Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy

Are creditors breathing down your neck? Do you want to stop harassing phone calls and threats? Get debt relief and a fresh start with the help of Wilson, Lett & Kerbawy, PLC. Bankruptcy is not a decision to be taken lightly, but in the end it is a financial decision based on the amount of debt, income, and your ability to pay. Because there are both pros and cons of bankruptcy, serious consideration after a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is necessary.

 

What should I do when I cannot repay my debts?

First, consult an attorney to discuss your options. If you need to file bankruptcy you should stop using your credit cards. You can keep certain assets in a bankruptcy. Many individuals find that they can keep all of their property and discharge their unsecured debt. Do not transfer your assets to family or friends. The transfer may be considered a fraudulent transfer, and you could lose both the property and your right to a bankruptcy discharge.

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a federal law which allows the discharge of unsecured debts, and stops collection procedures. It is designed to provide a fresh start.

Does my spouse have to file?

No. If debts are in one spouses name only then there is no need for the other spouse to file. However, if you have joint debts, the creditor can collect against the non-filing spouse.

Can I keep my credit cards?

In some cases you may be able to keep some credit cards if the creditor agrees. Some creditors allow you to retain the card and some credit if you reaffirm, or agree to repay the balance at the time of filing.

Will my landlord and employer find out about the bankruptcy?

Although bankruptcy petitions are public records, under normal circumstances your employer and landlord will not know you filed. If the landlord or employer are creditors you will have to list them in the schedules and they will receive notice of the filing.

How is a bankruptcy started?

You will meet with the attorney and fill out forms. You will provide your attorney with information he or she will use to prepare the bankruptcy forms.

Will I have to go to court?

Approximately one month after filing you will need to attend a hearing conducted by the bankruptcy trustee. The meeting is called the First Meeting of Creditors. Many creditors do not appear at this meeting, but some may. The trustee and your creditors have an opportunity to ask you questions about your assets, income, expenses, and other matters.

What are the advantages?

Your creditors cannot continue to collect on the debt. This means they cannot telephone you about past due payments, begin or continue a lawsuit or begin or continue garnishments.

What are the disadvantages?

The fact you filed bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for a period of ten years. Many people are able to obtain credit, even mortgages within that ten year period.

There are limits on the amount and type of property you can keep.

What if I received a Notice of Foreclosure?

Many times we are able to prepare a Chapter 13 plan which will allow you time to bring the payments current, and stop the foreclosure. However, the bankruptcy must be filed prior to the foreclosure sale.

Can you help me over the phone?

Under the new bankruptcy law an attorney is not able to provide bankruptcy advice on the phone. Call 517-372-4204 for an appointment, or use our online Contact Form

What should I bring to our meeting?

  • Pay stubs and your income tax returns from the past two years
  • All bills you owe including those you wish to pay, including student loans:

*Include mailing address *Account number *The amount you owe

  • Your residential addresses for the past two years
  • A list of any bank accounts you closed in the last year, and all open bank accounts.
  • A list of any property you sold in the past year including the date of the sale, to whom it was sold, and the amount received from the sale.
  • The payoff on your home and any automobiles you are financing.
  • A copy of the title to all vehicles and mobile homes.
  • A copy of any lawsuits or judgments either pending or closed within the past year.
  • A recorded copy of the mortgage to your home.
  • The declaration page of insurance on your house and car.

What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?

A Chapter 7 allows a person to discharge their unsecured debt. The debtor discloses all of his or her assets and debts to the trustee. If there are assets over the allowable exemptions, the trustee may sell those assets to pay creditors. The debtor then receives a discharge of all dischargeable debts.

A Chapter 13 is a wage earners plan. In a chapter 13, you must have a regular source of income, and on the date the petition is filed owe less than $250,000 in unsecured debt and less than $750,000 in secured debts.

Are all debts discharged?

Some debts are not discharged or “forgiven”. Some of these debts are:

  • Debts you forget to list in your bankruptcy papers
  • Child support and alimony
  • Debts for personal injury or death caused by driving while intoxicated
  • Most student loans
  • Fines and penalties incurred for breaking the law, such as traffic tickets and criminal fines and restitution
  • Most tax debts: although some tax debts can be cancelled and some can be paid under a Chapter 13 plan
  • Debts incurred by fraud or misrepresentation

What if my question is not answered here?

You can call the Law Offices of Wilson, Lett, & Kerbawy at 517-372-4204 or use our online Contact Form to either schedule a free initial consultation or ask additional questions.

DISCLAIMER

The information contained on this page is not to be construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Bankruptcy law is very complicated, and you should always consult an attorney before taking any action.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy code.