Consumer Bankruptcy



Consumer Bankruptcy Services

Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Services in Hagerstown, MD

Bankruptcy can be a responsible strategy for individuals struggling with debt. By filing a bankruptcy it may be possible to accomplish the following:

  1. Stop creditors calling.
  2. Be relieved of unsecured debt.
  3. Be absolved from personal financial responsibility for a mortgage, while continuing to live in and retain your home- so long as you continue to make mortgage payments.
  4. Stop garnishments and reclaim some portion of the proceeds.
  5. Render a wholly unsecured second mortgage to unsecured status. (Not available in Chapter 7)
  6. Adjust the value of certain secured debts. (Not available in Chapter 7)

When considering a bankruptcy strategy, the candidate should consider the types of debt at issue, assets and income that may be available to address such debt without bankruptcy, and in the alternative which the petitioner wants to protect if he or she ultimately elects to file.

Bankruptcy cases filed under the following Chapters of U.S. Code Title 11: 

Chapter 7 (Liquidation – The most common form of consumer bankruptcy.)

A trustee is appointed to administer your property. Any property of value, that is not otherwise exempted from the bankruptcy estate,  will be monetized to pay your creditors. Most Chapter 7 petitioners can shelter property by using statutory exemptions.  This process generally requires 90-120 days.

Chapter 13 (Adjustment – Effectively a workout strategy that allows the consumer to make certain payments to creditors, while preserving valuable assets.)

The candidate can usually retain property, but  must earn wages or have some other source of regular income that he or she dedicates over a period of 36-60 months to the Chapter 13 Plan. The Court must approve this Plan and your budget.  A trustee is appointed  to supervise Plan payments and conformity with the Plan generally. 

Chapter 12 is similar to Chapter 13, but its use is limited to family farmers and fishermen.

Chapter 11

This is used businesses, but can be appropriate for high net worth individuals.  In chapter 11, the candidate may continue to operate a business, but  creditors and the Court must approve a  Plan of Reorganization. There is no trustee assigned, unless the Court decides that one is necessary. If a trustee is appointed, the trustee takes control of the candidate’s business and property.

If you have filed bankruptcy under one chapter, you may be able to change your case to another chapter. Bankruptcy may be reported for credit purposes for as long as ten years. It can affect your ability to receive credit in the future.

Practice Note: E. J. Hagan Associates accepts bankruptcy representations in conformity with ethical rule. E. J. Hagan Associates cannot represent a bankruptcy candidate who has a pre-existing collection relationship with the office.
  E.J. Hagan Associates
  P.O. Box 250
 [223 N. Prospect Street No. 407]
  Hagerstown, MD 21741
Tel (301) 393-2515    Fax (301) 393-2516  
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