Bankruptcy

Dont let bankruptcy laws overwhelm you. Let us help guide you through the best course of action for your peace of mind.

At Hinkle Law, we use the bankruptcy laws to help people of all ages and backgrounds. Bankruptcy laws are often criticized by people who have little or no knowledge of them. However, we see first-hand, every day, how the bankruptcy laws help people through some of their toughest times.

bankruptcy lawsCongress enacted the “Bankruptcy Code” in 1978. The Bankruptcy Code, which is codified as title 11 of the United States Code, is the uniform federal law that governs all bankruptcy cases. What many people don’t know is that the concept of “bankruptcy law” has been around for much longer than that. In fact ancient Hebrew laws referenced in the Bible said that a person’s debts should be forgiven every seven years.

There is a bankruptcy court for each judicial district in the country. Each state has one or more districts. In West Virginia there is a bankruptcy court for both the Northern and Southern Districts. In Pennsylvania there three districts: The Western, Middle and Eastern.
Bankruptcy laws and cases are decided by a United States Bankruptcy Judge. Bankruptcy judges are appointed for 14-year terms. Most people who file for relief under the bankruptcy code will never see or meet the bankruptcy judge in their district. Most matters, especially in a Chapter 7, are administrative and overseen by an attorney appointed to manage the case. This attorney is called a Trustee.

Typically, the only hearing at which a debtor must appear is called a meeting of creditors. This meeting is informally called a “341 meeting” because section 341 of the Bankruptcy Law requires that the debtor attend this meeting so that creditors can question the debtor about debts and property. Despite the name, creditors rarely show up at the hearings. The hearings are usually very brief and an experienced attorney, like the ones at Hinkle Law, will make the process easy.

The primary purpose of the federal bankruptcy law is to give debtors a financial “fresh start” from their debts. This purpose is achieved by attaining a bankruptcy discharge. Most debts are discharged in a bankruptcy. When a debt is discharged under bankruptcy law, it means that you no longer have to pay the debt. In cannot be legally collected from you.
At Hinkle Law, we can help you better understand the bankruptcy laws and explain your options. We help hundreds of people each year discharge millions of dollars worth of debt. We can help you too. Contact us for a free consultation.