BANKRUPTCY Individuals burdened by debt may file either Chapter 7 ("liquidation") or Chapter 13
("debt adjustment") through the McKay Law Office, after detailed consultation. Chapter 7 allows
individuals to obtain the elimination of most "unsecured" debt, that is, debts not covered by a lien
or mortgage, including matters subject to a garnishment or other collection effort. Homes and
automobiles, and certain other assets, may be retained by keeping the payments current and agreeing
in writing to continue paying the mortgage against those items. Chapter 13 entitles individuals to
stop foreclosure, garnishment, etc., by agreeing to a payback plan through which mortgage arrearages
are brought up to date and regular payments are kept current. In most Chapter 13 cases, unsecured
debt can be significantly reduced and in some cases mortgage debt can be reduced. All assets and all
debts must be shown in documents filed with the Bankruptcy Court and it is a serious federal offense
to hide assets or otherwise fail to make full disclosures. Some matters cannot be "discharged" in
bankruptcy, such as student loans (unless very burdensome), child support and similar support payments,
more recent tax liabilities, debts incurred by fraud, and debts incurred shortly before filing. Mr.
McKay has practiced bankruptcy law, primarily from the debtor side, since his law school graduation and
licensing in 1980.
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