Bankruptcy in Maryland is a legal process through which some of the debts of an individual or a business are absolved (excused). You should not view bankruptcy as an opportunity to eliminate your debts just because you don't feel like paying them - it can be a long and difficult procedure. Bankruptcy is designed to be a last resort to prevent complete financial ruin, while allowing creditors to collect at least some of their debts in an orderly fashion. Filing for bankruptcy can have major negative effects on one's credit score, which will make it more difficult to get loans in the future.
Accordingly, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, you need to thoroughly examine the costs and benefits. A good Maryland bankruptcy lawyer can advise you as to the pros and cons of bankruptcy, and give his or her expert opinion about whether or not bankruptcy is a good option, based on the facts of your particular case.
Types of Bankruptcy in Maryland
Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, so the procedures in filing for bankruptcy in Maryland will be the same as everywhere else in the United States. There are 2 basic forms of bankruptcy that consumers typically use: Chapter 7, and Chapter 13, owing their names to where they are found in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Additionally, there is a form of bankruptcy usually used by businesses called Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is available to individuals, but it is rarely the best option for them.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland is sometimes called "liquidation" because it involves the forced sale of some (though certainly not all) of the debtor's assets. The bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee to oversee the appraisal and sale of some of the debtor's property, and the proceeds from the sale will go to the creditors, in their order of priority. Certain forms of property are exempt, and do not need to be sold, including houses and insurance policies. Once the property is sold, and the proceeds given to the creditors, the rest of the debt is excused. When Chapter 13 bankrutpcy is filed, the debt is reorganized instead of excused. Essentially, the court, the debtor, and the creditors will work out a repayment plan that the debtor can manage, and will result in most of the debt being paid off, hopefully in a reasonable period of time.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy, like Chapter 13, involves reorganization of debt. However, it is almost always used by businesses, and not individuals. After filing for Chapter 11, the debtor has to come up with a repayment plan. The plan must then be approved by a majority vote of participating creditors.
How Can a Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
Filing for bankruptcy is a very big decision, frought with risks. However, in some cases, the benefits might outweigh the costs. Because of this, it is important to seek the advice of a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer, who can advise you of the likely consequences of filing, and whether or not doing so is likely to benefit you.
Interesting Facts About Maryland
Maryland is situated in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. The state is named after Queen Henrietta Maria of France. Its nicknames are the Chesapeake Bay State, the Free State, and the Line State. Occasionally it is called "America in Miniature" due to its diverse range of geographical features. Maryland's capital is Annapolis, which is also where the U.S. Naval Academy is located.
Maryland's court system is often referenced for its one-of-a-kind characteristics. For example, the highest court is not named "the Supreme Court", but rather, the Maryland Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals is also unique because all the judges wear red robes with white-colored British style collars, instead of the more common black robes. This is believed to be carried over from British legal tradition, where judges often wore red in association with royal functions.
Maryland is considered by many to be one of the most environmentally conscious states in the nation. It consistently ranks well in terms of energy, toxic waste, and emissions. This is often reflected in the state's laws and zoning regulations. Maryland is part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is formed by all Northeastern U.S. states in efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Lawyers in Maryland help clients by filing lawsuits, providing legal advice, and reviewing legal documents. Maryland lawyers are available to assist clients in all kinds of legal fields, and many specialize in specific areas of law. Attorneys in Maryland can help make the legal process more understandable.