Rhode Island Bankruptcy Lawyer
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If you live in Rhode Island and are struggling to pay your debt, you may want to consider bankruptcy. No longer does bankruptcy carry the stigma of yesterday, nor does it mean that you have been lazy or financially irresponsible. Many honest, hardworking, and responsible consumers have fallen upon hard times – whether because of job loss due to the recent economy, high medical bills due to a lack of health insurance coverage, or a divorce or other personal emergency which has left them unable to pay their bills. If one of these descriptions applies to you, it is in your best interests to consult with a qualified Rhode Island bankruptcy lawyer today.
Handling your bankruptcy case alone can be a disaster for your finances and your future. Bankruptcy lawyers fight to protect your assets while dealing with your bankruptcy case in the state of Rhode Island, because they believe that while your debts have already been established, your financial woes do not have to be a permanent staple in your life.
In Rhode Island there are certain bankruptcy exemptions – property that creditors or bankruptcy trustees are legally unable to reach. The debtor is allowed to keep the types and values of property that are considered exempt. Personal property up to $300,00 is exempt; motor vehicles are exempt up to $10,000 total. Household goods, clothing, furniture, beds and bedding, and supplies are all exempt up to $8,600. Pensions, tax-exempt retirement accounts, crime victim\'s compensation, worker\'s compensation, state disability benefits, unemployment compensation, and family assistance benefits are also exempt. Tools of the trade are exempt up to $1,200, and life insurance may be exempt if the policy prohibits the use of it to pay off creditors. Consumer cooperative association holdings are exempt up to $50, as well as business partnership property.
Your bankruptcy lawyer will devise a strategy to handle your specific bankruptcy circumstances. There are two major types of bankruptcies, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you have few resources or assets, and a low income, you may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 may be right for you if you own property and/or a car, and do not wish to sell them to pay back your debts. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you make a payment plan with your creditors but are able to retain your property.
Federal bankruptcy laws now require anyone pursuing bankruptcy to undergo a means test, which will determine whether they are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is below the median income for families in Rhode Island, based on Census Bureau statistics, you will be eligible. If you make more than the median income for families in Rhode Island, your income over the past six months is considered, along with mortgage and car payments, back taxes and child support due, and school expenses up to $1,650 per year. You won\'t be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if, after deducting these amounts, and the living expenses provided in the Internal Revenue Service\'s national collection standards, you can still pay at least $6,000 to unsecured creditors over a period of five years. If you don\'t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your only option would be a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
For Rhode Island, for the cases filed after March 15, 2009, the median income for a single wage earner is $46,466; for a family of two, it is $59,314; for three, $72,809; and for four, $91,415. Add $6,900 for each individual in excess of 4.
If you have a great deal of debt, and can see no way out of your financial troubles, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. Contact a bankruptcy attorney today to ensure that your retain as much of your property as possible, and to make sure that your rights are protected along the way. The American Bar Association website has a lawyer locator function, which can help connect you to qualified, experienced bankruptcy lawyer attorneys in your area. Access to this website is free.
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