Are You Eligible For Chapter 7?

The bankruptcy “means test” is designed to determine if a person is eligible to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy or if they are more suited for chapter 13.  Eligibility is measured by the amount of the person’s income in comparison to his expenses.  Subtracting the timely payments for things like his home mortgage and personal insurance coverage from his monthly earnings will determine what is perceived to be his “disposable income,” or the money that is left over.  If his disposable income is sufficient to make it possible to pay off at least a part of what he owes to his creditors, he will not be able to claim chapter 7 bankruptcy.  

If it can be concluded that the filer’s income is less than the median for his circumstances he will automatically be eligible for chapter 7 bankruptcy.  The median income is that which is in the middle, meaning that half of the households in a specific area earn a higher income and the other half a lower income than the decided median amount.  The median income will vary from state to state.  Factors that are considered in estimating an income will include earnings from rental properties any work bonuses or cash benefits associated with retirement as well as unemployment compensation.

There are some exceptions to the rule.  Disabled armed service veterans whose debt was incurred while they were on active duty are exempt from taking the means test and will always be approved for a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Businessmen and women are also exempt if their debt is a direct result of their enterprise.

A lawyer who is experienced in the bankruptcy process that applies in the state of the debtor’s residency can lend guidance from the earliest stages throughout to the conclusion of his bankruptcy claim.  A bankruptcy attorney will be able to determine the best course of action after consulting with his client so that there will be no question of eligibility.

Parker Lawyers is well versed in the bankruptcy laws specific to the state of Colorado.  Call the offices @ 303-841-9525 to arrange a consultation with an experienced attorney.

Don’t Be Devastated By Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is governed by U.S. federal law and is an established manner in which people or businesses can deal with outstanding debt. Some distinctions apply but basically there are two types of bankruptcy available to the average citizen – chapter 7 and chapter 13.

Chapter 7 involves the liquidation of the debtor’s assets. He will be required to relinquish everything to the hands of the bankruptcy trustee who will be in charge of distributing the funds to the debtor’s creditors. Holdings may be sold to cover the amount owed. There are certain exemptions however.

The rules for exemptions can vary from state to state or the debtor can depend on standard federal regulation. Either way he will be allowed to keep personal assets such as clothing and vehicles unless they are of exceptional worth. The actual value of any property owned by the debtor is evaluated by the trustee as to whether or not it is worth selling off. If a property is mortgaged for instance, it is only worth what is left after the loan is paid in full.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is preferred by people who want to keep their non-exempt property. While chapter 7 resolves debt through liquidation Chapter 13 allows for a repayment plan over a time span of from 3 to 5 years. Before being granted a chapter 13 bankruptcy the debtor must complete a course in credit counseling. He will also be asked to present the court with a list of assets and liabilities along with a calculation of income and expenses.

Because of the intricacies involved in the process, anyone thinking of filing for bankruptcy should first consult with an experienced attorney. Without the guidance of someone familiar with the terms and responsibilities, getting through the bankruptcy court system can be daunting. Parker Lawyers can offer 30 of years of professional advice to their clients dealing with bankruptcy issues today. Call the offices @ 303-841-9525.

Consider The Options

It may be one or more of several sets of circumstances that lead to your decision to sell your small business.  Whether it be that you have reached the time for retirement, or the risk factor is getting to be too much for you or if you’ve found a new investment adventure that you want to pursue, delay taking any further action until you’ve consulted with an attorney.

Depending on your particular circumstances there may be tax, liability or partnership issues that you have failed to consider.  An experienced legal mind will be able to clarify all the implications that you may have inadvertently overlooked.

An attorney can help you to determine what kind of acquisition agreement would be most appropriate for the sale of your business.  He will explain the pros and cons of both the asset purchase agreement and the entity purchase agreement.

There are many small businesses on the market at any given time and many of them do not sell because of an unrealistic asking price.   Consider the assets and liabilities that go along with ownership, take into account the good name that the business has earned over time and use information about recent business sale transactions in and around your location.  Is there a demand for your type of business or are there too many look a likes on the table?

Be prepared to meet with a business attorney.  Have all your paperwork in order including tax returns, payroll records and a copies of your lease agreements.  If you have included personal insurance policies, the cost and maintenance of vehicles used for business purposes or money spent on travel arrangements as some of your business expenses you may be able to add to the overall monetary value of your business when these  expenses are no longer applicable.

Selling a business can be an emotional experience especially if the business has been in the family for a number of years or if the sale represents a significant milestone in your life.   Parker Lawyers associates understand this and are ready to offer their professional experience to protect your interests and make the transition as easy as possible.  Call our offices @ 303-841-9525.


There Are Alternatives To The Traditional

A trust is a way of managing the assets that you plan to leave to your beneficiaries. That’s the basic concept but there are several ways to improvise a trust, depending on your individual circumstances.  A “living trust” for instance, gives you access to your assets as long as you live then hands them over to your beneficiaries after your death.  You will assign a representative to see to it that your assets are disbursed according to your wishes.

The representative you choose will be in charge of investments, taxes, and keeping you and the beneficiaries updated as to any changes in the status of the trust.  Depending on the way your trust is set up you may name yourself as trustee and designate a successor trustee to take over affairs after your death. You can also specify that he take charge in the event that you should become incapacitated.

Making the choice of who will assume control over your trust should not be taken lightly.  It should be someone with the skill and experience necessary to manage your estate with objectivity.  A family member or close friend of the family is not often the best choice.

Some people choose a living trust over a more traditional will in order to maintain privacy.  A will must be filed in probate court and once that happens it becomes a public document for anyone to access.  There are any number of reasons why you – and the inheritors of your estate –  would prefer to keep such private information private.  

There are many factors associated with the different types of trusts available today and many reasons for having one. Consult an attorney whose speciality is in the field to be sure that your final wishes are properly documented.

Parker Lawyers was established in 1987 and has continued to serve their clients well throughout the years.  Call our offices @ 303-841-9529 for professional consultation.