Welcome to our website about bankruptcy questions for consumer in the St. Louis Metro Area.
Who are we?
Our office has four bankruptcy attorneys and four offices through out the St. Louis Metro area serving clients on both sides of the river. We file approximately 600 bankruptcy cases per year and are one of the most trusted law firms in the region.
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy eliminates most of your debt, in most cases debs such as credit card debt, medical bills, and payday loans. Depending on the chapter your file bankruptcy under, you can stop a foreclosure, modify your car loan and even wipe out other debts such as income tax or eliminate a second mortgage. Only an experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to give you the right advise for your specific situation.
Our attorneys offer a free consultation in which they analyse your situation and will make a explain which options are best in your situation.
Filing for bankruptcy is affordable. You have to pay court cost and attorney fees. However, our law firm offers payment plans that are based on your financial ability to pay. Court costs can be paid in installments if you can pay the court costs before filing of the case.
General information and a quick overview about the bankruptcy process:
The process of filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight forward and clients are surprised how quickly the case is over and the debt discharged. One of the most important questions is if a client owes property that has a lot of equity, for example a new, paid of vehicle, or a home that has only little debt owed on it.
On the bankruptcy petition, the debtor lists all their assets, such as household good and furnishing, and estimates the current market value. Most assets are exempt. For example each debt has an exemption in Missouri for household goods and furniture of $3,000. Used household goods and furnishings have a low market value and in most cases the value of these items are not exceeding the exemptions. Assets are also claims against someone or interests in partnerships or other companies.
Sometimes, it is difficult to put a value on assets, for example a house. A formal home appraisal is not required, and you can use nearby properties on the real estate market for your estimate. You can also take needed home repairs into consideration in addition to languishing sales in your area when calculating the value of your home.
Check your state’s bankruptcy regulations as each one has its own set of laws regarding your property. For instance, Missouri and Illinois has a 15,000 homestead exemptions, that means after deducting all mortgages and liens on your property, additional $15,000 of your equity are protected from your creditors. Also, vehicles are often exempt when filing Chapter 7. The exemption is $3,000 for each debtor. That means, after deducting a car loan from the value of your vehicle, additional $6,000 for you and your spouse are protected.
Before a bankruptcy case can be filed, the debtor needs to obtain a credit counseling certificate. Our office has a list of approved credit counseling agencies for the Illinois and Missouri. The credit counseling course can be taken over the phone or through the internet and cost around $15.
After the case is filed a trustee is assigned to your case. The trustee’s job is to represent your creditors and conduct the trustee’s meeting with you and your bankruptcy attorney. The trustee is not a judge. He or she is an attorney who is assigned by the US Trustee to act as the case trustee in your bankruptcy case. Sometimes, clients asked if there is a special dress code when attending the trustee’s meeting. It is not a court proceeding with a judge, however, the trustee is an official administrator you want to respect as any other person.
When you have un-exempt assets, you can either file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case and make the chapter 7 trustee an offer to pay for the un-exempt portion of your assets or you can file a chapter 13 and pay the un-exempt equity over a time period between three and five years. Your bankruptcy attorney will suggest one chapter to you and explain the options and benefits for each option.
If the un-exempt equity is not very high and you might be able to borrow money to pay the trustee, a chapter 7 bankruptcy case might be the better option. However, if the un-exempt equity is too high, and you want to take advantage of other benefits of a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, filing of a chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a better option.
You are advised to speak with a lawyer before filing bankruptcy. Also, a lawyer will be able to give you information regarding each bankruptcy regulation and which one will be in your favor. Furthermore, hiring a lawyer for bankruptcy assistance is typically an affordable expense. Our office offers payment plans and will take your income and how complicated your case is, into consideration when determining the attorney fees. We offer a free consultation and most of our clients retain us after the consultation with a down-payment towards the attorney fees.
You may be wondering if filing bankruptcy will help you. When filing for bankruptcy, you can expect liberation from overwhelming medical bills, credit card debt and deficiencies from foreclosed homes or repossessed cars. However, some debts will not be eliminated through bankruptcy, including child support, income taxes that are less than three years old and support obligations. Some debts are dischargeable in a chapter 13 which are not dischargeable in a chapter 7. For example all debt incurred by the debtor in the course of a divorce or separation proceeding is not discharegeable in a chapter 7, but it might be dischargeable in chapter 13, except of support obligations.
Filing for bankruptcy will also protect you from wage garnishments, vehicle repossessions and distressing phone calls from unpaid creditors. The automatic stay that is put into place with filing of bankruptcy requires your creditors to cease almost all collection efforts.
Main Office & Mailing Address:
1861 Sherman Dr
St. Charles, MO 63303
Tel. (636) 916-5400
Fax (636) 916-5402
See location on map:
St. Louis Office:
1281 Graham Rd., Suite 300
(Located at I-270 and Graham Rd, inside First Bank Building, 3rd Floor)
Florissant, MO 63031
See location on map.
Granite City office:
3600 Nameoki Rd, Suite 201
(Inside First Bank Building, 2nd Floor)
Granite City, IL 62040
Tel. (618) 977-9560
See location on map.
Disclaimer: The use of our web site is for informational purposes only, it does not create an attorney-client relationship. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The choice of a laywer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertising.