Many people refuse to file for bankruptcy even though they should because of the misleading or false information they’ve received from friends, family, or the media about bankruptcy. This usually prevents them from seeking a professional bankruptcy attorney who can aid them in understanding how bankruptcy can alleviate their situation. Here is a list of questions you can refer to if you are considering filing for bankruptcy.
1. Will bankruptcy work for me?
Absolutely! Bankruptcy is the best option for serious debt problems. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are great alternatives for consumers, and Chapter 11 is a clean option for business reorganizations. Contact my office for a free consultation or more information.
2. How much does it cost? How will I pay?
When circumstances require, we can often get a case filed with just a few hundred dollars down. Most Chapter 7 cases are around $1,000.00 in attorneys’ fees, and I will take payments prior to filing the case. Most Chapter 13 cases have the majority of attorneys’ fees included in your monthly payment, so the associated fees are easier to manage.
3. What's the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
Chapter 7 is generally used for removing your debt completely and giving you a fresh start, while Chapter 13 is generally for consolidating some or all of your debt into one manageable monthly payment.
4. Will I lose all of my property if I file Chapter 7?
Chapter 7 is titled “Liquidation.” However, there is a long, long, list of items that are fully or partially exempt. Ordinary household furnishings, vehicles below a certain value, equity in your home up to a certain extent, are fully exempt. Please contact my office for more information.
5. Can I file, even if I've filed before?
Yes! If your prior case was a chapter 13, you can file a chapter 7 any time after 2 years from the date Chapter 13 was filed. If your prior case was a chapter 7, you can file a chapter 7 after 8 years and file a chapter 13 at any time.
6. Will I lose my job or have trouble finding one after filing bankruptcy?
Generally, employers will not find out about the bankruptcy unless you choose to tell them. Either way, employers are not allowed to fire or refuse to hire someone or take other adverse action, for filing bankruptcy.
7. Will my credit be ruined for the next 10 years if I file for bankruptcy?
Although a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 can legally remain on your credit report for 10 years, this does not mean that your credit will be ruined for the next 10 years. Many people are able to get their credit scores to good levels after only 3 years.
8. Will bankruptcy hurt my spouse's credit?
When one spouse files for bankruptcy protection, his or her spouse’s credit is not affected.
9. If I file for bankruptcy and get a discharge, will I have to make payments in the future?
If you provided an accurate and non-fraudulent bankruptcy petition, then creditors cannot seek to collect on any debts that were discharged in the bankruptcy case once the case is closed.
10. Will I be able to obtain credit after I file?
Most people have no problem obtaining credit cards after filing for bankruptcy. In fact, there is an industry that caters to extending credit to people who have filed for bankruptcy.
11. Is it unethical or immoral to file for bankruptcy?
Federal bankruptcy law was created specifically to help people who cannot afford to pay their debts. There is nothing unethical or immoral about using the federally established law to legally eliminate your debts. Instead, it demonstrates the strong character that you are willing to take action to resolve your financial situation.
12. Will I be able to purchase a home if I file for bankruptcy?
Most individuals who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are able to qualify for a home loan after 3-4 years. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have to seek the permission of the court if the bankruptcy case is still pending.
13. I recently moved to Utah, so do I have to file for bankruptcy in the state I moved from?
Federal venue rules allow you to file for bankruptcy where you have resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. This means that you can have resided in Utah for as little as 91 days before filing for bankruptcy in Utah.