Bankruptcy in Montana 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 Montana 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 distinct case.
Types of Bankruptcy in Montana
Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, so the procedures in filing for bankruptcy in Montana 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 normally 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 Montana 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. Chapter 13 bankruptcy normally reorganizes, rather than discharges, one's debts. Essentially, the court will come up with some type of repayment plan, independent of the terms of the agreements that created the debt in the first place (superseding any acceleration clauses). This is meant to give the debtor some breathing room, allowing them to repay their debts over time, without facing financial ruin in the process.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically used by businesses, rather than individuals. Much like Chapter 13, it involves reorganization of debts. It compels the debtor to come up with a reorganization plan, but this plan has to be approved by a majority vote of participating creditors. Once it is approved, the company is obligated to carry it out.
How Can a Montana Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision. While it can be beneficial, it's virtually guaranteed that there will be some negative consequences, such as damage to one's credit. Of course, with the advice of a Montana bankruptcy lawyer, it's possible that you will find the benefits to outweigh the costs, but only a bankruptcy lawyer can help you make that decision.
Interesting Facts About Montana
Montana is a western U.S. state famous for its mountain ranges. In fact, the state contains over 70 of the named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. Montana has several unofficial nicknames such as "Land of the Shining Mountains". It is often chosen as the setting for films involving America's "great outdoors". Millions of tourists visit Montana yearly for its numerous National parks and monuments.
Montana laws are overseen by the Montana State Legislature. The state of Montana has historically been a major influence in the area of women's rights laws. For example, Montana was the first state to ever elect a woman to Congress in the year 1916. It was also one of the first of the 50 states to provide for women's voting rights. Montana law is also generated through case law.
Due to the state's rich geography, many Montana legal cases revolve around the issues of natural resources and environmental concerns. One such case is Montana v. United States (1981). This case involved a dispute over access to fishing on Crow Nation tribal lands by non-tribal members. The case helped to clarify the limits on interactions between tribal governments and the U.S. federal government.
Lawyers in Montana are available to assist clients with various legal issues. Legal questions or disputes can be directed to an experienced Montana lawyer, who will provide counsel and representation on the matter. Working with a Montana attorney at the beginning of a project can help prevent legal disputes in the future.