As a Bolingbrook bankruptcy attorney, I know just how well bankruptcy protects. One of the fundamental precepts of bankruptcy is that it is designed to protected debtors from their creditors. Sometimes the process is identified as “filing for bankruptcy protection.”
The primary protection in bankruptcy is known as the Automatic Stay, which is codified in 11 U.S.C. § 362. The Automatic Stay goes into effect immediately upon the filing of the bankruptcy case. The Automatic Stay is a restraining order that prohibits creditors from engaging in collection activity against the debtor. The automatic stay protections are very broad and prohibit just about every creditor from engaging in basically any collection activity whatsoever. When some creditors break the bankruptcy laws it makes the bankruptcy news.
The automatic stay protections are strong enough that it can force utility companies to resume utility service, subject to some special protections. In Chapter 13 cases, it can also force an auto lender to return a repossessed vehicle to the debtor.While the Automatic Stay is in place, it gives time for the rest of the bankruptcy code to do its work. In Chapter 7 cases, that means the eventual discharge of debt. In Chapter 13 cases, it allows debtors to complete the terms of their Chapter 13 plan of reorganization. The protection takes on different levels depending upon the types of bankruptcy cases that are filed.
The other major precept in bankruptcy is that the process is designed to give “honest and unfortunate” debtors a fresh start. Bankruptcy law was designed by congress to provide a form of relief for honest and unfortunate people who are simply floundering under their debt load. There is nothing nefarious or wrong about filing for bankruptcy; rather, it is the stated public policy of the United States to provide for this form of relief. This relief is available even if you file bankruptcy yourself. However, I would never recommend that you attempt to do so. I would recommend that you seek an attorney to represent you in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. The laws have changed and the process is much more difficult than ever before.
If you need help and you wish to find a bankruptcy lawyer, I would start with the internet and do some searching. I would then meet with at least three local attorneys to get the feel for their style, knowledge and mannerisms. When you feel that you are comfortable, think about it a little more. After careful deliberation, make your final decision.