Q: Will I have to give up my assets?
Answer:: No. In a bankruptcy, certain assets are considered exempt property of the bankruptcy estate. Each state has their own set of exemptions.
Q: Can I keep my car and my house?
Answer:: Yes. In most cases, you may continue to pay the creditor directly or reaffirm on this type of debt.
Q: Do I have to list all of my debts and assets?
Answer:: Yes. A debtor may not “pick and choose” which debts are listed. A debtor must also fully disclose all assets which they may own. Many credit companies monitor listings and credit reports and still may shut a credit card down even if it is not listed on the bankruptcy.
Q: Does my spouse have to file bankruptcy?
Answer:: No. If the debts are in an individuals name only, then that person would be filing bankruptcy. If a debt is in a joint title, the effect on the co-debtor is dependent upon the state.
Q: Will a bankruptcy stop a lawsuit and garnishment?
Answer:: Yes. A bankruptcy puts an “automatic stay” on all collection activities including lawsuits and garnishments. No further collection activity can occur. After a bankruptcy is filed, paperwork is filed with the court in which the lawsuit occurred.
Q: What type of bankruptcy should I file?
Answer:: Each individual's situation is different. Some factors that determine which bankruptcy can be filed are the types of debt, the amount of monthly income and the means test which is the average of the last 6 months of income. Consulting with an attorney is the best way to determine which Chapter is the best.
Q: How does bankruptcy affect my student loans?
Answer:: Student loans are not dischargeable through a bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing should not affect your ability to obtain future student loans.
Q: I filed bankruptcy before, can I file again?
Answer: Yes. If you received a discharge in a previous bankruptcy, there are certain time restrictions before another bankruptcy can be filed.
Q: Will I be able to get credit again after I file?
Answer: Yes. A bankruptcy may appear on your credit report for 7-10 years. There are many companies that are willing to lend money and credit after a case has been filed.