We realize that a web page cannot answer all of the questions that you may have about bankruptcy, but the following are some of the most commonly asked questions. Caution: The following are merely examples of common questions and answers. You should not rely on the information contained herein, as each set of facts is different, each judicial district has its own practices and procedures, and each state has different exemption laws and limitations.
What assets can I protect if I file bankruptcy?
Basically, married couples can protect up to $75,000 of equity in their primary residence when they file for bankruptcy. A single person, under age 65, can protect up to $50,000 of equity. A person or couple over age 65, or disabled, can protect $125,000 of equity. With regards to other assets, generally speaking, ordinary household goods, appliances, clothing, and jewelry can be protected. Some equity in a vehicle can be protected, some cash value in a whole life insurance policy, all value in a qualified retirement plan, and depending upon the facts and circumstances, perhaps some or all equity in a self-determined retirement plan, such as an IRA or SEP IRA. For more information about the Bankruptcy Lawyer San Antonio clique here
Do I have to appear in court?
In a chapter 7 proceeding, your appearance will be required once, for a brief interview with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. The hearing is not held in a courtroom or before a judge. In a chapter 13 proceeding, in addition to the hearing before the trustee, you may, depending upon the facts and circumstances, have to appear before the court at one or more confirmation hearings. In addition, if a creditor objects to the discharge of your obligation to them, and the matter is not settled before trial, you may have to appear at trial.
Do I have to list all of my assets?
Yes, including those not in the jurisdiction, such as in other states or countries.
How long will it take to obtain my discharge?
In the usual chapter 7 case, approximately 120 days from the date that the case is filed. In a chapter 13 case, which requires monthly payments to the trustee from future income for a fixed period of time, usually 36 to 60 months, within six (6) months after the last payment is made.
Can I re-establish credit after bankruptcy?
Yes. The credit market is much more competitive than in the past. If you are employed and have income, and have maintained current payments on a car or home loans through the bankruptcy process, you may be invited to apply for new credit shortly after your discharge. In some cases, some credit card companies may offer you a chance to keep a current card by agreeing to repay some or all of your current balance. Depending upon the facts, such an offer may be enticing.
Will I discharge all of my debts in bankruptcy?
Generally speaking, there are two categories of exceptions to the general rule that all debts are discharged in bankruptcy. The first category of exceptions is statutory exceptions, such as recent income taxes (less than three years old), obligations to pay child and/or spousal support, student loan obligations, and damages arising from a drunk driving conviction. The other category is for “bad act” debts, or those arising from what a creditor can prove was dishonesty, including fraud or misrepresentation.
How do I keep creditors from bothering me?
The filing of the bankruptcy proceeding with the Court creates an automatic restraining order, or stay, which prevents all creditors from taking any further action to collect a debt incurred before the filing of the bankruptcy case. All creditors will receive a notice directly from the court clerk within approximately ten days notifying them of the commencement of the case, other relevant information, and deadlines. If a creditor willfully violates that stay they can be sanctioned.
How do I start the process?
Call or e-mail for an appointment. We will sit down and evaluate your particular needs, requirements and timing. The cost of the initial consultation, usually $200.00, will be applied against the cost of the bankruptcy proceeding, which will vary on a case-by-case basis.