Bankruptcy in Tennessee is a legal procedure through which some of the debts of an individual or a business are discharged (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 process. 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 Tennessee bankruptcy attorney 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 individual case.
Types of Bankruptcy in Tennessee
Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, so the procedures in filing for bankruptcy in Tennessee will be the same as anywhere else in the United States. There are 2 basic types 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 typically used by businesses called Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is available to individuals, but it is rarely the best option for them.
In Tennessee, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as "liquidation." The court will conduct an accounting of all of the debtor's assets, and determine which ones should be sold to help pay off the debts. Many classes of property, such as homes and cars, are exempt from this requirement, and therefore don't have to be sold. Once all of the eligible property is sold off, and the proceeds given to the creditors, the rest of the debt is discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves restructuring, rather than discharging, one's debt. Basically, the court structures a debt repayment plan meant to allow the debtor to pay off his or her debt in manageable installments, while allowing the debtors to eventually collect at least some of what is owed to them.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically used by businesses. It also involves reorganization of debts, similar to chapter 13 bankruptcy. It requires the debtor company to come up with a reorganization plan, which its creditors must vote on for approval. If it is approved, the company will then be legally obliged to carry it out.
How Can a Tennessee Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be very difficult, given the potential consequences. A Tennessee attorney specializing in bankruptcy can advise you of the likely consequences you will face if you file, and help you determine if they are outweighed by the potential benefits.
Interesting Facts About Tennessee
Tennessee is part of the Southeastern region of the United States. It is one of the nation's major producers in areas like agriculture, electrical equipment, and transport equipment. Tennessee is also popular for its history of musical acts originating from the state, with Nashville being considered by many to be the center of recorded country music. Much of Tennessee's law is devoted towards regulation of these important industries.
The Tennessee Supreme Court is the state's court of last resort. Unlike other state supreme courts, the Tennessee Supreme Court meets in several locations (Knoxville, Jackson, and Nashville). In addition, the Tennessee Supreme Court has met in many other cities in connection with legal education projects for high schools. Tennessee's Supreme Court is the only one in the nation that appoints the state's Attorney General; in all other states, the appointment is made by election or by the state governor.
Many Tennessee laws and court cases have influenced national legal trends. For example, Baker v. Carr (1962) is a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case originating in Tennessee. The Baker decision established the doctrine of "one man, one vote". This doctrine helped to balance voting and election standards, especially for communities that may be underrepresented in elections.
Lawyers in Tennessee can help interpret the state's laws and regulations. Tennessee lawyers provide assistance with various legal issues and concerns. An attorney in Tennessee can also provide representation in court during trial.