About Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy protections are your right as an Oregon consumer. The bankruptcy process cannot be denied to you, although which type of bankruptcy you are qualified to file, and when, depends on several things. Whether or not bankruptcy is the right option for you is a question that John Wittrock can help you decide.

When you file for bankruptcy, the court immediately stops creditors from pursuing attempts to collect on the debt. You experience immediate relief from garnishment, foreclosure proceedings, and harassment.

Under bankruptcy, a court will discharge (wipe away) your debt. In a Chapter 7 this can be done without payments to the court beyond the filing fee. Sometimes it is in your interest to file a Chapter 13 which requires payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee for 3 to 5 years, but may give you benefits not available in a chapter 7. Bankruptcy is, at the core, a debt relief process.

I can help consumers or small businesses with either of these two types of bankruptcy. I will help you understand the differences so you can determine if one of these is the best solution for your situation.

With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, certain property you own is considered exempt, and you will be able to keep it. Property beyond the amounts Oregon law allow you to keep are not exempt and can be liquidated (sold), by the trustee to pay your creditors. If you want or need to keep this property there are things that can be done. At the end of the process, the remaining debt is discharged.

If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can keep your property, and for three to five years make monthly payments toward your debt. This type of bankruptcy is usually for people who have resources and income, but whose debt is more than their ability to pay.

Note that some debts cannot be discharged, such as child and spousal support. Student loans are very difficult to discharge and taxes may or may not be discharged depending on different factors. Credit card, medical bills and other unsecured debt is generally eligible for bankruptcy. It is most helpful for you to meet with an attorney who can discuss your options and the best ways to handle your specific situation.