Find Answers To Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions
If you are considering bankruptcy, starting the process can feel cumbersome – especially when you are financially strained and if creditors call you regularly. I understand how you may be feeling, as I went through Chapter 7 bankruptcy before I became an attorney.
Below, I address some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding bankruptcy to offer general information and help guide you through the process. If you still aren’t finding the answers you need, reach out to my firm, The Law Offices of Diane Anderson, through my contact form or call me at 209-717-6150.
What can you keep in bankruptcy?
Most people do not lose any of their belongings in bankruptcy. The end goal of bankruptcy is to get you back on your feet financially. Therefore, your basic necessities are protected in bankruptcy to help you re-establish yourself.
- The equity in your home and most of your personal belongings will likely be protected in bankruptcy.
- The exemptions (the bankruptcy law which protects your assets) are very complicated, and you should consult an attorney to maximize the protection you are afforded under bankruptcy law.
Can taxes be discharged?
Contrary to common belief, income taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy provided that:
- The taxes are at least three years old.
- The tax returns must have been filed at least two years ago.
- Any assessment was more than 240 days ago.
- The debtor did not engage in any fraud or tax evasion.
Can student loans be discharged?
Student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, except in cases where it would create an extreme hardship on the debtor to pay back the student loan.
Can child and spousal support be discharged?
Can property settlement agreements be discharged?
Property settlement agreements resulting from a divorce can never be discharged in bankruptcy.
Who should consider bankruptcy?
Anyone that is overwhelmed with financial problems should consider filing for bankruptcy. Financial problems significantly affect your entire life, causing some, if not all, of the following issues:
- Physical ailments (ulcers, high blood pressure, insomnia)
- Problems within a marriage and a family due to the stress of the financial situation
- Negative effect on your job performance
- Depression and a feeling of being overwhelmed
Bankruptcy should be considered as medicine for those who are financially ill. Creditors can make you feel guilty and ashamed, but creditors are NOT on your side. They forget that it is a long-standing tradition in the United States, most other countries, and in most religions to forgive debts and let a person get a fresh start.
How can bankruptcy affect your credit?
The bankruptcy itself does not hurt your credit it hurts your credit because the debts are not paid. The way to rebuild your credit is to buy an inexpensive item on a credit card and pay your bill on time, then buy something else and pay the bill, etc. Here are some of the options:
- An automobile is one of the easiest items to buy after bankruptcy. You can maintain your bank accounts and all your utilities.
- You can arrange to pay any creditor back, if you want or feel obligated.
Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, but you will find credit if you have a decent income. With over 1 million people a year filing bankruptcy, creditors would run out of customers if they refused to extend credit to everyone who has filed bankruptcy.
Can you file bankruptcy more than once?
You can file for bankruptcy more than once. To file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there must be at least six years since the last discharge of debt. You can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy any time, as long as you intend to pay your creditors 100%. Paying your creditors less than 100% must be at least six years from your last discharge.
Reach Out For A Free Initial Bankruptcy Consultation
Contact my firm today to work with a lawyer who cares about your situation and to learn more about your rights and responsibilities. At The Law Offices of Diane Anderson, I am highly devoted to assisting you with the best bankruptcy plan to fit your needs. Learn more about your options and alternatives. Multiple types of bankruptcy can help individuals be comforted by their debts.