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South Bend Indiana Lawyer Reduces Stress with Bankruptcy Solutions

Stopping creditor harassment with bankruptcy alternatives

The law office of Thomas E. Panowicz LLC provides dedicated advice to help you solve the most complicated financial situation. Whether you need to clear up your debts by filing for bankruptcy or protect your heirs with estate planning, an attorney can help you gain your confidence and achieve solid footing.

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding offering a fresh start for people underwater with debt. Bankruptcy law does not inflict penalties for having financial difficulties. In fact, you have a constitutional right to declare bankruptcy. In many cases, you keep your home, your car and other personal assets. Bankruptcy lawyers offer financial strategies to stop creditor harassment, including:
  • Chapter 7 -- Discharge all your debts by declaring Chapter 7.
  • Chapter 11 -- Keep your business afloat with a structured Chapter 11 creditor payment plan.
  • Chapter 13 -- Prevent foreclosure with Chapter 13 while you pay a percentage of your debts.
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, you begin your life again. After you complete your bankruptcy requirements and receive a discharge from the court, your financial life resets. After your discharge, you may start rebuilding your credit by obtaining a car loan and making your payments.

Providing a new beginning with Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 releases most of your debt obligations through a liquidation proceeding. You may exempt certain property necessary for your everyday life, such as your homestead and medical savings account. You must also pass a means test comparing your income to the median income in Indiana and complete credit counseling requirements. Once you complete the Chapter 7 process, you receive a discharge from the bankruptcy court.

Keep your business running with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Chapter 11 stops creditor lawsuits so you can reorganize the operations of your business. An attorney can help you develop your reorganization plan and present it to the bankruptcy Court for approval. During the process, you continue the daily operations of your business and make payments under a plan. Once the Chapter 11 payment plan is court approved or confirmed, you receive a discharge from the court. Although mainly for businesses, individuals can file Chapter 11 as well under the appropriate conditions.

Stop foreclosure by qualifying for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 prevents foreclosure by setting up a court-approved payment plan. We work with a bankruptcy trustee to finalize a plan. You must be able to prove that you have consistent and sufficient income to make monthly payments. Once you finish making your payments under your Chapter 13 plan, you receive a discharge from the court.

What are the procedures and exemptions for a bankruptcy in Indiana and Michigan?

Bankruptcy is controlled by same federal law and procedures that applies to all States, including Indiana and Michigan. In a bankruptcy proceeding, you file your petition at the federal court usually in the federal district you live in. You can expect your local federal bankruptcy court will have its own set of local rules to follow as well.

In an Indiana bankruptcy proceeding, when you file your petition at the federal bankruptcy court you are allowed to assert the Indiana state exemptions to protect your assets. You are entitled to retain exempt property under Indiana law, for example:
  • Residence (Real estate or personal property) up to $17,600.00
  • Other real estate or tangible personal property up to $9,350.00
  • Intangible personal property up to $350.00
  • Funds in a qualified retirement plan, medical care or health savings account
In a Michigan bankruptcy proceeding, when you file your petition at the federal bankruptcy court you are allowed to assert either the Michigan state or federal bankruptcy exemptions to protect your assets. For example, under the federal bankruptcy exemptions you are entitled to retain exempt property:
  • Residence (Real estate or personal property) up to $22,975.00
  • Household goods up to $9,350.00
  • A vehicle up to $3,675.00
  • Funds in a qualified retirement plan

Gain peace of mind by discussing your personal situation with bankruptcy counsel

The law office of Thomas E. Panowicz LLC has an impressive reputation for handling bankruptcy matters. Our office hours are flexible to fit your individual needs. We are located in South Bend, Indiana close to the University of Notre Dame. We also serve clients in Michigan. Free parking is available, and public transportation is easily accessible. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 574-277-2400.
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