Let us answer your questions
We understand that Bankruptcy is a difficult and complicated ordeal to go through that often comes with a lot of questions. At BKTP Law firm, Jeff Carey walks with each client through the whole process, answering all your questions along the way. Ready below some of our most frequently asked questions about Bankruptcy.
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General Bankruptcy Info
Jackson County bankruptcy lawyer Jeffrey Carey helps individuals and businesses needing relief under the bankruptcy code from their creditors. Bankruptcy law is an interaction of state and federal laws. Under the federal code, Title !!, individuals and businesses can either discharge or restructure their debts to allow them a fresh start. When debts cannot be restructured to be paid over time, individuals and businesses will file under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. When an individual has consistent income over time, Chapter 13 may either be mandated or the best strategic choice.Under a Chapter 13 plan, an individual can force a refinance of automobiles that they are upside down on, can cure a past due balance on a mortgage, and otherwise has significant flexibility to propose a plan that is fair to the debtor and creditors. Chapter 11 and other business bankruptcies are part of a range of business solutions available to a company in distress.
Bankruptcy can eliminate or restructure your debts and give you the ability to make a fresh start. Filing for bankruptcy protection allows you to:
- Stop harassing phone calls;
- Protect your assets you need to make a fresh start in life;
- Discharge (wipe clean) your unsecured debts;
- Reorganize your secured debts and protect the collateral you have pledged like your home, cars, or household items;
- Stop wage garnishments and other collection activities;
- Prevent foreclosure on your home;
- Prevent or reverse repossession of your automobile;
- Discharge or modify repayment terms for state and federal tax debt; and
- Protect retirement investments and allow you to build for retirement.
Bankruptcy is not a cure to every financial situation. Bankruptcy may not:
- Shield any assets you may own from your creditors unless your property is exempt from attachment;
- Allow you to save your home from foreclosure if you cannot afford to make your monthly mortgage payments;
- Avoid paying your creditors if you have the financial means to do so over a reasonable period of time not to exceed five years;
- Discharge non-dischargeable debts like money procured by fraud, damages caused by drinking and driving.
- Allow you to avoid (in most circumstances) spousal support, including child support and alimony.
It depends. A Chapter 7 filing following a Chapter 7 discharge is an eight year wait. You can file a Chapter 13 four years after obtaining a Chapter 7 discharge. When you file a Chapter 7 after a Chapter 13 (where you did not pay all of your unsecured creditors) you must wait six years. You only need to wait two years between Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
- Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 = 8 years
- Chapter 7 - Chapter 13 = 4 years
- Chapter 13 - Chapter 7 = 6 years
- Chapter 13 - Chapter 13 = 2 years
It is important to file a bankruptcy lawyer with experience and who is willing to give you individual attention. Our fees range based on the complexity of your case. In some cases, a portion of your fees can be paid from your future income. In most cases, your attorney’s fees and filing fees will need to be paid before your case is filed.
Most debtors only go to the 341 Meeting which is a meeting with yourself, your lawyer, and the Trustee where you testify under oath about your bankruptcy schedules. In the event there is an issue that cannot be resolved between the trustee and your lawyer, you may be required to appear at a Court hearing. Most of our clients have their 341 Meetings (when being held in person) here. Our clients also file cases with meetings and hearings held in St. Joseph, Joplin, Springfield, and Jefferson City.
Other FAQs About Bankruptcy
No. The general categories of protection are protection from governmental discrimination, discrimination in employment, and regard to eligibility for student loans. 11 U.S. Code § 525
A bankruptcy discharge granted to one borrower does not impact the debt as to any other borrower or guarantor. Yes. Your dad is going to have to pay your car loan if you don’t. You can, however, plan your bankruptcy so that you so not default on that debt.
Yes but it is inadvisable in most circumstances. Common marital debt will not be discharged as to the non-filing spouse. The couple, furthermore, would have more exemptions in the event of a joint filing. If all of the debts you are worried about are from your life before your current marriage, filing solo may be an option but your current spouse will need to cooperate with wage verification and other requests for information.
Yes. As soon as you file. Many people find this to be the most satisfying part of the process, they day when they are happy to pick up the phone to give their creditors their case number so that the calls can finally stop.
It is very difficult to erase federally insured (almost all of it) student loan debt. If you have had a major medical change, loss of or disqualification from employment in the field of your training, or otherwise have exceptional hardship you can sue your student loan carrier in a proceeding to prove that you should be discharged from the debt. The fees for this service are NOT included in the fees for a standard bankruptcy filing and must be negotiated separately.
DOES MY BANKRUPTCY LAWYER NEED TO KNOW IF I’M CONSIDERING OR FILING FOR DIVORCE?
- Yes. Bankruptcy takes precedence over your divorce in general. If you begin filings for a bankruptcy during a divorce, it can delay the distribution of marital assets and liabilities until the bankruptcy is completed
- Child support and alimony will still be owed. If past-due alimony or child support is owed as part of a divorce decree, these debts cannot be forgiven in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The court will not even grant a Chapter 13 discharge to finalize the bankruptcy if past-due child support or alimony is still due. A Chapter 13 plan can be used to discharge property settlement agreements from a divorce decree.
- Joint marital debts may still have to be paid. If you have to pay certain debts as part of your divorce decree, you might think about filing for bankruptcy to wipe them out. Your creditors can’t come to you for payment if you file for bankruptcy after your divorce, but they can still look to your ex-spouse for payment of debts you signed for together. In this case, your failure to pay these debts could result in a contempt order from the divorce Judge or even imprisonment.
- Bankruptcy will not eliminate certain divorce debts. A divorce decree might order one party to make payments to the other in exchange for property. They can’t be wiped out if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but, if you file for Chapter 13, usually they can be added into a payment plan.
- Property distribution. If money is owed under a divorce settlement that is not domestic support, the court won’t discharge the debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but that is not the case with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 can allow you do discharge some marital debt obligations assigned in a divorce decree.
Yes. You need to list all creditors even if you intent to repay them after the bankruptcy filing. You will be asked, under oath, if you have listed all of your creditors. That answer must be truthful.
In some cases, the firm will assist you with your debts through negotiated compromises or receiverships.
Need Help Filing for Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. We’ll help you get a fresh start and be on the path to a better life.