Answering the most common questions about bankruptcy
If you are facing the need to file for bankruptcy, it is important to be prepared with the facts. Bankruptcy is not a punishment. It functions to help you out of a bad situation. Though it has become normal for people to file for bankruptcy, it once was thought of as a last resort for the incompetent and irresponsible. This is far from the truth. There are many reasons to file for bankruptcy and having the right information is important as you move forward. If you need an effective attorney to protect your needs while guiding you through the process of bankruptcy, contact Velasco Law Office for a consultation.
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is the process by which an individual or business can make overwhelming debts more manageable through the discharge of debt and/or repayment/ restructuring plans approved by the court.
Who will know I am filing for bankruptcy?
On the one hand, bankruptcy is public record. On the other hand, bankruptcy is such a frequent occurrence compared to many years ago, the chance that someone will find out you filed for bankruptcy is very slim. For the most part, you, your creditor, the bankruptcy court and anyone you choose to disclose the information should be the only people who know you filed.
Can I get fired from my job?
It is illegal for any employer to discriminate against you for filing. If you are fired for filing for bankruptcy, you may have a claim for wrongful termination.
How long does bankruptcy affect my credit?
Bankruptcy stays on your record for 10 years. It is important to note that when your case is closed, you can start rebuilding your credit once again.
Will I ever get credit again?
Of course. You will be offered credit soon after your case is closed. It is important to be wary of the terms and to carefully take on credit so that you can avoid stepping right back into a dire financial situation.
Can creditors keep harassing me or taking legal action after I file for bankruptcy?
Once you file for bankruptcy, you will be issued an automatic stay. This means that creditors may no longer pursue payment of your debts, including harassment/contact, lawsuits, foreclosure, or the garnishing of wages.
What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
Have bankruptcy laws changed?
There are new eligibility requirements. The most notable requirement is the need for the debtor to complete two courses before filing: the credit counseling course and the financial management course.
What debts are dischargeable? What debts are not?
Some debts are dischargeable, including:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Most loans
There are many that are not, including:
- Student loans
- Child support
- Certain taxes
- Fraudulent debts
- Debts not on the petition
Bankruptcy does not eliminate the rights of secured creditors, including lenders of car loans and home mortgages, without the payoff of these debts.
Can I keep my home, car, and personal property?
Each case is unique. Federal and state laws allow for exemptions up to a specific amount of certain personal property. It is best to discuss your situation with an attorney.
Will bankruptcy affect my spouse?
Unless your spouse signed documents attaching them to your debt, he or she should not be impacted by your filing. If your spouse co-signed or otherwise guaranteed payment of a debt, the creditor will look to them for payment when you file. It may be in your best interests to file jointly because it doubles the allowed exemption on personal property.
Do I need an attorney?
There are many legal matters that do not need an attorney, bankruptcy being one. As with many legal matters, it is in your best interests to have an attorney’s support and guidance to reach the best possible conclusion for your legal matter.
To learn more about the bankruptcy process, simply read Attorney Velasco’s Complete Guide to NJ Bankruptcy.
Contact an Edison bankruptcy attorney
If you need an effective attorney to protect your rights and help you recover from a bleak financial situation, contact Velasco Law Office for a consultation. The firm will ease you through your legal situation and protect your rights through the process of bankruptcy. If you need quality legal support, contact Juan C. Velasco, Esq. for a consultation.