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Difficult and Hardship Cases Accepted for Chapters 7 & 13
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Client Comments

I highly recommend the office of Bruce Lamb for anyone who is considering Bankruptcy. Mr. Lamb carefully explained my bankruptcy and non bankruptcy options to me prior to my making any decision, worked with me with a low fee and a payment plan, and his concern for my case and professionalism exceeded my expectations. ~~ J.B.

Bruce Lamb is the lawyer you need to speak with about bankrupcy. He worked with me with a low fee and a payment plan, gave clear answers to my questions throughout the case so my case could be concluded without delays. You will find that he is a hard worker and cares about his clients and cases. ~~ C.B.

Excellent lawyer who took the time to explain all of my options before I made any decisions and met with me on a weekend to stop a wage atttachment. He is very knowledgeable. ~~ R.S.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as a straight bankruptcy, is a liquidation proceeding. The debtor turns over all non exempt assets to the bankruptcy trustee who then converts it to cash for distribution to the creditors. The debtor receives a discharge of all dischargeable debts usually within four months. Our Chapter 7 Discharge Rate is almost 100%. In the majority of bankurptcy cases the debtor does not possess assets that exceed available exemptions so the would not lose any assets. This makes chapter 7 a desirable option as it will give that person a relatively prompt fresh start.

One of the primary purposes of Bankruptcy Law is to give a person, who is hopelessly overwhelmed with a large amount of by wiping out or discharging the debts. By law all actions against a debtor must stop once the documents are filed with the court.. This includes lawsuits, wage garnishment, repossessions, telephone collections, utility disconnects. Typical debts which are discharged include utilities, credit cards, medical bills, unsecured judgments, repossession's, personal loans and pay day debts. Typical debts which are not discharged include, child support, student loans, tickets and most taxes. The debtor must continue making payments on secured debts they are keeping such as house and car that are secured by liens..

The Maryland Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Time Sequence

Upon acceptance of your case, we will prepare a 30 to 40 page document that will include your bankruptcy petition, means test, bankruptcy schedules, statement of financial affairs and your declarations. You will then have an opportunity to review and sign documents to be filed with the court. You take a required credit class over the phone or internet. We then file your case electronically with the court from our office. The bankruptcy court clerk sends out a notice of the filing and schedules a creditors hearing. The debtor is requried to take a second and final financial management class over phone or internet. Approximatley About 30 days after case is filed with the court. you will be requried to attend to hearing with your leawyer which is called the meeting or creditor's hearing with a hearing officer known as a trustee. The trustee will have reeviewed your bankruptcy petition and verbally asks the same questions asked in the paperwork. Approximately 60-70 days after the bankruptcy meeting the court will mail your discharge. which is a court order discharing yoru debtor.

Maryland Chapter 13 Lawyer

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a reorganization bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed by individuals who want to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years. A chapter 13 can be filed if you are behind on your mortgage or car loan, and want to make up the missed payments over time and reinstate the original agreement. A chapter 13 can be filed for individuals who make too much to qualify for chapter 7 or are ineligible for chapter 7 because of a previous filing. A chapter 13 is a 3 to five years case it is more expensive than chapter 7. However most of the attorney fees can be included in the repayment plan. We can give you a quote over the phone.

Bruce Lamb, Esquire
University of Baltimore J.D.
Johns Hopkins University MLA
Loyola University B.S.

Frequently asked questions:

What is a chapter 13 bankruptcy?

A chapter 13 bankruptcy, sometimes called a wage-earner's bankruptcy, allows a debtor to pay off a portion of his or her unsecured debts over a period of time, usually three to five years. If a debtor is making payments on a house or car to a bank or mortgage company, a chapter 13 bankruptcy usually allows the debtor to keep the property and continue making payments.

What is a chapter 11 bankruptcy?

A chapter 11 bankruptcy is a complex process used for extremely large businesses.

What is the chapter 7 bankruptcy means test?

The chapter 7 bankruptcy means test is a calculation of the debtor's income relative to the median income of the state in which he or she resides. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is only available to debtors earning less than the median income in their state for families of a given size. In Maryland, for example, a single debtor must earn less than $54,000 per year to take advantage of a chapter 7 bamkruptcy.

How is chapter 7 bankruptcy posted on an credit report?

A bankruptcy can neither hurt nor help your credit score, as, by law, your score is frozen the instant you file for bankruptcy.

What is chapter 7 bankruptcy exempt property?

Since the objective of bankrupcty is to give a debtor a fresh start, the law recognizes the need for a debtor to keep certain essential property. A workman, for instance, can usually claim the tools of his (or her)trade as exampt property, but exemptions are not limited to tools of the trade. The rules for exempting property are complex and vary from state, so a bankruptcy lawyer can help you to understand what property is exempt.

What are chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions are broad categories of property that can be exempted, together with dollar amounts for maximum exemptions. In Maryland, a debtor may exempt household goods up to a value of $1000; a bankruptcy attorney can explain which exemptions apply in your chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

What are chapter 7 bankruptcy forms?

Chapter 7 banktuptcy forms are standard schedules compiled by the bankruptcy court. Various schedules list your assets, your income, your expenses, etc.

How can you file for bankruptcy without a lawyer?

It is not a good idea to file a bankruptcy wihtout a lawyer because of the complications that can arise.

What happens during the bankruptcy consultation?

During the bankruptcy consultation, your attorney will ask you details of your financial situation, including your family size, income, expenses, assets, and debts in order to gain a complete picture of your finances.

Free bankruptcy help?

Generally free bankruptcy help is provided by non lawyers that may not be able to provide the very best answers.

cheap bankruptcy lawyers

Cheap bankruptcy lawyers are attorneys whose fees fall at the low end of the accepted range for lawyers in a given area.

bankruptcy free consultation

A bankrtuptcy free consultation is an interview, undertaken without a fee, concerning your financial situation

Is a cheap bankruptcy any good?

A cheap bankruptcy is not necessarily inferior. Many factors enter into the computation of an attorney's fee, including location, office expenses, and the volume of the attorney's business.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney?

A chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney is a lawyer who specializes in filing chapter 7 bankruptcies for total liquidation of debt.

Common Bankruptcy Terms

Mitigation - Reduction of a penalty or of a punishment.

Murder - The unlawful killing of a man or women with deliberate intent to kill. Murder in the first degree requires a thought premeditation , murder in the second degree is characterized by a sudden and instantaneous intent to kill or to cause injury without caring whether the injury kills or not.

Motion to Seal - A motion to hide records from public inspection.

Mutuality - A meeting of the minds of contracting parties concerning the material terms of the agreement.

Nolo Contendere - A plea of no contest through which the defendant does not admit guilt, but which has the same legal effect as a plea of guilty in a criminal case. However, the no contest plea may not be used in a civil action related to the criminal charge to prove the defendant's civil liability. As a matter of policy, a plea of nolo contendere for a traffic citation that resulted from an accident cannot be used to convince a judge in a civil case that the defendant is guilty of causing an accident.

Non-jury trial - A case in which a judge determines the facts as well as the law.

Notice - Formal statement to the party that has been sued that a civil lawsuit has been filed. Also, any form of notification of a legal proceeding or filing of a document.

Notice of Lis Pendens - A notice to advise all persons that the title to certain property is in litigation, and that if they purchase or lease that property they are in danger of being bound by an adverse judgment. The notice is for the purpose of preserving rights pending litigation.

No Probable Cause - Insufficient grounds to hold a person who was arrested.

Personal Jurisdiction - Power over the defendant's person required before a court can enter a judgment affecting the defendant's rights.

Personal Property - Tangible physical property such as cars, clothing, jewelry, and furniture and intangible personal property such as bank accounts. Personal property does not include real property such as land or rights in land.

Nuisance - An unreasonable, unlawful, or unwarranted use of one's property that annoys, inconveniences, or disturbs another in the use of his or her property. Violation of an ordinance that forbids annoyance of the public in general.

Nunc Pro Tunc - An entry made in the present but having the same effect as if it were done on a prior date.

Nuncupative Will - An unwritten oral will.

Oaths - Sworn promises required in court, usually administered by the in-court clerk.

Objection - Attempt by a party to prevent the introduction of evidence or the use of a procedure at a hearing. An objection is either sustained allowed or overruled by the judge.

Offense - A violation of a state statute or municipal ordinance.

Party - A person, business, government agency, or organization involved in the prosecution or defense of a legal proceeding.

Patent - The exclusive right to sell or make an invention for a term of years.

Peremptory Challenge - The right to challenge a prospective juror or a judge without assigning a reason for the challenge.

Perjury - The criminal offense of utterning a false statement under oath.

Necessarily Included Offense - A preliminary offense logically required to commit another offense, the latter is a necessarily included offense , sometimes referred to as lesser included offense.

Negligence - Failure to exercise the same degree of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances.

Next Friend - Person acting without formal appointment as guardian for the benefit of an infant, a person of unsound mind not judicially declared incompetent, or other person under some disability.

No-Fault Proceedings - A civil case in which parties may resolve their dispute without a formal finding of fault or error.

No-Contest Clause - Language in a will cutting a person who challenges the will out of any inheritance.

Nolle Prosequi - Decision by a prosecutor not to prosecute, though the case may still be reopened within the time allowed by law.

Permanent Injunction - A court order unlimited by time requiring that some action be taken or that some party refrain from taking action.

Penalty Assessment - Procedure in which traffic offender is allowed to mail in a fine or plead guilty by mail. Points may be assessed against the person's driving record for penalty assessment offenses.

Per Se Law - In the Motor Vehicle Code, a per se crime is operating a vehicle when the driver has a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater, as established through a valid testing procedure. No proof is required to show that the defendant was under the influence since the law concludes that driving with a blood alcohol content BAC of .08 or greater is driving while intoxicated. DWI can be proved by other evidence even if a defendant's BAC is less than .08.

Offer - A willingness to the offeree that the offeror is willing to enter into a bargain that is definite and certain in its terms and is communicated to the offeree. Once accepted, the offer is transformed into a contractual obligation.

Offeree - The person receiving an offer.

Offeror - The person receiving an offer.

Opening Statement - The first statement made by attorneys for each side, outlining the facts each intends to establish during the trial.

Oral Argument - A summary of each lawyer's position before the court.

Order - A written or oral command from a court forbidding or directing an action.

Opinion - A judge's written explanation of a decision a majority of judges. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority opinion because of the reasoning or the principles of law on which the decision is based. A concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the court but offers further comment or different reasoning. A per curiam opinion is an unsigned opinion of the court.''

Ordinance - A law adopted by the governing body of a county or municipality.

Overrule - A judge's decision not to permit an objection. Also, a decision by a higher court finding that a lower court decision was in error.

Parol Evidence - Oral evidence outside the four corners of any written contract. Parol evidence cannot trump a written expression, but it may be used to clarify the terms of a contract.

Parol Evidence Rule - When a written agreement is intended to be a complete and final document, then the terms of the agreement cannot be altered by evidence of oral parol agreements that purport to change or contradict the written agreement.

Parens Patriae - The doctrine under which the court stands in the shoes of parents to protect the interests of a juvenile.

Parole - The conditional supervised release of a prisoner before the expiration of his or her sentence. If the parolee observes the conditions, he or she need not serve the rest of his or her term.

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The content of this site does not form an attorney client relationship and not decision should be made without retaining an attorney. © Bruce Lamb, 2012