Common Questions About Filing For Bankruptcy
Most people have no experience dealing with bankruptcy and go to a lawyer with a lot of questions. If you are serious about filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the best thing to do is contact our firm for a free initial consultation. If you are not sure, the information below may be of help.
Will I qualify for bankruptcy protection?
You may qualify for either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. Each type of bankruptcy has its pros and cons and certain requirements. For example, if you make more than a typical household of your size, you may not be able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy but can still file for Chapter 13. We will help you decide which chapter is best for you.
Do I have to sell off all of my possessions if I file for bankruptcy?
No. Bankruptcy law divides property and assets into the categories of exempt and nonexempt. Exempt items such as retirement funds or a homestead property can be protected from bankruptcy. Additionally, you can keep your possessions in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, such as a car or house.
Can I keep any of my credit cards after I file for bankruptcy?
It is at the discretion of the credit card company to decide whether you can keep your credit card. In most cases, credit card companies cancel your credit card as soon as you file for bankruptcy. However, after you file for bankruptcy, many lenders will send you offers on new credit cards. To repair your credit after filing, you can obtain a secured credit card and make sure to only spend what you can afford to payoff every month.
Are bankruptcy filings made public?
Bankruptcy filings are part of the public record, but they are not published in the newspaper the way a probate notice is. No notifications are sent out, but the information will appear in your credit record and in court documents.
Can the utility company cut off my service if I file for bankruptcy?
No. It is illegal for utility companies to cut off your service or refuse to offer service because of a bankruptcy filing. However, it is legal for them to require deposit towards future service and you are responsible for bills that come after you file for bankruptcy.
If I file for bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file too?
No. However, if you have joint debt like a mortgage or car loan, creditors will expect your spouse to continue paying on those loans. Only the person who filed bankruptcy will receive a discharge of their debt.
Will I still owe taxes after filing bankruptcy?
Not necessarily. Many people are unaware that bankruptcy can help discharge certain tax obligations. This will depend on a number of factors, including the type of tax debt, the age of the tax obligation, and whether you filed a tax return. If this is a concern of yours, you need an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help determine whether your tax obligations can be discharged in a bankruptcy case.