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Today's tough economic times have left millions of people dealing with serious financial difficulties. Bankruptcy is an option available to most people to eliminate most, if not all, of their financial distress. Get some peace of mind now. Contact attorney James Ealley today at 410-535-2200 or for a free Bankruptcy consultation.

Maryland Bankruptcy Attorneys

Facing an issue of home foreclosure, car repossession, garnishment, credit card debt or divorce can be an overwhelming experience. It is hard enough to deal with the financial and emotional impact of these kinds of issues. Add to it a complicated legal process, and it is easy to find yourself unsure of what to do. Fortunately, a skilled attorney can explain your options and help you make wise decisions. At The James D. Ealley Law Firm, we understand what you are going through. Our attorneys will help you find peace of mind by making the process easy to understand.

Payment plans are available. Also, in a Chapter 13, a portion of the attorney fee can be put into the Chapter 13 Plan, to be paid over the 3 to 5 years of the Plan. The Court also allows for the filing fee to be paid in four monthly installments.

Filing for bankruptcy can:

  • Stop home foreclosure/Save your house
  • Stop car repossessions
  • Stop wage garnishments
  • Stop lawsuits
  • Eliminate credit card debt
  • Eliminate medical debt
  • Stop creditor harassment
  • Stop evictions
  • Protect your security clearance
  • Eliminate certain tax debt
  • Remove 2nd mortgages in certain cirscumstances
  • Reduce vehicle payoffs and interest rates in certain cirscumstances

More information on Bankruptcy solutions:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (Personal and Business)

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, most (or all) of your debt is eliminated. This includes credit cards debt, medical bills, personal loans, foreclosure and repossession deficiencies, utility bills and some tax debt. Chapter 7 can be used to surrender houses and vehicles without having to pay the remaining balances owed.

Most people do not lose any property in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Each person who files for Bankruptcy can exempt up to $12,000 worth of equity in property. The exemptions are used to protect household belongings, jewelry, tools, hobby equipment, equity in vehicles, etc. There is also a homestead exemption in the amount of $21,625 that can be used to protect equity in your home. Note that the exemptions are not necessary for property encumbered by liens. For example, if you have a vehicle with a Blue Book value of $20,000 that has a loan balance of $22,000, then there is no equity in the vehicle. Therefore, the exemptions are not needed to protect the vehicle. So long as you remain current on the payments, you will be able to keep the vehicle.

If you have a vehicle with a Blue Book value of $10,000, and a loan balance in the amount of $8,000, there is $2,000 worth of equity in the vehicle. By using your exemptions to protect the $2,000 in equity, you get to keep the car. Note that in order to keep the car, you must stay current on the car payments.
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For more information, see our FAQs page.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

STOP FORECLOSURE BY FILING CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY. Chapter 13 is a payment-plan Bankruptcy. It is designed to allow you to keep your property, while paying your creditors at least a portion of what they are owed. One of the most common uses of Chapter 13 is to pay back past due payments on mortgages and car loans. For example, if you are $10,000 behind on mortgage payments, filing a Chapter 13 will give you up to 5 years to pay back the $10,000.

Unsecured creditors, such as credit cards and medical bills, only get paid a percentage of what they are owed in a Chapter 13. That percentage is based on what the Court determines you can afford to pay. At the end of the Chapter 13, whatever is left owing on the unsecured debt is eliminated, just like in a Chapter 7.

There are other advantages to a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, including:

Stripping a Second Mortgage Off of Your Home: If the balance on your first mortgage is more than the value of your home, you can strip a second mortgage off of the home. The balance owed on the second mortgage then becomes an unsecured debt. The second mortgage lender will then only get paid the same percentage as the other unsecured creditors.

Reducing the Pay-Off and Interest Rates on Car Loans: If your car was purchased more than 2.5 years before filing a Chapter 13, you can reduce the loan pay-off amount to the fair market value of the vehicle. Even if the car was purchased within 2.5 years of filing the Chapter 13, you can still reduce the interest rate on the car to around 4.75%. In either scenario, the new amount and interest rate that is determined to be owed on the loan is spread out over the life of the Chapter 13 Plan. For many people, the monthly payment on the car loan is more than cut-in-half by using this method.
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The truth about common myths of Bankruptcy:

I will lose my property in Bankruptcy. The truth is most people that file Bankruptcy are able to keep all of their property, this includes houses and cars. Most property in Bankruptcy is exempt and protected from recovery by creditors. Typically, as long as you keep making the payments on houses and cars you want to keep, you will not lose them.

Personal taxes are not dischargeable in Bankruptcy. The fact is that certain taxes are indeed dischargeable in Bankruptcy. A review of your personal tax debts will allow us to determine which taxes are, and are not, dischargeable through Bankruptcy. For taxes that are not dischargeable, you may have the option of using a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to create a payback period of up to 5 years.

I will never get credit again. You will be able to get credit again. Many people who go through Bankruptcy are able to obtain new credit in as little as 6 months, and be in the position to purchase a car or home within 1 to 2 years following your Bankruptcy filing. Remember, the most important thing following the filing of a Bankruptcy is what you do in the months and years following the filing. As long as you pay your bills on time and continue with steady employment, you will be able to obtain credit again.

I can only file for Bankruptcy once in my life. You can file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy again as long as it has been at least 8 years since receiving your last Bankruptcy discharge. Even if it is too soon for you to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy again, you may still be able to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy will affect my spouse. So long as you do not have joint debt with your spouse, your spouse's credit is generally not affected by your Bankruptcy.

I can choose which debts I include in my Bankruptcy. You must list all of your debts in your Bankruptcy, including debts you plan to keep paying, such as mortgages and car payments. Even though all of your personal debt may be discharged in Bankruptcy, you can still choose to voluntarily repay any particular debts.

Filing for Bankruptcy is a terrible thing to do. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world. The fact is there are things that happen that are out of your control. When the debt becomes unmanageable, steps must be taken to get back on track. Bankruptcy was created for that purpose. In even considering filing for Bankruptcy, you have taken the first positive step to dealing with your financial problems and creating a fresh start for you and your family.
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What documents will I need to file for bankruptcy?

The following documents are required in order to file Bankruptcy:

  • 6 months of paystubs for you and your spouse, even if your spouse is not filing
  • Last 4 years of federal and state tax returns (Note: For a Chapter 7, only the most recent year is required). If returns are not available, transcripts should be ordered from the IRS and State Comptroller
  • Awards letters for any Social Security, Pension, Retirement and Disability income. Prior year 1099s will not be accepted. Information on ordering a Social Security benefit award letter is available at Social Security Administration
  • If you are self-employed, profit-and-loss statements covering the previous 3 months. Here's a sample profit-and-loss statement
  • Recent bank statement for all bank accounts
  • Certificate of completion of a credit counseling course. This required, 1.5 hour online course is available at
  • Completed questionnaire provided by attorney
  • Driver's License and Social Security Card. Replacement Social Security cards can be requested at Social Security Administration

For more information, see our FAQs page.

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