Frequently Asked Questions
When considering bankruptcy it is important to have a basic understanding of the bankruptcy process. While each and every person’s situation is different, below are a set of frequently asked bankruptcy questions and answers.
For Chapter 7, you cannot file a bankruptcy until 8 years have passed since the date of filing of your prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For Chapter 13, you must generally wait at least two to four years but there may be reason to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy before 2-4 years.
Please note that these deadlines only apply if you received a bankruptcy discharge. So, if your case was dismissed, may be eligible to re-file immediately. Also, there are certain circumstances where it is possible to file a Chapter 7 and then a Chapter 13 in a short period of time.
Strictly speaking, no, there is no requirement that a married spouse must also file for bankruptcy. However, the spouse may want to file for bankruptcy if the spouse is also liable on certain joint debts.
Mostly “Yes”. The bankruptcy discharge is personal; this means that it “wipes out” your obligation to pay debts (except non-dischargeable debts). Also, if someone else owes on the debt, then the creditor can still collect from that other person. In that sense, the debt still exists even after the bankruptcy filing. However, if you are the only person obligated on the debt and you receive a discharge, the debt is effectively wiped out (it technically still exists, but the creditor cannot collect on it).
In the case where a creditor is secured, which means they have a lien on property (such as your house), the bankruptcy discharge will not wipe out the lien. This means the creditor can foreclose on the property to satisfy the debt if the debt is not paid according to the agreement with the creditor.
This is one of the most frequently expressed concerns expressed by individuals or married couples considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The facts are that most individuals or married couples who are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can keep their home, their vehicles, their furniture, their retirement accounts and their other possessions. Every person or married couple who files Chapter 7 bankruptcy is entitled to keep property worth up to a certain amount that is set by law. The vast majority of individuals and married couples who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy keep everything they own. It is very important to keep in mind that there are limits to the value of property you can keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and not all types of personal property and other assets are protected in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You must consult a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to learn the details of what types of assets can be protected and the limits of that protection. If the value of your property is more than can be protected in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy then you may be eligible to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
The fact is that most individuals and married couples who receive a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge are able to re-establish their credit worthiness in a relatively short period of time. Each individual or married couples situation is unique. Often, what folks do after a bankruptcy is more important than the fact that a bankruptcy was filed.
In other words, there is hope.
The fact is that most individuals or married couples who qualify for and then file Chapter 7 bankruptcy do have income from working. Although there are limits to the amount of household income an individual or married couple can earn and still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, statistically most candidates for bankruptcy do qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Each person’s situation is different and the income test used to determine who may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be performed by a qualified and experienced bankruptcy attorney.
It is true that there are qualification criteria for each type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. However, the fact is that most individuals or married couples who need bankruptcy relief can and do qualify for bankruptcy relief, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The analysis necessary to determine eligibility for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is complicated and depends on each individual or married couple’s situation. You should consult with an experienced Kinkade & Associates bankruptcy attorney regarding your situation and which bankruptcy is right and available for you.
The potential benefits of bankruptcy depend on a person or married couple’s circumstances. Filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy stops most lawsuits and most other types of creditor collection activities including most garnishments (there are limited exceptions such as on-going child support and court fines) and repossessions of your property. Chapter 13 bankruptcy permits those who are eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to propose a reorganization and repayment plan that can stop and prevent home foreclosure, cancel sheriff’s sales of real estate, possibly eliminate second mortgages, reduce auto installment payments and provide a way to repay other debt such as taxes and student loans.
Unfortunately, no. Bankruptcy filing is a part of the public record and as such may and probably will appear in the newspaper.
Almost immediately. Although there are many factors to consider in meeting your goal of rebuilding your financial life, most individuals and married couples who choose to file bankruptcy can begin rebuilding their financial life after the bankruptcy is discharged and troublesome debt is discharged.
One of the potential benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it is possible to propose a repayment plan that will protect a vehicle from repossession. Generally speaking, this benefit is not available when a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed. It is therefore usually advisable that payments on vehicles should be current at the time a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed.