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Debt Settlement FAQ

Who is Debt Settlement for?

  • Individuals with unsecured debt and payments in excess of income left over after “priority debt” is paid (e.g. mortgage/rent, autos, food, utilities, gasoline, insurances)
  • Those in financial crisis who wish to avoid legal judgments and levies, and have a chance to work with creditors.
  • Individuals who want protection from harassment and unfair collection practices
  • Those who wish to avoid or cannot qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy, or have assets in excess of available exemption limits (i.e. equity in a home, car, savings, etc.)

What is a Debt Settlement Program?

Debt settlement plans are offered by the Law Firm of Joseph M. Bochicchio, PLLC to clients with unsecured debts like medical bills, credit card bills, and in general for those seeking to reduce their debt burden while avoiding bankruptcy. It is not a “quick fix” or a fail-proof solution in all cases, but can be a very effective tool to avoid bankruptcy while also helping to manage collection activities. During the financial analysis phase, we will assist you in identifying a reasonable set amount of funds that you will then begin depositing monthly into a trust account created expressly for you.

We will direct you to stop paying your individual creditors. Our office will send each creditor a letter of representation stating that you are enrolled in a debt settlement program with our law firm and direct all collection calls to our office. As funds accumulate into your personal trust account, our firm begins negotiating with your creditors one by one. Once a creditor agrees to accept a reduced amount, the settlement offer is presented to the client for final approval.

It typically takes 2-5 years to complete the debt settlement program. The period of completion depends upon your total debt amount and trust account contributions.

When is Debt Settlement Right for You?

  • Debt settlement is the right option for
  • individuals who are looking for the following benefits.
  • Reduce debt burden and avoid bankruptcy
  • A single monthly payment
  • Waived late charges or over-the-limit fees
  • Possible protection from judgments, levies, and some collection activities.

Why Use the Law Firm of Joseph M. Bochicchio, PLLC?

We are licensed attorneys in the state of North Carolina. In North Carolina, it is illegal for anyone besides a licensed North Carolina Attorney or a non-profit organization to provide this service, with few limited exceptions.

We provide our clients with everything in writing and complete access to view their account 24/7.

We have relationships and a course of dealing with many banks, creditors and collection agencies to effectively negotiate on your behalf. Collectors and banks also identify us with having the power to file for bankruptcy protection if they insist on aggressive collection practices, resulting in many cases in the creditors getting nothing as opposed to cooperating with us and getting a partial payment on the account.

Debt Settlement FAQ

Who is Debt Management for?

  • Individuals with multiple bills and creditors
  • Those in financial crisis who wish to reduce their debt
  • Individuals who want to stop getting collection calls
  • Those who want to lower the interest rate on their bills

What is the Debt Management Program?

Debt management plans are offered by the Law Firm of Joseph M. Bochicchio to clients with unsecured debts like medical bills, credit card bills who need assistance in reducing monthly payments and lowering interest rates to successfully pay off debt. Once you enroll for debt management services, our firm works on your behalf with your creditors to establish a reasonable repayment plan. Managing debt thus becomes much easier than you’ve ever thought of.

Single monthly payment replaces many: You’ll make a single monthly payment to the company. The company then disburses the payment to your creditors. This goes on for a specific time period until you have paid off your bills.

When is Debt Management right for you?

Debt management is the right option for individuals who are looking for the following benefits.

  • Lower interest rates and monthly payments
  • A single monthly payment
  • Waived late fees or over-the-limit fees
  • Stopping harassing phone calls from collection agencies

Why Use the Law Firm of Joseph M. Bochicchio?

  • We are licensed to provide debt management services. In the state of North Carolina, it is illegal for anyone besides a licensed North Carolina attorney or a non-profit organization to provide this service, with few limited exceptions.
  • We provide our clients with everything in writing and complete access to view their account 24/7.
  • We have strong relationships with many banks, creditors and collection agencies to effectively negotiate on your behalf.

Filing Bankruptcy Charlotte NC FAQ

Who is Filing Bankruptcy for?

If you are overwhelmed with debt, can’t make your payments and your home is at risk, it’s time to find out if bankruptcy is an option for you. Contact us to arrange a free consultation where we will answer your questions, tell you what you need to know and give you an honest evaluation to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

Why You Need an Attorney When Filing Bankruptcy

As your attorney, we are equipped to navigate through a maze of laws that may create liability for your lender or servicer, and this can be a powerful tool in negotiating on your behalf. We know your rights and the statutes and laws that the State of North Carolina has imposed on the lenders, banks, mortgage owners, and servicers, and the representatives the lawyer is dealing with on your behalf know this.

What are the Types of Bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy Code is divided into 2 Types, and 5 Chapters. The two types are “Straight/Liquidation” (Chapter 7 only) and “Reorganization/Repayment” (all the rest…Chapters 9, 11, 12 and 13).

The two chapters that usually apply to consumers are Chapter 7, where most or all of your debt is wiped out, and Chapter 13, which involves a repayment plan.

In most cases, once you file your case, the “Automatic Stay” immediately going into effect. The Automatic Stay is a restraining order that keep creditors away from you and your property. It means that a bankruptcy filing automatically stops, or stays, and brings to a halt most lawsuits, repossessions, foreclosures, evictions, garnishments, attachments, utility shut-offs, and debt collection harassment. Generally, creditors cannot take any further action against you or your property without permission from the Bankruptcy Court.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is for people who are having financial difficulties and are not able to re-pay their debts.

Under the changes to the Bankruptcy Code that took effect October 17, 2008, you can usually qualify for a Chapter 7 if your average gross monthly income for the last six months is below your state’s Median Income, your gross income less certain expenses shows no discretionary income left, or you can show “special circumstances” that would allow you to qualify for Chapter 7. In other words, you prove you don’t have the money to repay your debts.

Under Chapter 7, your attorney will look to see if you can “exempt” (protect or keep) some or all of your assets under North Carolina law, or, if you have not lived in North Carolina for the past two years, under that state’s exemption law that applies to your case. Most retirement accounts and pensions are also exempt. Secured property, normally your car and house, may not have a lot of net equity, in which case you can keep it as well, but you will have to keep making the payments for the loans. A Court representative, called a Trustee, liquidates non-exempt (non-protected) property if you have any, and uses the proceeds to pay your creditors according to priorities of the Bankruptcy Code.

Once your Chapter 7 case is over, you receive a “Discharge”. The discharge prevents your creditors from taking any steps to try to collect their unsecured debt. They cannot call you, write you, sue you, or take any steps that could be considered an attempt to collect its debt. If you want to keep property that has a lien on it, you must keep your payments current, and may be required to reaffirm your debt. Some debts cannot be discharged. Typical examples are child support, alimony, and other domestic support obligations, some taxes, student loans, criminal restitution, and debts for death or personal injury caused by operating vehicles while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is a valuable tool that lets you catch up overdue mortgage or car payments, taxes and domestic support obligations. It also applies where you have the ability to repay some or all of your debts over time. Under Chapter 13, you normally keep all of your property, both exempt and non-exempt, as long as you resume (or continue) making your regular payments on secured debts, and keep current under the repayment plan required by the bankruptcy laws. This plan may pay all of your debts, or just a portion; this will depend on your particular circumstances. A repayment plan can be from three to five years. After finishing your payments, most of your unsecured debts are discharged.

You must have less than $336,900 in unsecured debt (such as credit cards, signature loans and medical bills) and less than $1,010,650 in secured debt (such as mortgages and car loans) to qualify for Chapter 13. (*April 2007)

The Less Common Bankruptcy Chapters

Chapter 9: Chapter 9 is for cities, and is very rare. You don’t need to know about this chapter.

Chapter 11: Chapter 11 is designed primarily for business reorganization, but is also available to consumer debtors, its provisions are quite complex. In the vast majority of cases, Chapter 11 is unnecessary and too expensive for most consumer debtors.

Chapter 12: Chapter 12 lets family farmers repay their debts over a period of time and is in many ways similar to a Chapter 13.

Your Free Bankruptcy Consultation

Your free consultation will include a comprehensive evaluation of your financial life. We will ask lots of questions to help determine if bankruptcy is the right option for you and will help you analyze your debts, assets, income and expenses. At the end of the consultation you should have all of the information you need to decide what to do next.

Contact Us Today for Your Free Consultation
The sooner you address your potential bankruptcy or debt settlement the better your chances of the most favorable outcome for you.

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