An Experienced Attorney Answering Bankruptcy FAQ's
At the Dees Law Office in Springfield, Illinois, we recognize the process of bankruptcy can seem complex. Many of our clients come to us with a variety of questions. Although many questions are specific to a particular situation, we have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Question: Is Chapter 7 bankruptcy still available?
Answer: In 2005, changes were made to the Bankruptcy Code making it slightly more difficult for some people to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, it is still an option for debt relief. Using the means test, we can help you to determine if Chapter 7 is a viable option for you.
Question: Will I lose assets, including personal belongings, if I file for bankruptcy?
Answer: There is very little chance you will lose any assets when filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws allow you to "exempt" certain property if there is any likelihood of losing personal property or we should be able to inform you of the possibility before filing a bankruptcy petition.
Question: Will I have to pay back all of my debts if I file for Chapter 13?
Answer: The debts you pay back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy depend upon the details of your repayment plan. When your repayment plan is established your disposable income, the value of your nonexempt property and the types of debt you have will all be taken into consideration. You may be able to avoid paying back unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills. However, you could be required to pay up to 100 percent of car or home loans if you choose to stop repossession or foreclosure.
Question: Do I need to file for bankruptcy if I am unemployed?
Answer: If you are unemployed, without any source of income, and have limited assets, it may be possible to avoid filing for bankruptcy. However, your debts will not go away on their own. Eventually, collection actions will be taken against you. If you choose not to file but later start working, it may be difficult to stop garnishment of your wages. Before deciding if bankruptcy is an option for you, it may be wise to consult an attorney.
Question: Will I ruin my credit if I file for bankruptcy?
Answer: Most people that need to file for bankruptcy already have poor credit or will soon experience a decline in their credit score because they are not meeting all of their financial obligations. Filing for bankruptcy can help to repair your damaged credit. A bank is more likely to extend credit to someone who has successfully completed a bankruptcy and is debt free than someone who has overextended his or her credit.
Question: How long does bankruptcy take?
Answer: Every bankruptcy case is unique. However, once a petition is filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally takes about three months to complete. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more long-term, ranging from three to five years to complete depending on your court-approved repayment plan.
Contact Us for a Consultation — Flat Rate Services Are Available
Please contact Dees Law Office to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your financial situation. Evening, weekend and at-home visits are available by appointment. We charge a flat rate for our legal representation in bankruptcy matters.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.