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General Bankruptcy FAQ
- What is Bankruptcy?
- How do I know if I need to file Bankruptcy?
- What can bankruptcy do for me?
- What are the downsides to filing for bankruptcy?
- Will it be harder for me to get a job with a bankruptcy filing on my record?
- Can I choose what debts to list in my bankruptcy case?
- What is the difference between chapters?
- Am I Eligible to File Bankruptcy?
- What are Secured Debts in Bankruptcy?
- How does Bankruptcy Work if you own a Business?
- How Does the Means Test Work?
- What Type of Debts Can I Get Rid of in Bankruptcy?
- What Happens if I Transfer Assets Before I file Bankruptcy?
1. What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that allows an individual or a business who owes creditors more money than they are able to pay to either work out a plan to repay the money or eliminate most the debt. Bankruptcy law is governed at the federal level. However, sometimes the bankruptcy laws require the application of state laws. Various sources of bankruptcy law are discussed below. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all creditors from their ability to obtain debt from you.
2. How do I know if I need to file Bankruptcy?
If you are researching information regarding bankruptcy you are probably in enough financial distress to justify filing bankruptcy. If you cannot make ends meet and are missing payments on your credit cards, home and/or vehicle, bankruptcy can help. If you are still able to make the minimum payments on your credit cards but have no hope of ever being able to pay the balance off, bankruptcy may be right for you. If you have received a lawsuit from a creditor then bankruptcy can be of assistance. If you are trying to stop a wage garnishment or bank levy, bankruptcy may offer a solution. These are just some of the factors to consider when deciding to file bankruptcy. One of the best ways to decide is to schedule a free consultation with a reputable bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.
3. What can bankruptcy do for me?
Filing for bankruptcy may make it possible for you to:
- Remove, also known as discharge, some of your unsecured debt.
- Providing the debtor with extra time to repay some of the debt. The debtor can be given time to reorganize his/her finances.
- Stop foreclosure on your house or other living space.
- Prevent garnishment of your wages.
- Preventing abuse of your indebtedness by dishonest debtors.
4. What are the downsides to filing for bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy cannot solve every financial problem, nor is it the right course of action for every individual. Here is a list of some of the downsides to bankruptcy and some of the things that bankruptcy cannot do:
- Bankruptcy cannot, for example, prevent ‘secured’ creditors from obtaining what they are owed. A secured creditor is an individual or company that has a lien – such as a mortgage – on a piece of your property that they hold as collateral. A bankruptcy court can force secured creditors to accept a payment plan, where the creditor will accept payments over a specified period of time, but the debtor cannot keep the property unless the debt is paid.
- Bankruptcy can also not discharge some special types of debt, such as child support, spousal maintenance, and other debts like student loans, fines associated with criminal charges, and some taxes.
- Additionally there are some downsides to bankruptcy. A recent bankruptcy makes it harder to get a mortgage. It also makes it more difficult to acquire credit, and hold credit cards.
5. Will it be harder for me to get a job with a bankruptcy filing on my record?
No. 11 U.S.C. §525 prevents the government and private employers from discriminating against you in any way because you filed for bankruptcy.
6. Can I choose what debts to list in my bankruptcy case?
No. You must list all of your assets and all of your debts.
7. What is the difference between chapters?
Chapter 7 is used by individuals, partnerships, or corporations who have no way of digging themselves out of debt. The debtor’s non-exempt property is sold, or, in other words, liquidated, to pay off as much of the debt as possible..
Chapter 11 allows corporations, partnerships, and some individuals to reorganize their finances without having to sell-off all of their non-exempt assets. The debtor creates a plan with the court, which will allow the debtor to reorganize his affairs to pay off certain debts.
Chapter 13 is used for individuals who, although saddled by debt, believe that the debt can be paid within a certain amount of time. Chapter 13 allow a debtor to file a plan for the future in which they agree to pay a percentage of future income to the trustee that will be used for payment to creditors. Following court approval, the debtor will be under the court’s protection while repaying such debts and shielded from creditors.
The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code
"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."
"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."
"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."
"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."
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