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Get back to the life you want to live.

A life free from debt.

Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Together we'll find the right option for you

It’s with you constantly. The feeling that you can never get out from under the mountain of credit cards, medical bills, and other debt. You go to bed worried about where the next mortgage or car payment is going to come from. You wake up the next day dreading the constant calls or fear that another lawsuit is coming. You’re tired of seeing your family go without while you struggle to keep the creditors at bay. Enough is enough.

Bankruptcy offers the opportunity to be free. To be free of the constant worry, stress, and sleepless nights. To finally put a stop to the constant calls, collection letters, and lawsuits. It can even help stop foreclosures and give you breathing room to catch up on your mortgage, car payments, student loans, and tax debt.

My goal is to get you back to the life you want to live.  A life free from debt and a life you can enjoy. A life where you can start saving for retirement, the next vacation, or your next home. To be able to finally rest easy knowing that you can afford your child’s next field trip or that unexpected car repair.

From the initial consultation, to the meeting with the case trustee, and to discharge, I personally guide you to the fresh start you deserve! 

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

By and far the most common form, chapter 7 bankruptcies comprise about 70% of filings each year and generally take only four months to complete. While chapter 7 bankruptcies are often referred to as a “straight liquidation bankruptcy,” most filers retain all of their property through exemptions. In turn, unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, and past-due utility bills) is wiped out. Civil judgments often can often be eliminated too. But in order to take advantage of a chapter 7, filers must first pass the “means test.” By reviewing your annual gross income and household size, we can quickly determine whether you qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you don’t, fear not! A chapter 13 bankruptcy may be filed instead.

Frequently asked questions about chapter 7 bankruptcy

How long does a chapter 7 bankruptcy take?
Chapter 7 bankruptcies generally last four months from filing the petition to discharge. Sometimes a trustee will hold a case open to collect tax refunds or non-exempt property, but you will still receive your discharge four months from filing the petition.
What property can I keep in a chapter 7 bankruptcy?
For individuals filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, Indiana law allows them to keep $19,300 in equity in a home, $10,250 worth of personal property, and $400 in cash at the time of filing. These amounts are doubled for married couples filing jointly. Keep in mind though that personal property is not valued at retail prices, but rather what a willing buyer would pay for them (often garage-sale or Craigslist prices). This is how many filers are about to keep all of their property in a bankruptcy.
How much debt do I need to file chapter 7 bankruptcy?
There is no minimum amount of debt required to file chapter 7 bankruptcy. Nor is there a maximum amount of debt that can be included in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Can I keep my car and home in a chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Yes. In most cases, filers in a chapter 7 bankruptcy either owe more than what the property is worth or their interest in the property is exempt. This means that the trustee will not take the property. BUT, you should be current on the payments. If not, lenders may request the bankruptcy court terminate the special protections afforded by bankruptcy and either repossess the property or sue you.
How much does a chapter 7 bankruptcy cost?

The cost to file chapter 7 bankruptcy can vary from attorney-to-attorney. When searching for an attorney, always ask what services their attorney fees cover. As I guide filers completely through the case from start-to-finish, my fee for a chapter 7 bankruptcy is a flat $1,600 regardless of whether it is a single or joint filing. This amount can paid in installments prior to filing. To keep things simple, this amount includes the court’s filing fee of $335 and the cost of obtaining your credit reports electronically (which saves you time and a ream of paper).

What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for those who have a regular source of income. Filers are allowed to keep their property, but propose a plan to repay a portion of their debt back in monthly payments over 36-60 months. This plan is subject to court approval. A trustee is appointed to collect and disburse the plan payments to creditors. While paying back a portion of the debt may sound unattractive, a chapter 13 has certain benefits not available in a chapter 7, such as stopping foreclosures and repossessions by allowing past-due payments to be caught up. It also allows for tax debt and past-due student loans to be spread out over a longer period and payments on terms often more favorable than what the IRS or lenders offer.

Frequently asked questions about chapter 13 bankruptcy

How long does a chapter 13 bankruptcy last?
Chapter 13 bankruptcies can last upwards of 60 months. The actual plan period depends on a variety of factors: whether the filer is above or below the median income, their disposable monthly income, amount of non-exempt property, and amount of claims filed by creditors in the case. So, while a plan may initially propose payments from 36 to 60 months, it’s quite possible for a chapter 13 bankruptcy to end much earlier.
What property can I keep in a chapter 13 bankruptcy?
All of your property! That’s one of the benefits of a chapter 13 bankruptcy. Since filers are proposing a plan to repay some or all of their debt using their disposable income, they are allowed to keep their property.
Can a chapter 13 bankruptcy help stop a foreclosure, sheriff's sale, or repossession?
Yes. A chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure or repossession provided that the arrearage is addressed and funded in a chapter 13 plan. Not only can it halt a sheriff’s sale or force a lender to return a car, but chapter 13 bankruptcy allows filers an opportunity to catch up on their past-due payments. These payments can be stretched out over 60 months.
How much does a chapter 13 bankruptcy cost?

Again, cost can vary from attorney-to-attorney. Since I am involved in every step for upwards of 60 months, my fee is a flat $3,750 which includes the filing fee to the court. Generally, only $1,000 is required to file your case. The remaining balance is be paid through the life of your chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. This makes chapter 13 an affordable option and has the added benefit of reducing what you would otherwise owe to your creditors over the life of your chapter 13 plan. As a reminder, when comparing costs, always be sure to ask what exactly is included in the attorney’s services.

Can I include my student loans and tax debt in a chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Absolutely! Chapter 13 offers the opportunity to spread past-due student loan payments and tax debt out over 36-60 months and often on terms more favorable than what the government offers. Additionally, priority tax debt is paid in full before other creditors, which could reduce the amount you would otherwise have to pay towards credit cards and medical debt.

What You Can Expect

Personal guidance through the entire process

How can bankruptcy help me?

Bankruptcy offers real relief

Relief from the constant calls and letters

The moment your case is filed, creditors are prohibited from continuing collection efforts; meaning that the calls, letters, lawsuits, and other efforts stop.

Relief from garnishments

Creditors are prohibited from continuing to garnish your wages. Notice is sent to the court which issued the garnishment order and to your HR/payroll department (if you wish) to ensure that the wage garnishment ceases.

Relief from judgment liens

In Indiana, judgments automatically become liens on real estate owned in the county in which the judgment was rendered. In many cases judgments can be avoided so that you can emerge with clear title to your real estate.

Relief from foreclosure

Facing a foreclosure? A chapter 13 bankruptcy may stop the foreclosure or sheriff’s sale in its tracks. Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers the ability to make up the past-due payments for a period up to 60 months.

Relief from repossessions

Have a car that was recently repossessed? Chapter 13 bankruptcy offer the ability to regain possession of the car and the opportunity to make up the past-due payments. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow any sale deficiency balances to be discharged like any other unsecured debt.

Relief from credit card and medical debt

Medical debt is treated the same as other general unsecured debt, such as credit cards and charge accounts, and can be discharged in either a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Relief from suspension of driving privileges

In Indiana, unpaid judgments from car accidents can result in the suspension of your driving privileges. In many cases, bankruptcy offers the opportunity to discharge the judgment and get your license back.

Relief from excessive student loan and tax payments

Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides the ability to structure student loan and tax payments over a period of up to 60 months while keeping collection efforts at bay.

What clients have to say...

Real clients. Real relief.

Keli Linn

Matt is easy to work with. He has walked with me step by step through this difficult time. He is non-judgmental and very informative. He is always available for questions and gets back to me promptly for questions I have. I would recommend him to any of my friends.

Mark Rosenberger

I’m very pleased with the service that I received. Mr Cree treated me with professionalism and respect. It was more like having a friend at your side as opposed to just a lawyer. I would highly recommend his firm.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say to you, Matt, thank you for everything.

Lindsay Pence

Matt Cree is very efficient and helpful in a process that is so unfamiliar. He made a stressful situation seem easy and painless with his promptness in answering any questions or concerns. I would recommend him and his firm to anyone seeking councel in the bankruptcy process.

Laura Morgan

Matthew was very helpful and comforting in a very stressful situation. He explained all of my options and every step of the process. He kept in contact with me throughout the process and answered any questions I had very quickly. I have had something come up months after my bankruptcy and Matthew was quick to help me get it resolved. Definitely recommend him!

Angel Micks

I was referred to Mr. Cree from a dear friend of mine. He took time out of his busy day to review my concern and offered me with suggestions on what I should try and do. Absolutely an amazing man and knowing that there are still kind hearted people out here to lend a helping hand. Definitely my go-to man if I ever need him again.

Rodney Hobbs

Excellent and prompt work received in regards to my legal matters. If in need of future legal service I plan on contacting attorney Matt Cree for advice and legal representation.

Michael McNeill

Matthew made the whole process seem very simple and easy. Any questions I had you responded very quickly with answers I needed. I definitely recommend Matthew if you need a quality bankruptcy lawyer.

Tasha Sears

Matt was very friendly and helpful. He was always ready to answer questions and communicated effectively. I would highly recommend him!

Jessica Strange

I retained Mr. Cree for several personal matters and have always found him to be courteous, kind, knowledgeable, accessible, and responsive to my communications. No one looks forward to navigating legal waters, but Mr. Cree makes situations far less stressful with his demeanor, his way of explaining complicated issues and his no nonsense approach to finding fair solutions. Highly recommended.

Theresa Smith

My husband and I had a wonderful experience with Mr. Cree. He went out of his way to assist us smoothly through the bankruptcy process.

Debi Green

I would highly recommend Matthew Cree! He was informative, knowledgable, and always ready to answer my never-ending questions. Matt gives you a feeling of comfort that is necessary during this process.

Vickie Watt

I came to Matt for help and understanding of the situation I was in. Matt was very kind and caring. He listened to me and right away was concerned and wanted to help me to resolve my problem.

I would recommend the Law Office of Matthew Cree to anyone who needs help or guidance in their needs. Matt always kept me well informed by emails or phone with any questions or concerns regarding my situation. Thank you Matt for everything that you have done for me. I can finally smile again.

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