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Bankruptcy FAQ

Answers to Common Bankruptcy Questions

How do I know if bankruptcy is right for me?
Facing serious financial hardship is never easy, but if you're having trouble paying off your mortgage every month, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option. At the Price Law Group, we understand that the prospect of filing for bankruptcy is full of uncertainty and probably overwhelming. That's why we're here to help. Each case is unique; if you are considering bankruptcy, talk to an attorney from our firm today to find out more about your legal rights and the best solution for the future of your financial security.

Can't I file for bankruptcy without a lawyer?
Yes. Filing for bankruptcy does not necessitate the help of an attorney. However, bankruptcy is a serious financial step. It may affect your future and the future of your loved ones for years. At the firm, we understand that the bankruptcy process is tedious and confusing – filing the wrong form, missing a deadline, or accidentally giving the wrong financial information can cause serious (if not detrimental) complications. If you are considering bankruptcy but aren't sure about hiring and attorney, call our firm today and we will schedule a free consultation to best decision for your financial circumstances.

When will creditors stop harassing me?
Under the fair debt collection practices act, creditors are not allowed to harass debtors at any time. If a creditor continues to pursue payment after you have filed bankruptcy (during automatic stay), talk to an attorney from our office immediately. The FDCPA has very specific rules regarding creditor harassment and abuse. For instance, debt collectors are not allowed to make repeated phone calls with the intention of annoying or bothering debtors. Additionally, creditors may not use obscene language or any form of verbal threat to coerce payment from a debtor. If you have received any form of harassment or abuse from a debt collector, we urge you to call our firm today.

How long does it take to get rid of my debts through bankruptcy?
Each case is unique, but if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you can expect your discharge 60 days after the meeting of creditors, while a Chapter 13 case will be completed at the end of a 3 or 5 year payment plan.

How do I know if I qualify for bankruptcy?
There is a benchmark known as a "means test" that establishes whether or not an individual qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and this test compares the amount you owe to your income and financial resources. The qualifications for Chapter 13 is similar, though less strict. It all depends on demonstrating to the court that you owe more than you can handle.

Will declaring bankruptcy destroy my credit?
Many people avoid declaring bankruptcy out of fear that they will never be able to get a loan in the future, and this forces them to struggle on under heavy burdens of debt. The truth is that while bankruptcy will have a major impact on your credit, it will only remain on your credit report for 10 years. In that time, you will also be able to work on credit repair, for example by using secured credit cards.

Will everything I own be liquidated?
If you are hesitant to file for bankruptcy because you are afraid losing your belongings, remember that not every you own will be liquidated. With the help of an attorney, you can take advantage of state exemptions. These exemptions allow you to keep some of your property and assets. For instance, your retirement savings and 401K will most likely be exempt from liquidation. In some cases, your home may be exempt as well.

In fact, filing for bankruptcy may help you keep some of your belongings. If you fail to file bankruptcy, creditors may sue for your bank accounts and seize your property. In this situation, you may not be able to afford your car payments and rent, making it difficult to finance your most basic needs. If you have questions regarding what portion of your financial estate will be liquidated, talk to an attorney from the Price Law Group today.

Can my creditor object to my debts being discharged?
In chapter 7 cases, your debtor does not have the absolute right to contest a discharge. However, your debtor may file an objection. After you file a petition, your creditor will receive information regarding the discharge of your debts. In this notice, your creditor will be given a specific amount of time to contest the discharge. I chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are usually given the right to a discharge after you have paid the remaining balance on your debts. If you fail to complete your payment plan, your creditor may be able to contest the discharge of your debts.

After my debts have been discharged, can the discharge be revoked?
Only under specific circumstances. The courts may revoke a debt discharge if the creditor is able to demonstrate that you obtained it dishonestly. For instance, if the debtor committed fraud in order to be granted discharge, the court may revoke the original ruling. Generally speaking, any request to revoke a debt discharge must be filed within one year of the discharge and the court must have a specific reason for the revocation. If your creditor claims that you filed for bankruptcy illegally or fraudulently, your debt will only be discharged once the court has seen reasonable evidence that the allegations are true.

Can I pay a discharged debts after my case is concluded?
Yes. You may voluntarily repay a discharged debt – even though the debt cannot be legally enforced. Many times, debtors who choose to repay a discharged debt do so for personal reasons. For instance, if the discharged debt was owed to a family member or loved one, you may decide to pay them even though they cannot legally enforce payment. If the debt was owed to someone of special significance to you – such as your family doctor – you may want to pay the debt off even after it has been legally discharged. Although payment is not required, it is not illegal to make up the outstanding balance.

What do I do if a creditor tries to take my money after my debt is discharged?
Take legal action. After you file a petition, your creditor is not allowed to pursue collections. After your debt has been discharged, payment is no longer legally enforceable and the creditor may be guilty of creditor abuse or harassment. If you creditor continues to pursue payment, you can file a motion with the court to report any action and ask that a case be opened to resolve the issue. Legally speaking, a discharge constitutes a permanent, statutory injunction disallowing debt collectors to attempt payment collection. If your creditor contacts you after your debt has been discharged and attempts to take your money, talk to an attorney from The Price Law Group as soon as possible.

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