as discharged. Liquidation is basically selling assets to the highest bidder. Not all of the debtor's assets will need to be sold, and many types of property are completely or partially exempt, including homes, cars, retirement accounts, and insurance policies. This means that the debtor can keep them. It should be noted that some types of debts are not dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including student loans, criminal fines, taxes, and child support payments. Even when the bankruptcy process is complete, these debts will have to be paid in full.
The other form of bankruptcy most often used in Elkhart is Chapter 13. It allows a person to pay off their debt over a prolonged period of time, often consolidating it into one periodic payment. In this system, the amount of money the debtor owes is not actually reduced, but the payment of the debt is made far more manageable. This gives the debtor some breathing room, allowing him to continue to earn a living while gradually paying down his debts, and gives some security to creditors that they will eventually collect all or most of what they're owed. Though accessible to individuals, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is generally used by businesses. Like Chapter 13, Chapter 11 requires the restructuring of debts. Under this system, the debtor must come up with a plan to reduce debt, cut costs, and improve operations. Once this plan is presented, it is submitted to the participating creditors, who must approve it by a majority vote before it can be implemented.
A main advantage of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that businesses can continue their operations while going through the process. Also, they can continue to buy and sell their stock.
How Can a Elkhart Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
One should not make the decision to file for bankruptcy in Elkhart lightly. Before making any such decision, it would be highly advisable to contact an accomplished Elkhart bankruptcy attorney.
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Life in Elkhart
Elkhart, Indiana is a city located in Elkhart County, just south of the Illinois border. As of the 2000 Census, it has a population of about 52,000 people.
Until the early 1800s, the area now known as Elkhart was mainly populated by various American Indian tribes, including the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi. In 1829, settlers established the village of Pulaski, which consisted of little more than a post office, a saw mill, and a few homes.
Modernly, Elkhart, Indiana is known as a major center for a niche industry: the manufacture of musical instruments. Several such manufacturers have set up shop in Elkhart, and have, since the early 20th Century, made up a major portion of the city's industrial base. It is also home to a highly specialized sector of the auto industry - the manufacture of recreational vehicles (RVs).
Sadly, because Elkhart, Indiana's industrial base was focused largely on the manufacture of luxury items (musical instruments, RVs, etc.), its economy was particularly hard-hit by the recent economic decline experienced by the U.S., along with most of the industrialized world. However, as the economy begins to look up, with manufacturing increasing, Elkhart, Indiana has plenty of reasons for hope.
If you live in or near Elkhart, Indiana, and are facing a legal issue, chances are excellent that an Elkhart, Indiana lawyer can help. Elkhart, Indiana lawyers are experienced in many diverse areas of law. There is almost certainly an Elkhart, Indiana lawyer who can help you.