Louisiana Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy is a common occurrence in America today, with nearly 30,000 bankruptcy filings occurring annually in Louisiana alone. In fact, Hurricane Katrina caused the lives and finances of many to be put into shambles, as thousands lost possessions, homes and family members. Even years after the quake, the economy has remained poor, and individuals and businesses file for bankruptcy. All of this because they are finding themselves in difficult, irremediable financial situations. If you have become buried under a mountain of debt, and can see no way to dig your way out, it might be time to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in the state of Louisiana.

Bankruptcy is the legal inability to pay debts, or the state of having been legally insolvent. Obtaining bankruptcy protection can be a extremely difficult, because the new bankruptcy laws are complicated. A bankruptcy lawyer or attorney can explain to you the many different types of bankruptcy, and help you decide which will be the most appropriate to your financial situation. Kinds of bankruptcy law include Chapters 7, 11 and 13 (the most common types), as well as Chapters 9, 12 and 15 (less common).

In Louisiana there are certain bankruptcy exemptions, which is a list of the kinds and values of property that creditors or bankruptcy trustees are legally unable to reach. The debtor is allowed to keep the property that is considered exempt, and what is exempt and the amount that is exempt varies from state to state. The homestead is exempt up to $25,000, though it cannot exceed 5 acres if in a municipality, or 200 acres if not in a municipality. Personal property such as cemetery plots, spendthrift trusts, furniture, clothing, refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, bedding and linens, musical instruments, household pets are all exempt. Wedding rings are exempt up to $5,000, and a motor vehicle up to $7,500. Wages, pensions, tax exempt retirement accounts are all exempt. Public benefits such as workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, earned income tax credit, public assistance, and crime victims' compensation are all exempt. Health, accident or disability proceeds, as well as tools of the trade are exempt as well.

Once a Louisiana bankruptcy lawyer or attorney has explained your options and decided on the best one for you, they will oversee your case from beginning to end. In some situations, you may be able to appear before a Louisiana judge in order to work out a payment plan, possibly with a partial or full discharge of your debt. In some rare cases, all debts are discharged, but bear in mind that your credit will be affected afterwards, for up to 10 years. A Louisiana bankruptcy lawyer or attorney will explain the risks and benefits of bankruptcy in your specific situation, as well as explain the possible alternatives to bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer or attorney will also have extensive knowledge about debt management.

In 2008, approximately 15,113 individuals in Louisiana filed for bankruptcy: 65% filed for Chapter 13 and 35% filed for Chapter 7. If you are ready to contact a Louisiana bankruptcy lawyer or attorney, visit the American Bar Association ( ABA ) website. The ABA features a lawyer locator, which allows the user to search bankruptcy lawyer profiles in Louisiana. Access to the site and profiles is absolutely free. The number of people filing for bankruptcy may only grow as financial issues worsen, and they need help to get through the process and learn how to recover. A lawyer can help you help yourself. Set a goal, make a plan, plan a strategy and get it done! A highly skilled lawyer can help you gain piece of mind. It is out there.


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