With the sub-prime lending disaster, drops in the stock market, and rise in unemployment, people are facing financial problems like never before.  Divorce, medical emergencies, illness, job loss, or simply poor financial planning may force you into debt. If you feel devastated by the idea of filing bankruptcy, the fact is, those feelings of panic and confusion are common.

Legal help through bankruptcy

At Dunlap & Nesmith, we can help you understand the bankruptcy process, answer your questions, and explain your rights.

Dealing with debt can be stressful. A bankruptcy lawyer can help put your mind at ease. At Dunlap & Nesmith, we have handled thousands of bankruptcy cases over the years and know how to solve your financial problems. Each of our lawyers has more than three decades of experience practicing law. Our in-depth understanding and insight extends to both sides of the ledger—which gives you an added advantage.

We provide legal advice, representation, and services for the following: 

  • Ending creditor harassment and lawsuits
  • Stopping collection efforts
  • Protecting against foreclosure
  • Blocking repossession
  • Filing Chapter 7
  • Filing Chapter 13
  • Pre-filing debt counseling
  • Post-filing debtor education 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7, called liquidation bankruptcy, is a form of debt relief where the debtor liquidates assets to pay off creditors. Chapter 7 applies to unsecured debt, which the court discharges at the end of the bankruptcy.

Secured debt/unsecured debt

  • With secured debt, there is collateral that secures money owed, and the creditor can take possession of the collateral if you default payment. Cars and homes are examples of secured debt.
  • Unsecured debt has no collateral to secure the debt, and the creditor must file a lawsuit and seek judgment in order to enforce payment. Credit card debt is an example of unsecured debt.
  • While certain assets are exempt from liquidation, people with extensive assets and a source of future income often do not qualify for chapter 7 and would file for a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13, called reorganization bankruptcy, allows the debtor to reorganize finances and arrange a payment plan (approved by the bankruptcy court) that pays creditors over a period of three or five years. When debt load is not extremely high and the debtor has a stable income flow, this type of bankruptcy usually suits the debtor’s needs.