Answers to Bankruptcy Questions
Q: What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy allows debtors
who owe more money than they can pay to either eliminate their debts or work out a payment plan to pay a portion or all of their debts over time.
Q: Will bankruptcy stop all the harassing phone calls and mail?
Yes! The automatic stay will take effect when you file your case. It will stop the creditor
Q: Will bankruptcy stop a garnishment from a lawsuit for an unsecured debt?
Yes. The automatic stay will stop the garnishment.
Q: What type of bankruptcy should I file?
The choice of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
or Chapter 13 bankruptcy
depends on the type and amount of debts as well as the assets owned by the debtor.
Q: Who can file bankruptcy?
Generally, with a few exceptions, any person or business owing money to creditors
Q: How long will bankruptcy remain on my credit report?
Bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for ten years.
Q: What does “secured” or “unsecured” mean?
A: Secured debt
is debt that allows a creditor
to make a claim
on an asset (property of some kind). Unsecured debt is held by creditors that have no claim to a debtor’s
Q: What happens if I file and discover another debt after filing?
Your attorney can amend your case to include additional debts.
Q: What happens when one spouse files without the other spouse?
You need to discuss this carefully with your attorney. The non-filing spouse may be responsible for some of the debts.
Q: If I get divorced will I still be responsible for my ex-spouse’s debts?
Q: Can I be held responsible for a debt I co-signed?
Q: Can all debts be discharged?
No. There are certain debts like student loans, government loans, and other debts that can not be discharged.
Q: Will I lose my social security payments if I file?
Q: Am I going to lose my personal property if I file bankruptcy?
There are exemptions
, both state and federal, that allow you to keep a certain amount of personal property. Your attorney will explain these to you. You can also see the state exemptions here.
Q: Can I pick which debts to put in the bankruptcy?
No. You must include all of your debts.
Q: Will I have to go before a judge?
Contested matters generally require a hearing in which a judge presides. These hearings are far less common in Chapter 7
bankruptcies then in Chapter 13
Q: When will I get my discharge?
Generally a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge
is received 60 days after the 341 meeting