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Councilman files for Ch. 13 bankruptcy

A longtime Baltimore City Council representative has filed for bankruptcy in a bid to protect his home from foreclosure. The 63-year-old man has chosen to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a process that permits borrowers to restructure their debt repayment plans over a period of years. Individuals who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically have difficulty making payments, but their asset-to-debt ratio is fairly equal. This contrasts sharply with Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, in which filers' assets are significantly smaller than their debts.

The man said he intends to pay back every dollar he owes, but that he was not immune to financial problems simply because he held an elected office. He has disclosed about $224,000 in liabilities with just $162,000 in assets, a reasonable amount for a restructured payment plan. Community officials say they doubt the man's decision to file for bankruptcy will affect his ability to represent his constituents; after all, he is taking responsibility for his financial situation instead of simply dodging his creditors.

Statistics from 2012 show that more than 366,000 individuals filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in U.S. courts. In other words, the councilman is not alone in his quest to achieve financial solvency; scores of other Americans are also filing for restructured debt payment plans.

The councilman said he thinks the bankruptcy experience is likely to make him a better worker because he will understand his constituents' plight. Acknowledging that bankruptcy is filed for a multitude of reasons, from medical bills to consumer debt, has allowed the man to better understand his constituents' protests against higher taxes.

If you are seeking bankruptcy protection under existing law, you do not have to feel alone or stigmatized. Even high-ranking officials in major cities in Maryland take advantage of bankruptcy protection. To find out more about your legal and financial rights, consider speaking to a qualified bankruptcy attorney. These professionals can help you sort out bankruptcy options, allowing you to get back on your financial feet faster.

Source: articles.baltimoresun.com, "Councilman Curran files for personal bankruptcy" Yvonne Wenger, Aug. 04, 2013

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