Bankruptcy in North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina
Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, so the procedures in filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 usually 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 normally 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 North Carolina Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
Filing for bankruptcy can be a life-changing decision. Depending on the circumstances, it can change your life for the better, or worse. A North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer can help you figure out if bankruptcy is a viable option for your individual situation.
Interesting Facts About North Carolina
North Carolina began as one of the nation's oldest settlements. Today it consistently ranks as the fastest growing state in the country. It has made considerable changes to its economy, moving from a tobacco production state to a more diversified base consisting of biotechnology and engineering industries. Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern U.S., can be found in North Carolina.
One North Carolina's main features is the Law and Justice Building, located in the capital city of Raleigh. The Law and Justice Building is home to the North Carolina Supreme Court the Administrative Office of the Courts. Up until the year 1940, North Carolina was the only Supreme Court in the U.S. where the justices presided over cases wearing street clothes.
Other important courts in the state of North Carolina include the District Courts, Superior Courts, and the Court of Appeals. Most lawyers in North Carolina file claims at either the District Court level or through the Superior Court. Depending on the type of claim involved, North Carolinas must research a mix of state statutes and North Carolina case law.
Lawyers in North Carolina are able to help clients with a wide range of legal concerns. North Carolina lawyers can also provide expert advice on matters involving unique state or local laws. Attorneys in the "Tar Heel State" often participate in community events and forums.