Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy
A knowledgeable Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney can set the record straight
Bankruptcy is a complex area of the law. It takes time and experience to learn the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as well as the situations that call for each. But the people who need this information the most — debtors considering filing for bankruptcy — usually do not have this experience.
Salt Lake City lawyer Carl N. Anderson, III has the experience you need to answer all of your questions regarding these processes, as well as several you have not thought to ask yet.
Q: What debts does bankruptcy erase?
Bankruptcy erases most of your unsecured debts, with a few exceptions:
- Child support
- Student loan debt
- Most tax obligations
- Any debts you owe plaintiffs in personal injury cases
- Debts you forgot to list in your petition or incurred after filing for bankruptcy
Q: How long will it take to receive my discharge?
A: In most cases, debtors receive their discharge three to five months after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For Chapter 13 cases, debtors receive their discharge shortly after completing their court-approved repayment plan.
Q: What property will I lose?
A: If you file for and complete Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you normally do not lose any personal property. For Chapter 7 bankruptcies, however, you may lose certain property that is not declared exempt from the process in your particular state. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help explain exemptions in the area where you wish to file for bankruptcy.
Q: Who will know I filed for bankruptcy?
A: Bankruptcy filings are matters of public records, so anyone who cares to look will learn of your bankruptcy filing. But in most cases, no one is likely to know unless you tell them. Credit bureaus, however, list a bankruptcy on your credit record for 10 years.
Q: Will the collection calls stop?
A: Yes. Any bankruptcy filing imposes an automatic stay on your debts, which means that your creditors can no longer legally contact you regarding your debts or past due accounts. They may, however, file a motion to have your automatic stay lifted if they can prove a compelling reason to do so.
Q: How will bankruptcy affect my spouse?
A: Unless your spouse is legally responsible for any of your debts, your spouse should not be affected by your bankruptcy. However, most states are not community property states, so it is best to consult an experienced attorney on this question to see how it applies to your particular situation.
Q: Can I be fired for filing for bankruptcy?
A: No. Specific laws prohibit an employer from discriminating against employers based on whether or not they have filed for bankruptcy.
Q: Will any bank ever give me credit again?
A: Yes. You simply need to take certain steps to rebuild your credit rating first. Many banks offer secured credit cards, which are held with very low limits against an account of secured collateral. If you use such instruments responsibly and make your payments consistently, you will begin to rebuild credit.