Rhode Island Bankruptcy FAQs
Answer: This is the biggest concern for most bankruptcy filers. They want to know when their credit score will return to normal. Of course, the first step is to remove the mountain of debt. By destroying credit card debt, medical bills and other unsecured obligations through bankruptcy, your debt to income ratio should improve substantially. After your bankruptcy is over, credit issuers begin to look at you differently. They now consider you a better credit risk because you don’t have a bunch of angry creditors waiting in line to get paid. They assume you were serious enough to take care of the debt problem and are now in a position to rebuild your credit. Credit issuers also know that you’re not allowed to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for another 8 years. The way banks and credit card companies think, this improves the likelihood you’ll repay a new obligation because a second bankruptcy is not an option. While time is an important factor in rebuilding your credit, there are many additional steps you can take to help speed up the credit restoration process. Being the only RI bankruptcy attorney who is trained as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, I can educate you on how to approach[Read More…]
Answer: During your free consultation, I’ll show you a list of property that can be protected under State and Federal Bankruptcy laws. The laws are quite generous and most clients never lose property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We’ll consider all of your property and then take steps to maximize protection. Protect Your House: Under R.I. General Laws § 9-26-4.1, a debtor who has lived in Rhode Island for two years, can protect as much as $ 500,000 equity in a homesteaded principal residence if she has owned the house for the previous 40 months. If she hasn’t met the 40-month ownership requirement, federal bankruptcy law caps the RI Homestead Exemption at $ 155,675. If she chooses to protect her homestead using Federal Bankruptcy Law 11 U.S.C. 522(d)(1), she can presently protect $ 22,975 equity in real or personal property used as her residence. If filing bankruptcy jointly with a spouse who co-owns the house, the spouse can also claim $ 22,975 in equity protection. Protect Your Car/ Truck: Under R.I. General Laws § 9-26-4(13), a debtor who had lived in Rhode Island for two years, can protect $ 12,000 equity in a motor vehicle. Federal Bankruptcy Law, however, protects[Read More…]
Answer: It all depends on the facts of YOUR bankruptcy case. In RI, many respected bankruptcy lawyers charges about $ 1,500 (plus the $ 335 court filing fee.) In MA, its closer to $ 2,000 for a Chapter 7 case. Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of low ball advertisements from bankruptcy mills. What is a bankruptcy mill? Basically a high-volume lawyer who spends big on advertising and cares very little on handling your case professionally. Its all about getting as many clients in the door by offering “cheap prices” and fixing all the problems later. Before paying any bankruptcy lawyer, you should know their reputation and determine if he: relies too much on non-lawyer staff to do most of the work misses court deadlines and files incomplete bankruptcy petitions comes to hearings late and/or unprepared has been disciplined by the court for taking on more case work than can properly be handled Bottom line: If your case isn’t complicated and you are prepared, I will reduce my fee. I routinely discount my attorney fee for clients who are retired, disabled, or unemployed. Explain your situation and I promise to quote a fee that is fair and affordable.