Johnstown Debt Relief and Bankruptcy FAQs

1. What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy serves as a legal solution for individuals, families, or businesses facing insurmountable debt. The Western District of Pennsylvania, covering Pittsburgh, Erie, and Johnstown, is where our expertise lies. By filing for bankruptcy, debtors can find a way to start fresh with ease. Our court in Cambria County and Johnstown has specific local rules in place, making it vital to have a knowledgeable Johnstown debt relief attorney by your side for guidance.

Declaring bankruptcy offers debtors protection against their creditors, aiming to alleviate the burden of debt collection and creditor harassment.

2. How does bankruptcy work?

To start the bankruptcy process, you need to submit a petition to the Western District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Court. This petition should contain your financial information, a comprehensive list of your assets and debts, your income and expenses, and other pertinent details. Once the petition is filed, an automatic stay will be put in place. This stay will prevent creditors from taking any further collection actions, such as filing lawsuits, garnishing your wages, or making incessant harassing calls for payment.

Make the right choice for your bankruptcy needs with the guidance of your Johnstown Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 attorney. They will carefully assess your financial situation to determine the most suitable bankruptcy chapter for you. With Chapter 7, your case can be discharged in just 2 months after review by the Trustee. In Chapter 13, you will continue making payments for the duration of your plan term (36-60 months) as determined by the Chapter 13 Trustee. Once the bankruptcy process is complete, eligible debts may be discharged, relieving you from personal liability and preventing creditors from pursuing further collections.

3. What are the different types of bankruptcy?

There are different types of bankruptcy proceedings in Johnstown, but the most common ones include:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Unsecured debts can be discharged, relieving the debtor of their legal obligation to repay them.
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: This type of bankruptcy is a popular choice for businesses seeking to reorganize their debts and operations while keeping their business running. This process enables businesses to repay their creditors gradually, while also developing strategies to restructure the company and reduce expenses.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Streamline your path to debt relief with Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Designed for individuals with a consistent income, this approach allows you to restructure your debts and regain financial stability. Let our experienced Johnstown Bankruptcy Attorney guide you through the process by crafting a personalized Chapter 13 Plan. By creating a feasible repayment plan spanning three to five years, you can gradually repay your creditors. Once the plan is successfully executed, any remaining qualifying debts can be discharged, offering you a fresh start.

Debt Discharge: The ability to have your debts discharged and eliminated is one of the main advantages of filing for bankruptcy. Your Johnstown bankruptcy lawyer will evaluate your situation, but many debtors have their credit card debt, personal loans, medical expenses, and other unsecured debts discharged.

Automatic Stay: When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is imposed that stops the majority of collection efforts by creditors. As a result, debt collectors must immediately cease phone calls, legal actions, wage garnishments, and other debt collection efforts.

Repayment Plans: For those declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 13 or Chapter 11, having the option to develop a court-approved repayment plan can be advantageous. This enables you to consolidate and restructure your debts and develop a longer-term payment plan that is easier to manage.

 Protection of Assets: By utilizing your bankruptcy exemptions, you can likely keep possession of valuable assets while still paying off duties.

Fresh Financial Start: Filing for bankruptcy can give you a financial fresh start by allowing you to get rid of or restructure debts that have gotten out of control.

Our Johnstown Bankruptcy Attorneys will assess your assets thoroughly before filing. Rest assured, most Debtors retain all of their belongings, from houses to retirement accounts. Our team is well-versed in the exemptions for property in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Don’t hesitate to call and speak with our knowledgeable Johnstown Team.

Any Johnstown Bankruptcy Lawyer will find this a difficult question. The response is “yes” for a lot of clients. Credit card, personal loan, medical, and utility past due balances are typically dischargeable. Child support, current taxes, mortgages, and auto loans are examples of debts that cannot be discharged. However, this does not mean that bankruptcy cannot help with these forms of debts. You may be able to pay off these debts under Chapter 13 with a more reasonable 60-month payment plan. Call us today to discuss your financial situation and choose the best course of action for debt relief.

In general, bankruptcy-related information might last for a while on a credit report. The normal time frames for each bankruptcy type in the US are as follows:

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can stay on your credit report for up to ten years from the filing date.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: Bankruptcy under Chapter 13 can remain on your credit report for up to 7 years from the filing date.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy: Bankruptcy under Chapter 11, which is typically utilized by businesses, can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years after the date of filing.

Updates to credit reports and the removal of incorrect information are the responsibility of credit reporting organizations. Normally, the reporting period begins on the filing date rather than the discharge date.

You may file more than once, yes. Before declaring bankruptcy a second time, there are some timing requirements that need to be examined by your Johnstown bankruptcy attorney. Here is a brief guide on declaring bankruptcy more than once.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – You must wait eight years before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again if you previously did so and received a discharge. Remember that the crucial date is eight years from your previous filing date, not discharge date. Four years after submitting your prior Chapter 7 filing, you can be qualified to submit a Chapter 13.

In most cases, personal loans or credit cards are the types of unsecured debt that are discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You qualify for Chapter 7 based on your income. You or your family can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy in Johnstown and receive a fresh financial start if your income is below the established limit and you do not have any assets over the permitted exemption. You often have the option of keeping your home, car, and retirement funds. It is crucial to have a Johnstown bankruptcy attorney on your side while analyzing your finances to decide whether Chapter 7 is the best course of action.

With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can create a payment schedule to pay off your debts. The payment plan may cover back taxes, mortgage arrears (due to a foreclosure), prevent a repossession, or just lower the total amount of unsecured debt you owe. To ensure that your chapter 13 plan gives you the greatest possible financial fresh start, our Johnstown bankruptcy team has a thorough understanding of the local laws and procedures.

Unless you can prove “undue hardship,” student loans are not easily discharged in bankruptcy. The standards for demonstrating excessive hardship might differ and be fairly stringent.

To discharge student loans in the United States based on undue hardship, you must file an adversary proceeding.

It is difficult to prove undue hardship. To establish whether the borrower meets the requirements for an undue hardship, courts frequently employ several tests, such as the “Brunner test” or the “totality of the circumstances” test.

It’s crucial to remember that student loan discharges through bankruptcy based on undue hardship are rather uncommon. However, filing for bankruptcy might offer other advantages, such as relief from other kinds of debt or the chance to make a repayment plan for debt management, which could help free up funds to pay off student loan obligations.

YES. In Johnstown and Cambria County, bankruptcy can indeed end creditor harassment and collection activities. When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay halts creditors’ collection efforts. Additionally, the automatic stay prevents utility terminations or shutoffs for Equitable Gas, Duquesne Light, or any other service providers. A sheriff sale, foreclosure sale, property tax sale, or other creditor activity can all be stopped by filing for bankruptcy.

Yes is the short answer. Most of the time, if you declare bankruptcy, you can keep your car and home. It’s crucial to keep in mind that before filing for bankruptcy, you should have your assets and debts reviewed by an experienced Johnstown bankruptcy lawyer. Our staff can advise you on the best ways to pay off your debts while keeping your assets. In Pennsylvania, we have a choice between the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions and the Pennsylvania State Exemptions. These two exemptions offer security for your assets.

Tax debts may be included in bankruptcy proceedings, but whether they are discharged depends on a number of different variables. Tax debt discharge eligibility varies depending on the type of tax owed, the time of the tax obligation, and the unique circumstances of the case.

Income Taxes: In general, if income taxes meet specific requirements, they may be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13: Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, there may be differences in how tax debts are handled. Tax debts may be canceled or reduced in Chapter 7 given they meet the requirements for discharge. Tax debts are often included in the repayment plan in Chapter 13, allowing you to pay them off over a three to five year period.

To evaluate your unique case and establish whether your tax debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy, speak with a Johnstown bankruptcy lawyer and our tax experts.

No, you do not need an attorney to file for bankruptcy. However, filing for bankruptcy can put your personal assets, income, and financial future in jeopardy. It is crucial to have a skilled team by your side. Our Johnstown team of experts in bankruptcy and accounting can help ensure that you achieve a fresh start financially. The majority of debtors who successfully obtain a discharge in bankruptcy are guided by experienced bankruptcy attorneys.

The cost of bankruptcy varies depending on the chapter you are filing under. To help you obtain a fresh start, our Johnstown bankruptcy attorneys always provide no-cost consultations to help you choose the right bankruptcy chapter. For all bankruptcy and debt relief services, our team offers upfront, clear pricing. We offer payment plans for all services. When you initially call, text, or email us, we can provide you specific pricing information. Finally, we always provide a charge estimate that includes filing fees, credit counseling, and credit reporting fees. Ensure that any attorney you talk with includes these costs in their estimate. When it comes time to file, you do not want to discover that the fee was higher than you anticipated.

Child support, alimony, or spousal support obligations are considered priority debts and are typically not dischargeable in bankruptcy, thus filing for bankruptcy will not make them disappear.

A bankruptcy filing in Johnstown normally has no impact on child support or alimony obligations, and the debtor is still liable for making the necessary payments.

To fully understand how bankruptcy may affect your particular circumstances and to make sure that you fulfill your obligations for child support and alimony, it is vital to speak with one of our Johnstown bankruptcy attorneys or our Johnstown family law attorneys. We have attorneys on hand that concentrate their practice in these areas of the law and can assist you in navigating the legal issues of your financial situation, so we can offer advice specific to your particular situation.

Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy is possible. Although bankruptcy has an initial impact on your credit score, it doesn’t have to be a permanent setback. By demonstrating responsible financial behavior over time, you can effectively rebuild your credit. To get started, consider following these steps:

  1. Review your credit report.
  2. Create a budget and financial plan.
  3. Establish an emergency fund.
  4. Make timely payments.
  5. Keep credit utilization low.
  6. Monitor your credit.


Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy requires patience. It’s crucial to develop responsible financial habits, prioritize timely payments, and steer clear of excessive debt.

There are alternatives to declaring bankruptcy that you might wish to consider depending on your financial situation and ambitions. Here are a few common substitutes:

  • Negotiating with Creditors: You can contact our Johnstown Team to speak with your creditors on your behalf in order to come to an agreement on new terms for repayment, such as decreased interest rates, longer payment schedules, or smaller settlement amounts.
  • Debt Consolidation: Debt consolidation is the process of consolidating several loans or credit lines into one that has better conditions. Your payments may be made more easily as a result, and your interest rate may even decrease. Make sure you have explored all alternative possibilities before taking out a loan against your home. Discuss this with our team.
  • Debt Settlement: Our Johnstown Team will negotiate with your creditors to settle your debts for less than the entire amount owed. This often calls for making a one-time payment or starting a long-term payment plan.
  • Financial Hardship Programs: Some creditors may offer hardship programs or assistance programs to help those in need, particularly for certain types of debt, such medical expenses or student loans. These programs might offer options for forbearance, deferment, or temporarily reduced payments.


It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each option. To discuss all of your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy alternatives, contact our Johnstown bankruptcy attorneys. We provide free consultations as well as payment options for debt relief and bankruptcy services.

Trust Us To Restore Financial Stability

Debt is stressful. We offer reasonable legal fees and payment plans to all of our debt relief and bankruptcy clients.

To learn more about your debt relief options call at 724-832-2499email or chat.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.


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