What is Bankruptcy?
Congress enacted the bankruptcy
code (found in Title 11 of the United States Code) for the sole purpose of
giving debt relief to individuals and businesses. Recognizing that many people
experience severe financial difficulties at least once in their lives, whether
due to job loss, high medical bills, divorce, or other unforeseen hardship,
Congress understood that people sometimes need a fresh start when they simply
cannot repay their creditors.
How do I know if I qualify?
Even after the
“new” bankruptcy law was enacted in 2005, the proper question is not “do I
qualify?” The proper question is “do I need to file?” For those individuals
who no longer qualify for a chapter 7 filing, chapter 13 is almost always still
an option. The question of which bankruptcy chapter is right for you, of
course, depends on many factors specific to your case and can only be answered
after a full, free consultation.
Is bankruptcy right for me?
not right for everyone and should be your last resort. I can help you assess
whether or not you have reached your last resort. I will only recommend
bankruptcy as an option for you if it will address the particular financial
issues you are facing.
What advice can a bankruptcy attorney give me?
At the conclusion of your
initial free consultation, I will give you candid advice on the following:
Whether or not you should file bankruptcy. If
bankruptcy is not the solution for you, I will not advise you to file if it
will not alleviate your financial problems or if your financial problems can
be remedied outside of bankruptcy.
How to plan, if necessary, for the bankruptcy
The cost to file bankruptcy.
The pros and cons of filing bankruptcy.
Outline the bankruptcy process.
What can be done to rebuild your credit after
you file bankruptcy.
Is my first
I will meet with you in person during your first consultation and it’s free.
After meeting with me, you may decide to file, wait, or find another attorney
with whom you are more comfortable. You will not be pressured to file or even
to use me as your attorney.
What is the cost of
cost to file bankruptcy depends on many factors: which chapter is filed (chapter
7 or chapter 13), the type and number of creditors, the type and amount of
non-exempt (if any non-exempt assets), the existence of any lawsuits pending
against you, etc. Therefore, we cannot quote you a fee until after the initial
consultation. It would be quite simple for our firm, like many others, to have a
“one price” policy whereby we quote and charge everyone the same price to file
bankruptcy. However, we believe most people do not have complex financial
issues. In these situations, we are able to lower our fee to make the filing of
a bankruptcy more affordable to more people.
What do I need to
bring to my first consultation?
little. The objective of the first free consultation is to educate and inform
you of all your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options, answer all of your
questions, and to gather enough information about your financial situation we
can give you candid advice about your options. Therefore, the only thing we
really need at your first free initial consultation is YOU. We simply need the
“big picture.” We need to ask you a lot of questions. While not necessary at
your first free initial consultation, it will be helpful if you can bring some
of your most recent pay stubs and a list of your creditors with the approximate
Will creditors still
be able to harass me?
One of the great benefits of filing bankruptcy is, as of the date your
bankruptcy is filed, all of your creditors are prohibited from calling you,
writing you letters, or taking any further collection activity against you. This
means your creditors will no longer be able to call you at home or at work or at
all hours of the day and night, they won’t be able to send you nasty collection
letters, and they won’t be able to file a lawsuit against you.
Can I pay some
creditors if I want to?
Sometimes, depending on the amount of the debt. However, the question then
becomes, “Why do you want to?” Some clients want to re-pay some creditors for
the following reasons: the creditor may be a family member, the debt may be a
small amount, or you may want to continue using the services of the creditor
after you file bankruptcy. If you want to continue paying a creditor (i.e., a
credit card) even after you file bankruptcy, please be aware that the creditor
will most likely terminate your privileges after you file bankruptcy. While
there may be some legitimate reason to repay some creditors, in most cases it is
not in your best interest to do so.
Does my spouse have to
file with me?
However, it may be in your spouse’s best interest to do so. I will advise
you during your free initial consultation whether or not it is in your and your
spouse’s best interest to exclude your spouse from your bankruptcy fling. It
will be entirely your spouse’s decision as to whether or not he or she files
bankruptcy with you.
Will filing bankruptcy
hurt my credit?
usually. This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get and it is a
very good question. Our response to this question is always, “How is your credit
now?” If you have good credit and you are current with your debt obligations,
then, yes filing bankruptcy will most likely hurt your credit. But if you are
considering filing bankruptcy, then you are probably in a situation where your
credit is about to go bad anyway. However, if you already have bad credit and
are behind on payments to creditors then I do not believe filing bankruptcy will
hurt your credit. In my opinion, there are two types of credit. Good credit and
bad credit. If your credit is already bad, can you make it more bad? Generally
speaking, the answer is no. However, the true answer to this question can only
be given after you meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Please contact
me today to schedule an appointment.