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Durham Bankruptcy Attorney

A lawyer and business owner discussing small business bankruptcy

Many people experience disruptions in income and financial stress after the loss of a job or a serious illness or other unforeseen circumstances. For some, mounting debts from unpaid mortgages, credit cards, medical bills and other debts can overwhelm them and leave them wondering where to turn.

When all that you have worked for is jeopardized by insurmountable debt, then you need the guidance of an experienced Durham bankruptcy lawyer. Our bankruptcy attorneys at Sasser Law Firm can help you chart a course toward a financially stable future. The board-certified Durham bankruptcy attorneys of the Sasser Law Firm have helped more than 7,000 individuals and businesses in North Carolina use the tools provided by the federal bankruptcy code to make a fresh start.

Our qualified Durham bankruptcy lawyers can put our extensive bankruptcy case experience to work for you in Durham County.

  • You will deal directly with a Sasser Law bankruptcy attorney. You will work one-on-one with the lawyer who handles your case.
  • You receive the benefit of our in-depth evaluation of your financial situation. At our first attorney-client meeting, a Sasser Law attorney will be prepared to review your income, assets, expenses, and debts. We want to cover all your options. We recognize that no one wants to see a bankruptcy attorney. But after the case evaluation, you will have the information you need to take the initial steps toward financial recovery.
  • We offer information, not pressure.  Our Durham attorneys will be forthright with you about your legal options. We will give you our opinion as to whether seeking bankruptcy protection is an appropriate decision in your situation. We never put pressure on anyone to file for bankruptcy. We focus on providing information you will need to have a clear sense of your options. That will allow you and your family to make an informed decision about whether to file. We want you to be comfortable with whatever step you take. Our attorney who meets with you will outline your alternatives and offer his recommendation. If you decide to proceed with a bankruptcy filing, we will lead you through the process and keep you informed at every stage.
  • Your bankruptcy protection will be in place as soon as you file. If you are facing a financial emergency such as imminent foreclosure of your home, we can start the filing process immediately after a consultation. We recognize the time-sensitivity of some bankruptcies and frequently file emergency bankruptcies for clients. We will respond quickly to your needs.
  • Our services are affordable. We do not charge for a first consultation. If you decide to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the legal fees are rolled into the repayment plan, which means you do not have any upfront cost. Our fee structure is based on client income for Chapter 7 bankruptcies. We offer a competitive, flat fee for Chapter 11 cases, which we will talk over with you before any billable work begins.

If you are drowning in debt and being pursued by bill collectors, call our Durham County bankruptcy lawyers today. At Sasser Law Firm, we assist residents of Durham, Chapel Hill, Bahama, Bethesda, Rougemont and other Durham County communities with consumer and business bankruptcy cases. We can provide you with a case review quickly and start charting your path to financial recovery.

Types of Bankruptcy Cases Our Durham Law Firm Handles

There are numerous types of bankruptcy filings to cover various circumstances. The appropriate type of bankruptcy protection depends on the specifics of your financial situation. Our Durham bankruptcy attorneys understand that no two cases are exactly alike. We take the time to understand your financial situation and your needs and goals. Then we can draw up a personalized plan for setting you on a course toward financial stability.

Some of the types of bankruptcy filings our attorneys regularly handle for Durham County residents include:

Chapter 7 (Liquidation ─ Personal or Business)

Chapter 7 cases are the most frequently filed type of bankruptcy. It allows an individual to have forgiven most unsecured debt such as credit card debt, phone bills, past rent, deficiency  balances from repossessed vehicles, unsecured personal loans and medical bills. It allows people to rebuild their credit more quickly afterward. Chapter 7 cases also typically cost less.

If a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you, you can expect to:

  • Have protection from creditors as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed.
  • Dispose of your assets through a bankruptcy trustee to repay your creditors. Your basic assets needed for daily living, such as your house, car, clothes, and major appliances are not included in the liquidation of assets if you meet certain income requirements.
  • Shut down a business going through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 (Reorganization ─ Personal)

Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plans involve repaying a portion of your debts over three to five years. A Chapter 13 filing may be appropriate if you are behind on your home mortgage or car payments and want to keep your home or vehicle. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not erase debts such as student loans, overdue taxes and alimony payments.

If a Chapter 13 bankruptcy fits your financial needs, you can expect to:

  • Work with your attorney to devise a payment plan through which you will pay unpaid mortgage payments, auto loans, and other debts. The plan must be approved by the bankruptcy court.
  • Have protection from debt collectors during the term of the court-approved repayment plan.
  • Potentially be able to modify the terms of outstanding debt to reduce your payments and avoid interest charges on overdue payments.
  • Pay Chapter 13 legal fees, including attorneys’ fees, as part of the repayment plan.
  • Group your debts together and make one monthly or bi-monthly payment, which may be deducted from your paycheck. The bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case receives your payment and distributes payment to your creditors.
  • At the end of the three to five-year term of the repayment plan, you will receive a discharge if you have made payments according to the plan.

Chapter 11 (Reorganization ─ Business)

Chapter 11 reorganization permits Durham businesses to recover from unmanageable debt by developing a feasible financial plan and chart a new course to move forward. The creditors vote on whether to accept or reject a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

If a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is appropriate for your business, you can expect to:

  • Obtain temporary relief from creditors who may be pursuing foreclosure, eviction, levies or lawsuits against the business.
  • Obtain emergency protection if the business needs intervention to survive.
  • Remain in control of day-to-day finances and business operations.
  • Control the sale of assets required to pay debts.
  • Have at least five years to pay business tax debts.
  • Work with your bankruptcy lawyer to consider options to restructure existing business debts and consider options such as modifying interest rates, lengthening the payment terms, and reducing balances.

Means Test

If you are an individual considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one factor to take into account is the amount of current income you have. The court may dismiss your Chapter 7 petition if you have too much income.

An assessment of the number of people in your household and household income compared to the median income in North Carolina is used by the court to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or must pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. This is knowns as the “Means Test,” and it has multiple parts. If your average household income is below the median household income in North Carolina, you qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

However, if your current monthly income is higher than the state median income, then you must file a second form called a Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation. The computations on this form deduct from your current monthly income your living expenses and payments on certain debts to evaluate whether you still have money available to pay unsecured creditors.

The Means Test is one of the complications that makes working with a qualified attorney essential if you are considering bankruptcy.

Our Durham bankruptcy attorneys at Sasser Law can review your income and offer guidance about which type of bankruptcy is most suitable to your situation.

Durham Bankruptcy Resources

If you file for bankruptcy in Durham County, your case will be heard by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The location of the court hearing and the creditors meeting is:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Middle District of North Carolina
Venable Center, Dibrell Building—Suite 280
302 East Pettigrew St.
Durham, NC 27701

The Durham court office is typically unstaffed. Mail and other communications should be directed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Greensboro. The mailing address is:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Middle District of North Carolina
P.O. Box 26100
Greensboro, NC 27402-6100

Bankruptcy Litigation and Appeal

Disputes can arise in certain bankruptcy cases and make litigation unavoidable. The Durham bankruptcy litigation lawyers at the Sasser Law Firm have a thorough understanding of bankruptcy law. Our legal team has trial experience to handle the most challenging bankruptcy cases. 

Some of the issues our Durham County bankruptcy litigation attorneys handle include:

  • Creditors’ rights disputes
  • Disputed asset valuations
  • Disputes over asset sales
  • Tax issues
  • Interest rate disputes
  • Accusations of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Fraud accusations
  • Challenges to restructuring plans developed outside court
  • Pre-bankruptcy separation agreements.

Bankruptcy litigation can be complex. That is why you need a Durham bankruptcy law firm with the skill and resources to fight for you.

Talk to an Experienced Durham Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Our board-certified attorneys at The Sasser Law Firm can help you with an individual bankruptcy or a business bankruptcy case in Durham. Whatever financial difficulties you are facing, you will have to take the first step to deal with the situation. Our attorneys are available to discuss your legal options free of charge, work with you to develop a plan, and/or seek emergency protection if needed to prevent foreclosure or seizure of property. Our goal is to guide you toward a brighter financial future for yourself or your business.

Contact us now to schedule a no obligation consultation about your case with an experienced Durham bankruptcy attorney. The Sasser Law Firm works with individuals and businesses in Durham, Chapel Hill, Roxboro as well as in surrounding North Carolina communities.

Associations & Awards

  • 2019 Business North Carolina Legal Elite Badge
  • North Carolina Bar Association | Sasser Law Firm
  • super lawyers logo
  • Attorney at Law Magazine, Local Authority Award
  • Martindale-Hubbell award for high professional achievement at Sasser Law Firm
  • NC Bar Association Legal Specialization | Sasser Law Firm
  • Top Bankruptcy Attorney | Sasser Law Firm
  • American Bankruptcy Institute | Sasser Law Firm
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys | Sasser Law Firm
  • American Board of Certification | Sasser Law Firm
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