There’s nothing typical about Maryland bankruptcy cases. Each case is different based upon the client’s income, expenses, assets and debts. Many people have defaulted on their bills for months or even years before they file for bankruptcy. Others struggle from month to month making mimimum payments and have credit scores in the 700s. Whether you’re current or behind, however, does not affect whether you qualify to file for bankruptcy.
The hardest part about bankruptcy is filling out the forms correctly. Listing your assets and assigning reasonable values; claiming the appropriate exemptions; accurately detailing your income and expenses; and navigating the means test are only a few of the complex issues that debtors must resolve in their bankruptcy cases. The good news is that debtors don’t need to justify their bankruptcy filing; if the schedules are accurate and complete, and if the debtor cooperates with the trustee, then the relief will be awarded and the debts will be discharged.
Creditors and other parties in interest have 60 days after the debtor meets with the trustee to object to the bankruptcy discharge. If there are no objections (and this is a strict deadline) the bankruptcy court will promptly enter the debtor’s discharge. There will be no inquiry as to whether the debtor is current or not on their bills.
The more important question is not whether a client qualifies for bankruptcy – because they almost always will – but whether they should file, or instead struggle with paying their bills. This is a harder question and addresses such different factors as debt load, asset liquidity, employment status, existence of liens, and many other elements of a person’s financial life. Of course, with so many qualified bankruptcy lawyers offering free consultations that provide meaningful information, there is no reason to delay contacting a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer to find out all of your legal options. You may save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars.