Hatch, Little & Bunn, LLP's bankruptcy specialist, Douglas Q. Wickham, has over three decades experience assisting clients resolve their debt problems. He and his staff give each matter the personal attention it needs to achieve the best possible result for each of our clients. He assists both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy courts in the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina, and is board certified to assist on bankruptcies involving:
You need an attorney to represent your interests
It has never been more important to have a Raleigh bankrutpcy attorney's help. Bankruptcy in any form is a very serious legal matter that demands the utmost in personal attention. "We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code”.
Attorney Wickham has over 30 years experience assisting individual and business clients. When he moved to Raleigh in 1987, the North Carolina State Bar immediately certified him as a bankruptcy specialist for both business and consumer clients.
An initial consultation with attorney Wickham is free.
We understand that financial difficulties are usually the result of things that happen to you. Loss of a job, divorce, uninsured medical expenses, and business disasters are the chief causes of debt that you cannot resolve.
If you have debt that you simply cannot pay, or if the payments you send no longer cause the amount of debt to go down, you should seriously consider obtaining a fresh start with the help of a bankruptcy discharge. Although bankruptcy is a fact in your credit history for 7 to 10 years, most people who file bankruptcy can obtain normal credit in much less time. As few things are extremely important to know:
- You no longer have the debt that has been discharged
- Bad payment history is no longer recent
- If you have been able to live within your income after the bankruptcy filing, you will probably have some savings as well
Choosing the path best for you
There are two Chapters which individuals may use to resolve their debts — Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
The most common and useful filing for individual bankruptcy is under Chapter 7. Under this chapter Debtors keep all property protected by exemptions. Most Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy cases result in the debtor keeping all of his or her property. If there is non-exempt property, the Trustee will turn that property into cash and pay it to creditors. The debtor receives a discharge of debt and moves on with life.
Another option available to individuals is Chapter 13 which is more like a personal reorganization. Under this chapter the net household disposable income is paid to a Trustee who, in turn, distributes the money to creditors who file proofs of claim. Chapter 13 cases run from 36 to 60 months, and upon completion of the case remaining unpaid debt is discharged. Chapter 13 is best suited to people whose mix of debts includes arrears in their home mortgage. High income households may not be eligible for Chapter 7 but may still discharge substantial debt by successfully completing a Chapter 13. Filing Chapter 13 will:
- Stop a foreclosure
- Often provide enough protected time to bring the mortgage current and deal with all other debts that may be present
Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code provides a means for incorporated businesses and higher income individuals to reorganize their financial affairs while being protected against creditors poised to seize their property or close their doors.
When there is a plan to return the business to a profitable state, a Chapter 11 filing can protect the business and give it time to execute that plan. Under Chapter 11:
- Management of the business remains in place, but must operate the business with interests of the creditors in mind
- Monthly reports to the court are required and quarterly fees must be paid to the court
- The Bankruptcy Administrator for the district exercises oversight while the case is open
Often, the debts of a business can become the debts of its owners as well. There can be personal guarantees, owners may have incurred large personal credit card debts, and there may be unpaid taxes as well. In these situations, only an attorney experienced in both business and personal debt relief can advise the business owners about the full range of their options.
Learn more and set up an initial free consultation
We invite you to review some of the frequently asked questions about bankruptcy on this site. More importantly, whether you are a consumer or a business owner, you can obtain a free initial consultation with Attorney Douglas Q. Wickham.
Serving North Carolina clients for more than 50 years
Hatch, Little & Bunn, LLP has provided comprehensive legal services to individuals and businesses in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park, Wake County and throughout North Carolina from offices by the state capitol for over half a century. Our attorneys are licensed to practice before all North Carolina state and federal courts. Call (919) 899-9827 today, or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys about your concerns.