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Will Bankruptcy Ruin my Credit?

If you have not been paying your bills on time or have a lot of credit card debt, you may find filing bankruptcy will increase your credit score for the reason it will improve your debt ratio.

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Will I Be Able to Borrow Money If I File Bankruptcy?

Answer is yes, and faster than you think. Credit card companies may offer credit to you while you are in bankruptcy knowing you cannot get a discharge within a certain number of years of filing bankruptcy, with the number of years depending on the chapter filed. Mortgage companies seem much better about loaning money at […]

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When Will I Have a Case Number?

Once you have completed the forms and signed the final documents you or your attorney can file your case.  Once the case is filed you will have a case number.

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Do I Have to Have an Attorney to File Bankruptcy?

We encourage you to use counsel, and particularly one certified in bankruptcy and debtor/creditor law.  Consumers are not required to have an attorney.  Businesses are required to have an attorney.

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What is the First Meeting of Creditors?

The First Meeting of Creditors occurs about 30 days after a bankruptcy case is filed.  The judge does not preside, but instead a bankruptcy trustee is assigned to the case and assesses the completeness of filed paperwork and full disclosure.  The trustee will consider equity in assets to determine the proper amount to be paid […]

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What Happens to the Codebtor Who Cosigned My Loan?

In a chapter 13 case, the creditor cannot seek to collect against the codebtor during the pendency of the debtor’s bankruptcy case without first getting permission from the bankruptcy court. After the debt is discharged or the case is closed, the creditor can pursue collection against the codebtor, subject to any confirmed plan provisions. In […]

Ready to file?

Forms and information you need.

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Chapter 7

You may prefer Chapter 7 if you are on fixed income, low-income or have business related debts. Chapter 7 does not relieve the obligation to make late mortgage, car, child-support or tax payments in the long term. Chapter 7 fees must be paid prior to filing and often range between $3,000.00 and $8,000.00. Most Chapter […]

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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is designed for individuals who have any source of regular income and are able to fund a plan payment. Plan payments normally include paying auto loans, past-due mortgage payments, taxes and child support arrearage over 3 to 5 years plus paying at least 1% or more to finance companies or unsecured creditors such […]

What does bankruptcy do?

You may find yourself asking, “What is bankruptcy? And what can it do for me?” Well the short answer is, a lot. From the moment the bankruptcy petition is filed it sets into action a legal chain of events that is unlike any other type of law. On the date a case is filed, the […]

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How do I know if a debt is secured, unsecured, or priority in order to fill out my schedules correctly?

A. Secured Debt:  If the creditor has a legal right to take an asset, such as a house or car, if you fail to pay the loan, the debt is secured.  A creditor whose debt is secured by collateral has the right to use the collateral to satisfy the secured debt if the debtor defaults […]

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Does a discharge remove the lien against my property?

The discharge order only relieves the debtor of the personal obligation to pay the debt. Valid liens against the debtor’s property that existed prior to the date the debtor filed for bankruptcy generally pass through the bankruptcy unaffected. However, certain liens may be avoided (i.e. made unenforceable) against exempt property during bankruptcy or may be satisfied […]

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What can I do if a creditor continues to try to collect on a debt from me that was discharged in my bankruptcy case?

The best course of action will depend on the specific facts involved. It is recommended that a debtor contact an attorney with any questions.

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Are all debts discharged in bankruptcy?

Not all debts are discharged. The debts discharged vary under each chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. A slightly broader discharge of debts is available to a debtor in a Chapter 13 case than in a Chapter 7 case. Section 523(a) of the Bankruptcy Code specifically excepts various categories of debts from the discharge granted to […]

What is a discharge? When will I receive it?

A bankruptcy discharge releases an individual debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. In other words, the debtor is no longer legally required to pay the debts that are discharged.

What can I do if a creditor keeps trying to collect money after I have filed bankruptcy?

If the creditor continues to attempt to collect a debt after the bankruptcy is filed, the creditor may be in violation of the automatic stay. You should immediately notify your attorney, if you have one, of the creditor’s collection efforts. If you are not represented, you may provide notice to the creditor that you have […]

What is the “means test”?

Individual debtors with primarily consumer debts who file a petition for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, 11, or 13 must complete an income-based “means test.” The means test calculates the difference between a debtor’s current monthly income (“CMI”) and his or her allowed expenses. The means test is intended to determine whether a debtor has the […]

What is a bankruptcy petition?

A bankruptcy petition is a form that a debtor files to commence a case before the bankruptcy court. The debtor elects in the document the bankruptcy chapter under which he or she will proceed and provides certain other required identifying information.  The document is signed by the debtor under penalty of perjury. Married individuals are […]

What is the automatic stay?

The filing of a bankruptcy petition automatically stays (stops) most actions, such as collections, foreclosures and repossessions, against the debtor or the debtor’s property. It is called “automatic” because the stay typically begins automatically at the time the bankruptcy case is filed with the Clerk’s Office. There are certain exceptions to the automatic stay, such […]

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What is credit counseling?

As of October 17, 2005, in order to be eligible to file for bankruptcy, individual debtors must receive credit counseling within 180 days prior to filing a bankruptcy petition.

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Who is a bankruptcy case trustee?

A bankruptcy trustee is appointed in all Chapter 7, 12, and 13 cases and in some Chapter 11 cases. The trustee administers the bankruptcy estate and presides at the first meeting of creditors (also called the “section 341 meeting”). In a Chapter 7 case, the trustee liquidates the debtor’s non-exempt assets by collecting and selling […]

What are the bankruptcy chapters?

The Bankruptcy Code is divided into several chapters. When a debtor files a case, the debtor elects the chapter under which he or she will proceed. The different chapters have varying procedures for repayment of debt and obtaining a discharge. Chapter 7: Often called the “liquidation chapter,” Chapter 7 is used by individuals and non-individuals […]

What is bankruptcy?

“Bankruptcy” refers to a national set of laws (the “Bankruptcy Code,” which is codified in Title 11 of the United States Code), designed to help certain individuals and businesses reorganize their financial affairs to achieve a fresh start.  Bankruptcy laws give the debtor protection and benefits that are generally not available outside of bankruptcy.  Most […]