Getting a Fresh Start
Bankruptcy Lawyers in Cape Girardeau
If you’ve been struggling with mounting debt and can’t seem to get your head above water, it may be time to try a different approach. Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start and put your financial difficulties behind you. A bankruptcy attorney in Cape Girardeau can help. Even the most responsible and hard-working people experience unanticipated setbacks caused by job loss or serious illness. Often it is through no fault of their own that they find themselves at a serious debt crossroads. Bankruptcy law was created to give individuals and families the chance to begin again.
To find out more about how a bankruptcy attorney in Cape Girardeau can help you turn the page and look forward to a brighter future, call us at 573-332-8585. The initial consultation is free.
Best Bankruptcy Lawyers
Who is The Best for You?
There are a lot of attorneys out there to choose from, but all lawyers are not created equal. Some are simply more experienced and skilled than others. Attorney Kelvin Birk has decades of experience with individual and business clients, and he knows how to create a smooth and efficient bankruptcy process with as little disruption to you as possible. Birk Law Firm is also remarkably affordable.
Birk Law Firm assists clients with both business and personal bankruptcy matters. We have experience handling difficult situations, and we’re skilled at helping people get past bankruptcy and move on with their lives. Being in the same city as the southeast Missouri bankruptcy court — which is in the federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau — means we can help clients efficiently throughout the region. Especially if you are not able to travel to file paperwork and the like, we can walk down the street and do it for you. We are familiar with judges and other attorneys and have a good working relationship with the entire legal community.
To learn more about the professional qualifications of Kelvin Birk, visit our attorney bio page and read more. You will notice that Kelvin is both an Attorney at Law and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which means you will benefit from both his legal and financial knowledge. It’s like you get two professionals rolled into one. If you want to choose the best bankruptcy attorney in Cape Girardeau, give lawyer Kelvin Birk a call.
“I have a high level of confidence in Kelvin not only because of his legal experience, but also his knowledge in financial and accounting matters.”
Types of Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is handled in federal court, and there are several different kinds of bankruptcy. Depending on your unique situation, attorney Kelvin Birk can help you choose the best path to take. Following is a list of various types of bankruptcy:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
This is a personal liquidation of your assets to pay off some of your debt. If there is any remaining debt, it is usually discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy law. Many or all of your assets may be exempt and do not have to be liquidated. Many Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings are “no asset” cases where none of the assets have to be sold to pay your debts.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually more advantageous for the filer. Certain requirements using the bankruptcy means test must be met, however, for someone to file Chapter 7. One calculation determines whether your income is below the state median for your household size. This calculation must be taken before we can file. With a Chapter 7 or 13, we can help you reaffirm the debts on your home and car so that you can keep them if you wish.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 11 is a business debt reorganization and can also be used as an organized liquidation of your company assets. This process can be drawn out and complex, which may be why many attorneys won’t handle a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But Cape Girardeau attorney Kelvin Birk has the experience in business — as a CPA and as a lawyer — to help your business get through this very difficult time. He can explain the process, help you take a look at your options, and guide you through to the end.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is for farmers and ranchers. As an attorney, CPA and farm owner, Kelvin Birk is uniquely suited to help you through your debt troubles.
Prior to 2019, the maximum amount of debt that a farmer could have and still qualify for Chapter 12 was approximately $4.4 million. The law governing Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies was significantly changed in 2019. This change allowed a farmer with larger debts to qualify for Chapter 12 instead of a potentially less advantageous Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. In 2019, the maximum amount was increased to $10 million, with a provision that this amount would be increased every three years for inflation. As of April 1, 2022, a farmer filing Chapter 12 bankruptcy can have up to $11,097,350 of debt. If someone qualifies for Chapter 12, they can choose from a variety of bankruptcy options. Attorney Kelvin Birk has experience filing simple and complex Chapter 12 bankruptcies. As a farm owner who understands the agricultural life, attorney Kelvin Birk is well versed on all the bankruptcy options and can help you decide the best chapter to file under. Also, if the farmer needs to sell significant assets, a Chapter 12 bankruptcy can be greatly beneficial regarding income taxes.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 13 is a personal reorganization of debt that spreads repayment out over several years. Sometimes just the restructuring of the debt is enough to provide relief to a bankruptcy filer. In a Chapter 13, some of your future earnings will be paid toward your current debts. Some or all of your debts are usually discharged, but the amount of debt discharged without payment depends on the amount of your future income and current debts.
One advantage of a Chapter 13 is that you can keep your home, even if it is in foreclosure or you are behind on your payments. By working out a repayment plan over a much longer timeframe than the current mortgage holder would typically allow, you create some breathing room for yourself and explore your options. You can stop foreclosure proceedings with a Chapter 13.
Whatever type of bankruptcy ends up being the best choice for you, our bankruptcy attorney in Cape Girardeau will keep you informed of your case’s progress and do everything he can to expedite paperwork and court proceedings.
In order to make the most of our first meeting, please see our bankruptcy checklist outlined below. The more you can bring to our first meeting, the more our Cape Girardeau bankruptcy attorneys can help you. If you have questions about which paperwork to bring to our meeting, call us at 573-332-8585. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to walk you through the checklist outlined below.
In this way, you will experience the team approach at Birk Law Firm. When you hire us, you not only get a highly skilled and experienced attorney, but you also have a compassionate and proactive team of paralegals and administrative specialists to help you every step of the way. We are always just a phone call away and are here to help.
The Ins and Outs of Business Bankruptcies
Business bankruptcy can be used to restructure your business and get a fresh start with your company. Depending on your circumstances, your business debt can be discharged, it can be reclassified from secured to unsecured; terms and rates can be restructured; or, as is usually the case, a combination of these mechanisms can be used as part of a business bankruptcy filing strategy. Cape Girardeau bankruptcy attorney Kelvin Birk’s extensive business experience is a great asset when handling business bankruptcies, including Chapters 11 and 12.
Chapter 7 business bankruptcy allows your business to liquidate in an orderly way. Chapter 11 business bankruptcy allows the most options and flexibility for your business, including reorganizing the company’s structure and continuing forward with the debt restructured and/or discharged. Chapter 12 is the farm equivalent of Chapter 11 for a business, allowing a farmer or rancher to reorganize the farm and its debts as described above. We can help you assess what is the best option for you, based on your future goals. Then we’ll help you with every aspect of your chosen chapter for filing. We’re a bankruptcy attorney in Cape Girardeau who deeply cares about each of our clients.
Help with Creditors’ Rights
If you’re on the other side of the table and are a creditor trying to collect a debt, we can pursue money owed to some businesses. We will help collect from any individual or company in Missouri, even if you are out of state. As a skilled and experienced bankruptcy attorney in Cape Girardeau, we will represent you in bankruptcy court by filing your claim or objecting to a debt discharge. We can also file a lawsuit against a Missouri company and/or the owner in federal court.
One example of our creditor representation experience is helping two doctors, one in Colorado and one in Mississippi, collect unpaid fees due from a defunct Missouri healthcare business. Another example of our creditor representation experience is helping a Texas lender collect on a loan guaranty from a deceased Missouri resident. Sometimes, we work with out-of-state law firms as their local counsel in debt collection matters.
To learn more about how we can help your company collect outstanding debts, call us at 573-332-8585. We’d be glad to talk to you. The initial consultation is free.
Reasons People Choose Our Bankruptcy Attorney
There are several reasons to choose a bankruptcy attorney in Cape Girardeau. Whether you’re an in-state resident or an out-of-state business, attorney Kelvin Birk can meet your legal needs. Following are some reasons to select Birk Law Firm:
- We’re located close to the federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau, which means you have easy and prompt access to the court clerk’s office, judges and courtrooms.
- Attorney Kelvin Birk holds a law degree and is also a CPA. Not many lawyers can say that. He brings both a sharp legal mind and financial acumen to the table.
- We have a top-notch team of legal specialists who will work on your case and organize all your paperwork and forms. All you have to do is drop off your relevant documents and we will take it from there.
- If you’re a farmer or rancher, you will have the unique experience of working with a lawyer who knows agriculture and the outdoor life. Attorney Kelvin Birk grew up on a farm and currently lives on one, so he understands where you’re coming from.
- Excellent client service is very important to Birk Law Firm, and we will always return phone calls promptly and keep you updated about the progress of your case.
These are just a few of the many reasons to hire Birk Law Firm. We feel confident that you will be very pleased with the professional services we provide.
Missouri Bankruptcy FAQs
Here are some basic facts about bankruptcy in Missouri that may be helpful to you. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and it can help you feel like you’re in control. The more you know, the more prepared you are to take positive action.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act states that bankruptcy information cannot appear on your credit report for longer than 10 years. Other bad credit information can be removed after 7 years.
- Home address
- Social Security Number
- Employer’s name and address (if you are working)
- Salary and wage information (such as pay stubs)
- A list of all your personal sources of income (job, alimony, freelance work, etc.)
- A list of all your financial accounts (checking and savings accounts, retirement plans, brokerage accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.)
- A copy of your federal, state and local tax returns for the past two (2) years
- A comprehensive list of your monthly expenses (housing, food, utilities, vehicle loans, credit card payments, personal loan payments, alimony, child support, etc.)
- A list of all your major property (house, land, investment real estate, cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, valuable jewelry and artwork, furniture, etc.)
- A list of all those people and businesses to whom you legally owe money
- Certificate of completion of the Credit Counseling Course within 180 days prior to filing bankruptcy.
When your bankruptcy petition is filed by the court clerk’s office and your petition is assigned a case number, then you are immediately under protection and all harassment by creditors must cease. If you do receive any future phone calls or letters from creditors, you can refer them to your attorney. You are under no obligation to respond yourself.
“Mr Kelvin Birk is very knowledgeable, honest, professional, and down to the earth. He is also very organized, detailed, hard working. It’s not exaggerating to say he is a perfectionist. He genuinely cares, he takes the case seriously like it was his own personal case. He answered every single phone call, responded every single email, answered all our questions and concerns. He is so patient that he answered our same questions over and over and over again to reassure that we were fine. He studied hard about the case, went out of his way, definitely more than 100% to help. He is knowledgeable and definitely knows his field. He saved us from numerous sleepless nights, helped us defending our legal rights, and helped finishing the mess we were in. We are very greatful that we found him. If you are looking for an attorney, he is definitely the one to go to!” – Yixin Thomas (Google Review)
ALL YOUR LEGAL NEEDS
Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.