Answers To Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions
Filing for bankruptcy can seem like a big leap. At Borders & Gerace, LLC, we get it. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and help you evaluate whether bankruptcy is a good decision for your situation. We’re committed to providing honest, upfront guidance.
To that end, we’ve provided answers to some common questions we hear about bankruptcy. Please keep in mind that what follows is general information. You’ll want to talk with a lawyer about questions regarding your specific situation.
How much does bankruptcy cost?
If you’re worried about whether you can afford bankruptcy, you’re not alone. This is an understandably common concern. There are two components to the cost of bankruptcy: court filing fees and attorneys’ fees. Often, there are ways to structure the payments to make them affordable. Our lawyers can work with you to develop a workable arrangement.
Will filing for bankruptcy affect my job?
No. Your employer doesn’t need to know about your bankruptcy, and there is no reason why your job would be impacted.
Will I lose my property by filing for bankruptcy?
This is a common misconception, and fortunately, it’s unfounded. In most cases, you won’t have to give up any property due to bankruptcy.
Will bankruptcy ruin my credit?
This is another common misconception. While bankruptcy will temporarily impact your credit, by getting rid of unpayable loans and avoiding further late payments, you will have a stronger foundation to rebuild your credit over time. You will almost certainly end up in a much better position, credit-wise, than you would have if you kept missing payments.
Does my spouse also have to file for bankruptcy?
They’re not required to, but it many cases it may be beneficial for both spouses to file, particularly when jointly held property is involved. Our attorneys can provide guidance on whether it’s better for both spouses to file in your case.
Will the bankruptcy trustee come to my house?
No. You don’t have to worry about having a stranger comb through your personal belongings. In rare cases, if the court is suspicious about assets being hidden or undervalued, they may enlist a real estate professional or appraiser to verify information.
Can I keep my house?
In most cases, yes. Bankruptcy protects you from foreclosure proceedings while the case is pending. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue various options for keeping your home, including loan modification and eliminating second mortgages.
Can I keep my car?
If you have a car loan, you will need to address that debt as part of the bankruptcy process. The good news is that the lender can’t repossess your car during bankruptcy proceedings. You’ll have the opportunity to reaffirm paying on the car loan.
Can I file bankruptcy if I am a higher earner?
Yes, you can file for bankruptcy no matter what your income level is, however you may be unable to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if your income is higher than the state average. You will then need to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to restructure your debt.
What happens if I cannot stay on my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy payment plan?
If you are unable to make your payments for your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy payment plan, you can always seek a temporary suspension from the court, or you could seek to dismiss it voluntarily. If you seek to dismiss your payment plan, you will have to resume paying your debts under your previous arrangement. Alternatively, you can seek to convert your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy into a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
How long do I have to wait to file bankruptcy again?
The short answer is 8 years is generally the amount of time you have to wait to file bankruptcy under the same chapter as your previous case. If you have previously had your debt discharged under Chapter 7, then you must wait 8 years before seeking another Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, however you can seek Chapter 13 Bankruptcy instead. Additionally, if you have already filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy within the last 8 years, you cannot file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy unless your payment plan meets certain conditions. You can always convert a currently pending case from one chapter to another, so long as you are eligible.
Can I get a student loan if I have filed for bankruptcy?
Yes, the law prohibits lenders from denying you a student loan based solely on your prior bankruptcy.
Will bankruptcy prevent my wages from being garnished?
Yes, if you file for bankruptcy it will stop all current garnishment of your wages by creditors that you are currently facing. If your debt is discharged successfully, then you this will stop future garnishments by your creditors for the same debt. However, this does not apply to any garnishments that are being levied against you for child support or alimony that you owe.
Will my utilities be cut off because I filed bankruptcy?
No, however they can request a deposit for “adequate assurance” of payment from you which must be paid within 20 days of receipt.
Can I put my property into someone else’s name before I file bankruptcy?
No, these actions will not put your property beyond the reach of creditors or the bankruptcy court, and worse could result in a denial of your debt discharge. The bankruptcy trustee can reclaim assets that you have transferred within the past year for which you were not fairly paid by the other person, to get at transactions meant to hide assets from creditors.
Can bankruptcy remove a lien on my home?
No, a bankruptcy debt discharge can remove the debt that you owe on a lien, but it cannot remove the lien from your home automatically. There are other actions you must seek to take in order to accomplish this.
Get Answers To More Of Your Bankruptcy Questions
Our lawyers are here to address any questions or concerns you may have about the process. To get started with a free case evaluation, please call 216-435-5668. We have convenient offices in Akron and Cleveland, Ohio, and we offer virtual representation via phone or video with affordable fees.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.