A Steady Hand For Life’s Unsteady Times

Assisting East Alabama Clients With Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Do not let overwhelming debt rule your life. Let Marrell J. McNeal give you the tools to make a fresh financial start. With over 40 years of experience and insight, bankruptcy attorney Marrell J. McNeal creates effective plans to successfully deal with your financial problems. He applies his in-depth knowledge about law and finances to assist you with:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • Repayment plans
  • Debt relief strategies
  • Foreclosure defense

After a careful review of your debts and financial objectives, our attorneys determine whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you. When bankruptcy offers the best solution, we apply complex legal principles to decide which type of bankruptcy to file. We prepare your petition and skillfully guide you through the process. We remain by your side at every step.

Eligibility To File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, a debtor must meet the strict criteria established by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Revised in 2005, the law requires that a debtor’s income be below the state median and applies a formula — the means test — to determine if a debtor whose income rises above the Alabama median is still eligible. The means test involves the calculation of income, expenses and debts. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court draws a conclusion from the results of the means test about whether the Chapter 7 filing is presumptively abusive. The debtor can overcome the presumption by proving special circumstances that contributed to the debt or created substantial expenses or loss of income. We determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 and whether filing under this provision presents your best option. Those debtors who are not eligible for Chapter 7 can usually file for Chapter 13 relief. The means test does not apply if more than 50 percent of your debt is business debt.

Minimizing Liquidation Of Assets

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy may involve the liquidation of certain assets to pay creditors. We apply sophisticated tactics to avoid liquidation of many — and sometimes all — of your assets. We work with you to preserve valuable and sentimental property. Exemptions include work tools, household items and a portion of the equity in your home. We can usually arrange for you to keep your car and personal possessions. Upon conclusion of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the court will discharge your unsecured debts.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Debt Repayment Plan

Some cases are better suited for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If your income exceeds the allowable amount under Chapter 7, your home is at risk of foreclosure or your car is threatened with repossession, you may consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. We assist you in developing a viable Chapter 13 repayment plan to pay off your debts over a specified period of time. We negotiate for lower payments and more favorable terms on your loans as part of the plan.

Saving Your Home From Foreclosure

Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you the ability to cure delinquent mortgage payments and halt foreclosure on your home. If your home is in the process of foreclosure, filing a Chapter 13 petition triggers an automatic stay that immediately suspends all proceedings. Provisions for paying past-due amounts are included in your repayment plan, often as smaller, more manageable payments. If you wait to file your Chapter 13 petition until the conclusion of the foreclosure proceedings, you lose this vital protection. We take prompt, decisive action to keep you in your home.

Stopping Creditor Harassment

Creditors’ repeated telephone calls and hostile letters can add anxiety to an already stressful situation. Once you file for bankruptcy, these unpleasant communications immediately stop. This reprieve from creditor harassment can ease the burden of your debt and give you the opportunity to make positive decisions about your future.

If considering bankruptcy, contact Marrell J. McNeal to guide you toward the solution that is right for you. We can be reached online or by calling the Opelika office at 334-275-4368. Your consultation is free.

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