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Bankruptcy FAQ

Q:

What is the typical timeline for a chapter 7 case?

A:

The lifespan of the Chapter 7 case is about six months.

Q:

What Are The Eligibility Requirements For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A:

To be eligible to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must have received a credit counseling certificate from an approved and accredited credit counseling agency.

Q:

What Should I Do After Filing For Bankruptcy?

A:

Once you file for bankruptcy, you must attend a personal financial management counseling course on financial management in order to receive a bankruptcy discharge.

Q:

Will My Spouse Be Affected By My Bankruptcy Filing?

A:

Your spouse will not be affected as long as they were not responsible for the debt.

Q:

Can I Be Fired From My Job For Filing Bankruptcy?

A:

The bankruptcy code includes specific anti-discrimination laws that prevent an employer from discriminating against an employee who filed for bankruptcy.

Q:

Will Anything Happen To My Home?

A:

It depends on whether you have equity in your home.  If you are current with your mortgage payments, and you do not have equity in your home, the trustee will generally not sell your home. If you have equity in your home, you are entitled to a homestead exemption that allows you to keep a certain amount of equity in your home.

Q:

What Happens To My Unsecured Debt?

A:

The majority of unsecured debts are eliminated. However, there are certain types of unsecured debt, such as child and spousal support and student loans, which are non-dischargeable.

Q:

What Happens To My Credit Score?

A:

Not paying your debts without filing for bankruptcy will damage your credit report.

Q:

How Long Does A Bankruptcy Stay On My Credit Report?

A:

A bankruptcy generally affects a debtor’s credit report for 7 to 10 years. However, this depends entirely on the individual credit reporting agency. The bankruptcy court has no influence on the type of information the credit bureaus report, nor how long they keep it in their records.

Q:

Will Filing A Chapter 7 Case Stop Creditors From Garnishing My Pay?

A:

Once your file for bankruptcy, creditors cannot garnish your pay without permission from the bankruptcy court.

Q:

What Is This The Automatic Stay?

A:

The filing of a bankruptcy petition automatically stays (stops) most actions, including collections, against the debtor or the debtor’s property. It is called “automatic” because the stay begins automatically at the time the bankruptcy case is filed with the clerk’s office. Once the stay is in place, creditors are prohibited from taking certain actions against a debtor.

Q:

Will The Automatic Stay Stop Creditors From Calling My Home And Work?

A:

It will help. After you file your petition with the court, the clerk’s office will send a written notice of  your bankruptcy filing to all of the creditors you listed on your creditor mailing matrix. Although this notice goes out within one to two days of filing, it may take up to a week or longer for creditors to receive this notice because of mail time.

Q:

What Is A Section 341 Meeting Or Meeting Of Creditors?

A:

The section 341 meeting, also called the meeting of creditors or a creditors meeting, is a meeting that a debtor is required to attend after filing bankruptcy. The meeting is conducted by the case trustee or the u.S. Trustee. The debtor must appear at this meeting and testify, under oath, about his financial condition, assets and debts. The debtor will be asked about the information he has placed on his bankruptcy paperwork. Creditors may also attend this meeting and question the debtor, although the meeting is directed by the trustee assigned to the case and most of the questions originate with him. If a debtor fails to attend the meeting, his bankruptcy case can be dismissed.

Q:

How Long Does It Take To Go Through A Bankruptcy Or Get My Discharge?

A:

Each case is different, but a general rule of thumb in a chapter 7 case is that a debtor’s discharge will be entered about 120 to 150 days after the case was filed. The entry of a discharge may take longer if a debtor’s entitlement to the discharge is contested.

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