Providing answers to your bankruptcy questions
At Schlyer & Associates, P.C. our firm focuses on the individual needs of each client. We understand that you seek guidance and advocacy and we provide you with experienced legal counsel and attention to detail.
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The questions below are designed for general purposes. To speak with one of our attorneys, please call 219-757-0225 or contact us online. We look forward to getting you back on track.
What is the difference between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the liquidation variety — non-exempt property is sold (liquidated) to pay off as much of your debt as possible while leaving you with enough property to make a fresh start.
Chapter 13 is the most common type of “reorganization” bankruptcy for consumers — you pay your debts over three to five years. We can assist you in deciding which is the best form of relief for you.
Who can file for bankruptcy?
Any person may file Bankruptcy so long as the person meets minimum requirements set forth by the Bankruptcy Code. The minimum requirements are based on your income and the size of your family.
Does my Spouse have to file too?
No. A married person may either file jointly with his or her spouse or individually. If your spouse does not file, your spouse’s credit will generally not be affected.
Which debts can I get rid of and which do I have to pay back?
Most debts can be eliminated including credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, repossession debt and most judgments. The types of debts that cannot be eliminated include student loans, child support, fraud, certain taxes and certain debts arising from personal injury to others.
Will filing bankruptcy affect my credit rating?
Yes. However, most individuals are able to rebuild their credit within a few years. If you are currently contemplating filing bankruptcy, then it is likely that your current credit rating has already been affected. A discharge of your current debt may provide the opportunity to rebuild your credit with steady, regular payments on a new account.
How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
The Fair Credit Report Act is the law that controls credit reporting agencies. The law states that credit reporting agencies many not report a bankruptcy case on a person’s credit report after 10 years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed. Other negative credit information is removed after 7 years. The larger credit reporting agencies belong to an organization call the Associated Credit Bureaus. The poly of this organization is to remove Chapter 13 (repayment plans) cases from the credit report after 7 years to encourage debtors to file under Chapter 13.
When will my creditors stop calling?
Once the bankruptcy petition is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect, which legally protects you from creditor calls and other collection actions.
Should I consult with an attorney about filing bankruptcy?
Creditors are represented by attorneys throughout the collection process. It is in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can help a debtor determine if bankruptcy is the best course of action to take in the face of seemingly insurmountable debt, and can guide a debtor through the details of procedures of the bankruptcy process.
How will filing bankruptcy affect any wage garnishments and collection lawsuits against me?
Filing a bankruptcy petition results in an automatic stay. A court order prevents any lawsuits from being filed or judgments against you. It protects you from garnishment, seizure of assets, harassment, phone calls, threats and collection actions.
Do I have to use an attorney to file bankruptcy?
No. However a bankruptcy filing can be complicated, and it is advisable to seek the professional help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
How often can a person file a bankruptcy?
The rules are different for each type of bankruptcy. These rules are complicated and should be discussed with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.