Lafayette, LA Bankruptcy Lawyer

At Simon Fitzgerald LLC, we understand that bankruptcy can be a daunting and emotional process. However, a skilled Lafayette, LA bankruptcy lawyer from our team can provide support, expert legal advice, and personalized care throughout your bankruptcy journey. We specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases and are committed to helping our Lafayette clients find the path to financial freedom. Whether it’s unmanageable student loans, mortgage issues, or credit card debt, we’re here to explore all available options with you.


​Located in a convenient spot in Lafayette, our office is dedicated to providing expert legal advice and support. We offer flexible appointment times to fit your schedule and are always available to answer your questions. Here’s how you can reach us:

Click here for directions to our Lafayette office.


At Simon Fitzgerald LLC, our Lafayette office takes pride in serving Lafayette and its neighboring areas with top-notch bankruptcy services. We handle cases filed in the Western District of Louisiana, specifically within the “Lafayette Division.” The Lafayette Division contains the 5th largest city in Louisiana, Lafayette, LA. Other notable cities in that division are Abbeville, Berwick, Broussard, Carencro, Crowley, Eunice, Franklin, Jeanerette, Morgan City, New Iberia, Opelousas, Patterson, Rayne, Saint Martinville, Ville Platte, Youngsville.

We also cater to Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, and other parishes. A skilled Lafayette, LA bankruptcy lawyer from our team can assist you, whether in Lafayette or any location within the Lafayette Division. Our Lafayette office also services clients in the Lake Charles area. We are dedicated to guiding you through bankruptcy, helping you regain control of your financial life.

We are Louisana’s oldest bankruptcy law firm, and our attorneys are proficient in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, crafting tailored strategies to address your unique financial needs. We understand bankruptcy’s challenges and are here to ensure you don’t face them alone. Our dedication to personalized service and our extensive understanding of local court procedures make us a trusted choice for bankruptcy services in Shreveport and beyond.


Our Lafayette Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney is:

Our Lafayette bankruptcy attorney at Simon Fitzgerald LLC is your trusted partner in navigating bankruptcy law. Specializing in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, Mr. Helo offers tailored legal advice and representation to meet your specific financial challenges.

Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy law, particularly the unique aspects of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, is a task Mr. Helo is skilled at. He recognizes the uniqueness of each client’s financial situation and provides legal strategies accordingly. Contact our Lafayette office today to schedule a free consultation and begin your financial recovery journey.

Bankruptcy Court, Judges, and Trustees in Lafayette Division

The Lafayette Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court, located in the heart of Louisiana, serves a broad geographical area, including nine parishes: Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn parishes. If you’re a resident of any of these parishes and considering filing for bankruptcy, your case will be filed and overseen in this division.

Judge John W. Kolwe presides over all bankruptcy cases in the Lafayette Division. The Chapter 13 trustee in the Lafayette Division is Keith A. Rodriguez, and the Chapter 7 trustees are Lucy Sikes and Mark Sutton.

You can visit the official website here for more information about the Lafayette Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court. To learn more about Judge John W. Kolwe, click here. For details about Chapter 13 Trustee Keith A. Rodriguez, visit this link.


A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help people in the Lafayette area pay off their debts. This type of bankruptcy allows individuals to eliminate their medical and credit card debts. It can also be used by people below Louisiana’s median income level. Most people in the state who are below the median income level can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But, if their income is higher than that, they may still be able to qualify. This type of bankruptcy can be beneficial for those who are struggling with their debts. Simon Fitzgerald LLC is a leading bankruptcy firm that provides individuals with the help they need to develop a plan and resolve their issues.


If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Lafayette, contact an experienced lawyer at Simon Fitzgerald LLC. This type of bankruptcy allows people to keep their homes even if they are behind on the house notes. It can also reduce other monthly payments. Before people can file for bankruptcy, certain factors, like affordability and the ability to make payments, must be considered. If you have a regular and stable income, people should consider the possibility of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In most Chapter 13 cases, we do not require you to pay the attorney fees in advance because the fees can be included in the monthly payments made to the Chapter 13 trustee. Court costs are typically paid before filing. For more information, see our fees and costs page.

Meet Katie: A Bankruptcy Case Illustration in Lafayette, LA

A few months back, Katie, a single mother of three, was in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Katie could not return to work for several weeks due to her injuries, and as a result, she began getting behind on her regular monthly expenses, putting more and more payments on her credit cards. Although Katie is seeking a settlement from the negligent driver’s insurance company, negotiations are dragging, and it could be many more months before she receives her money. In desperation, Katie took out a payday loan—a predatory loan that remains legal across the U.S. and in LA despite APRs of as much as 391% on a $350 loan.

A payday loan is a short-term loan repaid from your upcoming paycheck, usually about two weeks after the loan is taken out, although in some cases, it can be up to 30 days. Payday loans often turn into more expensive long-term problems. Katie feels she is getting further into debt and is stressed about the money she owes. While Katie has considered filing for bankruptcy, she fears it will destroy her credit. In truth, while filing for bankruptcy will no doubt temporarily decrease your credit score, so does having late payments, non-payments, overwhelming credit card debt, and payday loans.

In a situation like the one Katie now finds herself in, the wise choice is to speak to a Lafayette, LA bankruptcy lawyer from Simon Fitzgerald LLC. With more than five decades of bankruptcy experience between our attorneys, Simon Fitzgerald is considered the premier bankruptcy law firm in LA. We believe you deserve a fresh financial start, and we are ready to help you get back on your feet and out from under crushing debt. People that file for bankruptcy are far from the stereotype of being irresponsible. In virtually every case, those filing for bankruptcy are good people who had bad luck and need help. At Simon Fitzgerald, we extend our hand to those who need help and compassion during difficult times.

How Can an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney from Simon Fitzgerald Help?

Determining whether to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an important decision that depends on various factors, including your financial situation and goals. A Lafayette, LA bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand the differences between the two chapters and assist you in making an informed decision.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney will review your financial circumstances, assess your eligibility for each chapter, and provide personalized advice. They will analyze your income, assets, debts, and financial goals to determine which chapter best fits your situation. They will explain the benefits and drawbacks of each chapter, such as the discharge of debts, protection of assets, and repayment plans.

Additionally, a bankruptcy attorney will guide you through the means test, determining your eligibility for Chapter 7. They will help you gather the necessary documentation and ensure accurate completion of the forms required for the means test.

What Is the Process for Filing Bankruptcy in Lafayette, LA?

Once you have Louisiana’s oldest, most respected bankruptcy law firm on your side, a knowledgeable Lafayette, LA bankruptcy lawyer at Simon Fitzgerald will skillfully guide you through the process, always taking care to ensure transparency. The bankruptcy process generally proceeds as follows:

  • After discussing your situation with you comprehensively, we will help you determine whether filing for bankruptcy is correct for you. During this initial consultation, we will ask you questions regarding your assets, debts, income, expenses, and what you hope to accomplish.
  • If we believe filing for bankruptcy will give you the relief you need and deserve, we will help you determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you. This will involve determining whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy by using the means test; if you do not, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may provide you with the solutions you seek. Your average income for the six months before your bankruptcy filing will come into play as it will be compared to Louisiana’s median income. Should your income exceed this amount, you may still be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you qualify under the remainder of the means test.
  • For both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we will review your income, debt, and assets, helping you understand which assets will be exempt under LA bankruptcy laws.
  • Before your bankruptcy filing, you will be required to undergo credit counseling which can be done on the phone or the Internet.
  • Your attorney will file a two-page petition and other forms at your Louisiana district bankruptcy court. These schedules will describe any recent financial transactions and your current financial situation.
  • Once your bankruptcy petition is filed, an automatic stay will be issued that prevents creditors from attempting to collect your debts.
  • Suppose you are facing foreclosure of your home, repossession of your vehicle, or garnishment of your wages. In that case, we will address these issues immediately, looking for all potential solutions to help you stay in your home and keep your vehicle. Wage garnishment is usually reserved for unpaid taxes or child support, and since those are considered non-dischargeable debts, we will help you figure out how to continue paying those debts.
  • We will list all the information you must provide, helping you gather it together. This may include tax returns, proof of income, all the debts you owe, mortgage and car loan information, and any other necessary information.
  • A bankruptcy trustee will be appointed for either type of bankruptcy filing.
  • A meeting will be set for your creditors to attend if they choose, although it is relatively rare for creditors to attend this meeting.
  • From beginning to end, we will help you make the critical decisions you will be required to make, ensuring that you make the best decision for your financial future.
  • If you are filing for Chapter 13, you and your attorney will work out a realistic repayment plan that considers your monthly expenses, determining how much money you have left to pay.


Bankruptcy can be a complex process, and having questions is normal. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about bankruptcy to help you better understand what to expect.

Ready for a Fresh Start? Contact Simon Fitzgerald LLC Today

Do you need help understanding the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. At Simon Fitzgerald LLC, we provide personalized attention for each case. If you’re struggling with debt and considering bankruptcy, don’t face it alone.

Have you ever wondered which debts can be wiped out in bankruptcy? Our free guide has all the answers. Stay informed by signing up for our newsletter. When you’re ready to start your journey, schedule your free consultation with us.

Contact our Lafayette office to schedule your free initial consultation by calling 337-984-1584 . Phone and Video Appointments are Available. Simon Fitzgerald LLC is Louisiana’s oldest bankruptcy law firm. Click here to Schedule Your Free Consultation.