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Bankruptcy Questions Answered

BankruptcyHome.com is here to answer your questions about Bankruptcy. Our team of attorneys and legal professionals has designed a site that provides you with up-to-date information and news about bankruptcy and its processes.

Whether you are looking for basic information about the protections available to you through Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, or have thought seriously about filing bankruptcy and are seeking help about specific issues, we are here to help you get control of your finances and move toward a future free of crippling debt.

We explain how filing bankruptcy can Stop Foreclosure and help you keep most of your personal belongings. If the information on the site does not answer your bankruptcy questions, a sponsoring attorney in your area is ready to provide you with a free evaluation of your personal situation and advise you what types of debt can be discharged in bankruptcy.

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Making the decision to file bankruptcy is not easy. Getting all the information about bankruptcy and answers to your questions so that you can make an informed decision is very important. Take a look around our Web site and hopefully we have provided you with a comprehensive overview of bankruptcy, its process, benefits and drawbacks.

Bankruptcy FAQs

More Bankruptcy Questions:

Q: What is bankruptcy?

A: Bankruptcy is a process under federal law that allows debtors who owe more money than they can pay to either eliminate their debts or work out a payment plan to pay a portion (or all) of their debts over time.

Q: How hard is bankruptcy paperwork?

A: It all depends on the type of bankruptcy you file and whether or not you are filing a no asset case. Complicated bankruptcy matters should always be referred to a bankruptcy lawyer for review.

Q: Will bankruptcy stop all the harassing phone calls and mail from bill collectors?

A: Yes! An "automatic stay" will take effect when you file your case. It will stop the creditor harassment.

Q: Will bankruptcy stop a wage garnishment from a lawsuit over an unsecured debt?

A: Yes. The automatic stay will stop the garnishment.

Q: How long will bankruptcy remain on my credit report?

A: Bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for ten years.

Q: What is the best and fastest way to learn about the bankruptcy process?

A: Meet with several bankruptcy lawyers to consult about your particular situation, buy a Nolo law book on the type of bankruptcy you plan to file, and attend bankruptcy forum websites to pick the minds of peers who have been through the process.

Q: What does "secured" or "unsecured" debt mean?

A: Secured debt is debt that allows a creditor to make a claim on an asset (i.e. home, real property or car). Unsecured debt is held by creditors that have no claim to your assets (i.e. credit cards).

Q: What happens if I file and discover another debt after filing?

A: Your lawyer can amend your case to include any additional debts you may find after the case is filed.

Q: What happens when one spouse files without the other spouse?

A: You need to discuss this carefully with your attorney. The spouse that doesn’t file may end up being responsible for some of the debts.

Q: Can I be held responsible for a debt that I co-signed?

A: Yes. You can be held responsible for any debt that you signed an agreed that said you would pay in the event that someone else failed to make the payments (co-signed).

Q: Can all debts be discharged?

A: No. There are certain debts like student loans, government loans, back taxes and other debts that cannot be discharged.

Q: Can I convert Chapter 13 to Chapter 7?

A: When you decide to file for a conversion from a chapter 13 to a chapter 7 there is a process that has to be taken. First there are attorney fees that you have to come up with to get it converted that will cover the costs of getting the paperwork done. Once you pay the fee to convert the case, then a notice of conversion is filed with the courts. This tells the court that you are intending to convert the case to a chapter 7. Once the notice is filed, you now wait for the Judge to sign the conversion order. Once the order is signed, it is now time for you to come in and update your paperwork so that we can sign the amended schedules with the court. Also once the order is signed, you will have a meeting of creditors to attend. Yes another meeting that you have to go to, to finish this process out. Once you attend that meeting, now you just wait for the discharge to be entered. This whole process takes about 4-5 months and then you will be done. It is important that you get with your attorney or vice versus to get this paperwork updated and done prior to the meeting of creditors.

Q: Will I lose my social security payments if I file?

A: No

Q: Am I going to lose my personal property if I file bankruptcy?

A: There are exemptions, both state and federal, that allow you to keep a certain amount of personal property. Your attorney will explain how these exemptions apply to people who file bankruptcy in your state.

Q: Can I pick which debts to put in the bankruptcy?

A: No. You must include all of your debts.

Q: How long will the bankruptcy process take?

A: The time it takes to go through the bankruptcy process all depends on the type of bankruptcy you file, but typically a Chapter 7 can be finished within 180 days and any type of reorganization plan can take up to five years.

Q: What are bankruptcy exemptions?

A: Bankruptcy exemptions are legal statutes, either state or federal, which will protect a certain portion of your assets from unsecured creditors when you file for bankruptcy protection. Get a full definition of bankruptcy exemptions here on our glossary.

Q: How many types of bankruptcy are available to file?

A: As an individual, you have the choice to file any one of five different types of bankruptcy, depending on who you are and your circumstances, but the most common types are a Chapter 7, a Chapter 13, and a Chapter 11.

Q: What is the 341 Meeting?

A: visit our glossary page for the definition of 341 Meeting for bankruptcy. Basically, the 341 meeting is a required meeting between you, the trustee, and your creditors for the purpose of gathering any additional information that you have not filed. Unless you have committed fraud, most all 341 meetings are cut and dry, less than five minutes long, attended by very few if any creditors, and the trustee asks simple basic questions you can answer with a yes or no most of the time. After a 341 meeting you wait for 60 days to see if any of your creditors will make claims against you for the debts you owe them. You can find out if someone has filed a claim against you on the bankruptcy court reporting system called PACER, and/or the trustee will send out a distribution report.

Q: When will I get my discharge?

A: Generally a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge is received 60 days after the 341 meeting, or first meeting of creditors. In Chapter 13, your discharge will be sent to you once you have completed the payments under the Chapter 13 plan.

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