BANKRUPTCY - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How long is a bankruptcy?
For a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the 341 hearing is scheduled for about one to one and a half months after the case was filed. If the case does not have any assets for the Trustee to pursue, it is frequently closed around four months after the case was filed.
For a chapter 13 bankruptcy, the 341 hearing is scheduled just about a month after the case was filed and the Confirmation Hearing is scheduled after that date. The case will remain open for the length of the payment plan through the court which is usually between three and five years.
- Should I file for bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy can stop a wage garnishment, allow you to regain your driver's license in many situations, and stop the abusive phone calls from debt collectors. It can also freeze a foreclosure and many other pending court cases. A bankruptcy is also very helpful in the gradual situation where your debt has slowly snowballed into larger and larger amounts until it becomes out of control. There are many benefits that can result from filing a bankruptcy. To determine whether you should file a bankruptcy depends on your monthly income and expenses, the amount of debt that you have, and a variety of other factors that vary with each person's situation. Call us today to schedule a FREE consultation to determine if bankruptcy is right for you!
- What is the minimum amount of debt to file a bankruptcy?
There is no minimum amount of debt to file a bankruptcy. Each person needs to analyze whether filing a bankruptcy will put them in a better financial situation than just paying off their debts or negotiating debt settlements.
- I do not want to file bankruptcy on my house and car. Can I leave them out of my bankruptcy?
Not exactly. All debts must be listed in the bankruptcy, including those that you want to keep. However, if you sign a reaffirmation agreement while going through the bankruptcy, you are essentially keeping any debts that you reaffirm. A reaffirmation agreement makes it so that the reaffirmed debt is once again a personal liability for you, so your wages can be garnished after the bankruptcy if you default on the loan. However, reaffirming on a debt and keeping those payments current can be one of the quickest ways to rebuild your credit score.
- I filed bankruptcy on my house. Why are they foreclosing on me?
A bankruptcy discharges your personal liability so you are free from a mortgage loan, but your house is still tied to the mortgage until it is completely paid off.
If you do not make payments on a mortgage, the lender is free to file a foreclosure action to obtain title to the home in lieu of receiving payments. Furthermore, unless you actually sign a deed over to the lender, a foreclosure is the only way for the lender to obtain the title to the home.
Keep in mind that just because you are not making payments, the mortgage lender is not required to foreclose on the house. If the lender does not file a foreclosure action, the house is still titled in your name so any real estate taxes and homeowner's association dues will continue to accumulate in your name. If you have abandoned the house and do not care for it in accordance with the city's regulations, you can also be liable to the city for maintenance costs they incur (usually lawn mowing fees).
- What should I bring to the appointment?
Bring as many of the following items as possible:
- Listing of creditors that don’t show on the credit report (including IRS for back taxes, utility companies, jewelry stores, old credit cards that no longer call, hospitals, etc.)
- Copy of monthly budget
- W-2’s/ Tax returns for the previous 2 years
- Pay stubs for the last 6 months of income
- Social Security card
- Driver’s license/ State ID
- Car titles
- House deed and mortgage
- What to Expect at a § 341 Hearing (Meeting of the Creditors)
- Schedule J Form (List of Monthly Expenses)
- Driving Directions to Chapter 7 Hearing (for residents of Marion, Hardin, and Wyandot counties)
- Driving Directions to Chapter 7 Hearing (for residents of Morrow, Delaware, and Union counties)
- Driving Directions to Chapter 7 Hearing (for residents of Crawford and Richland counties)
- Driving Directions to Chapter 13 Hearing (for residents of Marion, Hardin, and Wyandot counties)
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