My clients have many questions when they come to my office. They want to know what is going to happen to them if they can’t pay all their bills any longer. They ask about every aspect of filing a bankruptcy case; how it will affect their home, car, job, retirement funds, credit score, etc. Any form of bankruptcy has a significant impact on your financial life; mostly for the good.
This page is devoted to answering the most common questions we receive about filing a Bankruptcy case.
- After Bankruptcy
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Chapter 7
- Child Support
- Co-signed debts
- Credit Reports
- Debt Relief
- Debt Relief
- Exempt Property
- Fees and Costs
- Forgot a Debt
- Garnish Wages
- Home Ownership
- Included Debts
- Judgment lien
- Medical bills
- Own a Business
- Pension IRA
- Personal Property
- Public Notice
- Reestablish Credit
- Secured Creditors
- Student Loans
- What Are My Options
- What Are My Options?
- What Can I Do?
Attorney’s fees are like auto shop charges; your fee is directly related to the complexity of the job. We do not have a single fee for all bankruptcy cases. “Costs” are expenses we pay for services provided by others, such as credit reports and the required credit counseling.
At the initial appointment with your attorney, you will be given a written quote of our fee for handling your bankruptcy case. Many of our clients cannot pay the full fee immediately; therefore we offer a payment program. You can make a down payment on your fee and we will represent you for 6 months, standing between you and your creditors, while you finish payments on your fees and costs. If you are unable to pay your fees within 6 months we reserve the right to charge extra because we are doing more work than expected.
Once your fees and costs are paid your case will be filed promptly. We can not file a case before the fees are paid because we can not be a creditor.
During the time you are gathering your fee and costs, we work as a team to discourage creditors from harassing you. Once you have retained us as your attorney I do not want you to talk to your creditors, I want all creditor inquiries to be funneled through my office. All you do when contacted by a creditor is to tell them you are going to file a bankruptcy case and then give them my name, address, etc. I want them to call me. After that, you are instructed to ignore all calls or communications from creditors.
The effect is most creditors stop trying to collect money from you if they know you have retained an attorney to file a bankruptcy case.
What Are My Options?
“I’ve tried everything I can except to call a lawyer”
Why not? We offer a free consultation; we wish you wouldn’t wait until you have tried everything else first before contacting us.
In the event that your attempts to resolve your financial problems without resorting to a bankruptcy have failed, then bankruptcy options should be considered.
Bankruptcy is a very effective solution to a severe problem. Reasons:
Your rights are established by a federal law and are backed up by a federal court.
You know what to expect when you file a bankruptcy case.
The certainty of your outcome. If you file a bankruptcy case we can predict with a high level of accuracy what is going to happen in your case, when it will happen and when it will be over.
You will learn the process in advance. We help you through every step in the process.
If you are considering your bankruptcy options there are a several kids of bankruptcies. We will explain the effects of chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13 and the different types of relief available.
Generally, most people file Chapter 7 cases. Next are Chapter 13 cases. Chapter 11 is mainly for corporate or sole proprietorship reorganization. This is usually used by businesses, but it is not limited to businesses Chapter 12 is limited to farmers and fisherman.
To find out the best bankruptcy alternative for you call and arrange a free consultation today.
What Debts are Included
“All of them!”
In any kind of bankruptcy case you are going to be required to disclose everything about your financial condition including all of your assets, debts, your income and expenses, and much additional information.
I am frequently asked: “Do I have to list all of my creditors?” Yes you do.
The law requires you to report all creditors. Listing all of your creditors’ means you must report your medical bills, mortgage loan, car loan, and all others. Every creditor has to be listed and notified.
Next, what is important is how that particular debt is going to be treated. Whether you keep a debt or discharge the debt is mostly up to you. You can repay creditors, in whole or in part, after a discharge.
Mistakes my clients make.
Moral of the story: Don’t make financial decisions in a debt crisis, consult a professional first.
There are things that you might consider doing to resolve your financial problems on your own that can make your situation much worse.
Don’t give away valuable possessions. Transferring assets out of their name in the hope of protecting them. I not talking about a legitimate sale of something you own for a fair price – that’s OK. If you have a car worth five thousand dollars and you sale it for four thousand dollars that is a legitimate sale. But – If you give away an asset or transfer an asset for a lot less than it is worth, you and the person you transferred too may get in trouble. Giving away assets or selling them cheap to friends or family is called a Fraudulent Transfer.
The transfer can be reversed. The asset can be recovered from the transferee and title put back in your name. Then it will be taken from you and sold to pay your creditors.
We urge that you do not sell or transfer assets out of your name unless you consulted with us first. We will need to advise you as to what are legitimate transfers and what might be a Fraudulent Transfer.
Don’t repay family members or favored creditors. Another thing you can do to hurt yourself and others is to repay debts that you owe to family or friends. It seems natural and fair to pay debts to your family over other creditors, but it is a problem if you file a bankruptcy case. If you make payments to a family member within a year of filing a bankruptcy they may be considered to have received “preferential treatment “over your other creditors. If you have chosen to pay your family over other creditors then both you and they may have a problem. The problem is that the bankruptcy trustee will look for things like this. If you have transferred assets to your family you will be asked under oath to reveal that information. If you choose not to reveal the information you have committed a felony. If you do the information your family member may be told to repay the money.
I assume you do not want your family members involved in your bankruptcy case. Therefore, do not transfer assets to them. Do not pay back debts to them unless you have consulted with us to make sure what you are doing is legitimate.
Don’t use retirement funds to pay off debts. We also recommend you never consider spending money out of pension plans to solve debt problems. You make exhaust yourself of one of the assets you need when you retire. Pensions and retirement plans are normally protected assets which you can expect to keep in a bankruptcy case.
Don’t commit a felony! The worse thing a person can do is to hide assets and fail to disclose them in their bankruptcy schedules.
DO NOT ASK US TO HELP YOU COMMIT A CRIME!
That will also get you kicked out of bankruptcy and you get no discharge or fresh start.
You must disclose all of your assets. If you cooperate with the system and do not take any actions to have your motives questioned, we can get you through a bankruptcy case without making it an ordeal for you or your family members. Contact Us we are here to help.