Many people facing financial hardship ponder bankruptcy as a possible choice to get out from debt. Most cases of bankruptcy are not the result of reckless spending but by financial hardship, often caused by job loss, medical debt or unexpected financial burdens. Many bankruptcy cases are initiated by lower-income individuals who have tried but simply can’t overcome the major financial hardships occurring in their lives at the moment. An estimated 46% of bankruptcy filings are the result of medical issues for unexpected medical illness or injury, inability to cover expenses not paid by insurance and loss of work income during the illness. In poor economic times a large number of businesses entered bankruptcy proceedings. Today the vast majority filings are from individuals.
Americas debt help organization, Debt, reports that senior citizens now account for over 20% of bankruptcy petitioners. The number of man and women regardless of age is relatively equal. Remarkably, 20% of filers have a bachelor’s degree or above. 64% of bankruptcy cases currently are from married couples, 17% are by singles, having never married, and 15% by divorced individuals. About 60% of filers had incomes less than $30,000 annually and 10% by filers with annual income in excess of $80,000. Bankruptcy petitions varied by state.
For those interested in conducting an internet search for bankruptcy filing portland me to see results for Portland, Maine you can visit the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Maine results month to month for the last 7 years. Year to date in Portland Maine 580 court cases for bankruptcy filing have been initiated, the majority for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Legal Consumer explains there are several levels of bankruptcy filing. The most common is Chapter 7. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is quick, taking only a few months and completely wipes out unsecured debt like credit card and medical debts. You can use Chapter 7 bankruptcy only once every seven years. It is a means to a fresh start. Remember though there are some kinds of debts that bankruptcy simply can’t erase. These non-dischargeable debts include child support, most student loans, and most tax debts. Secured debt, such as mortgage loans and secured car loans may not be discharged.
Chapter 13 is for individuals with higher secured debt who have fallen behind, It is a reorganization of debt for 3-5 years. This filing will protect you against creditor, so you may follow a strict repayment schedule set by and monitored by the courts. If you are unable to complete payment on schedule the bankruptcy may fail causing you to revert to Chapter 7 filing. Chapter 11 is for business debt filings.
To file bankruptcy in Portland you must have been a resident for at least 91 of the past 6 months. You would then file papers at the US Bankruptcy Court by mail or in person. At one point you will be required to meet the appointed bankruptcy trustee in person at least once before the case is discharged. You are allowed to file without an attorney but may want to seek assistance if you have difficulty understanding the forms to file or procedures.