Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can file a bankruptcy?
A: Anyone or any company can file for a bankruptcy. The types of bankruptcy are listed under the bankruptcy drop down menu.
Is Bankruptcy reported on your credit?
A: Typically, a bankruptcy is on your credit report for 7 to 10 years from the date of filing. If a case is converted during the process, then it may show up as 2 different cases.
What debts are discharged in a bankruptcy?
A: A better answer would be what is not discharged in the bankruptcy. Child support, alimony, taxes, most student loans, court fines & restitution, personal injury debts incurred from drunk driving or under the influence of drugs, or debts incurred by fraud.
Can you eliminate student loans?
A: This question is not easily answered, but there are some types of student loans are able to be discharged. If you wish to talk about your student loans being discharged, there is a test to determine if yours are eligible for discharge. We will discuss this in your initial consultation.
What is credit counseling?
A: Credit counseling is a requirement now for individuals who are desiring to file a bankruptcy. This became effective when BAPCPA went into law during 2005. It can be done online or in person. The certificates of completion are good for 180 days.
What is the difference between discharge and closing?
A: Discharge is the elimination of the debts that are allowed to be wiped away. Closing is the completion of the case and the actual closing. These are both done with Orders entered from the Court.
What is a reaffirmation agreement?
A: A reaffirmation agreement is a voluntary agreement reinstating a loan for a secured debt. These primarily are for vehicles and jewelry; however, they can also be for a home mortgage. A reaffirmation must not place a burden on the filer and can be canceled by the Court at any time before the discharge is filed. These agreements must be entered into and filed within 60 days of filing the bankruptcy.
Can I keep my house?
A: Yes you can keep the house as long as you are current on the payments, and as long as the equity in it is not over the homestead limit . There is an option during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to include delinquencies in the mortgage payments if this chapter is in your best interest.
Can I keep my car?
A: Yes, you can keep the vehicle as long as you are current on the loan payments and so long as the equity in the car is less than the exemption limitation. This debt, however, must be reaffirmed as described above if the loan is less than 2 years old.
How long does the bankruptcy process take?
A: In a Chapter 7, the process takes approximately 90 days from filing to discharge. This includes a meeting of creditors approximately 30 days after filing; the financial management course completed and certificate filed within 45 days after the meeting of creditors; the reaffirmation agreements filed within 60 days of filing; and then a required 15 day waiting period for the discharge to be entered. If the trustee declares the case as a no-asset case, then the closing will take place shortly after the discharge.
In a Chapter 13, the case is kept open until all the plan payments have been completed and the trustee has filed her report to the Court.
What is the cost of a bankruptcy?
A: The filing fees are a flat fee set by the Courts. These vary depending on the Chapter of bankruptcy that is filed. The attorney fees are in addition to this filing fee and are determined by the attorney based on the complexity of the case. In our office they are typically $1500.00 for simple Chapter 7 cases.
What is needed for my initial meeting with your office?
A: During the initial meeting we discuss what brought you to this decision for filing a bankruptcy, make a copy of your drivers license and social security cards (per requirement since BAPCPA), review monthly income and expenses so having your 6 months pay stubs and last 2 years taxes are beneficial in this meeting.