Bankruptcy Terms, Definitions, Myths and Lies
Many people avoid filing for bankruptcy, when they should, because of the incorrect information they have received from friends, family and media about bankruptcy. This misinformation usually stops people from seeking the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer who can help them understand how bankruptcy can help their situation. We have compiled a list of common concerns and myths that stop many people from seeking the help of a bankruptcy attorney.
1. Can I keep my home if I file for bankruptcy?
If are current on your mortgage payments and there is no equity in your home, then generally you can keep your home when you file for bankruptcy. If you are behind in your mortgage payments, then Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be available to help you catch up on your payments and keep your home.
Even when your home has equity in most instances the equity can be protected in a bankruptcy and you can keep your home.
2. Can I keep my car if I file for bankruptcy?
If you are making payments on your vehicle, in most instances as long as you continue to make your payments on your vehicle and sign a reaffirmation agreement, you will generally get to keep your vehicle. If your vehicle is paid in full, in most circumstances we can protect the equity in your vehicle.
3. Will my credit be ruined for the next 10 years if I file for bankruptcy?
Although a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can legally remain on your credit report for 10 years, this does not mean that your credit will be ruined for the next 10 years. Most people are able to get their credit score to a good level, after 3 years
4. Will my clothes, furnishings, and household goods be taken away if I file?
In the majority of cases your household goods and furnishings will not be touched by the bankruptcy court or your creditors. These items are generally protected by California bankruptcy exemptions which stop creditors from using these items to satisfy the debts.
5. If I file for bankruptcy and get a discharge, will they be able to ask for payment in the future?
If you provided accurate and non fraudulent information on your bankruptcy petition and obtained a discharge from the bankruptcy court, then creditors cannot seek to collect on any debts that were discharged in the bankruptcy case, once the case is closed.
6. Will I be able to obtain credit after I file?
Most people have no problems obtaining a credit cards after filing for bankruptcy. In fact, there is an industry of companies that cater specifically to extending credit to people who have filed for bankruptcy.
7. Is it unethical and immoral file for bankruptcy?
Federal bankruptcy law was created specifically to help people in situations where they cannot afford to pay their debts back. There is nothing unethical or immoral about using federally established law to legally eliminate your debts. In fact, it shows good character, that you are willing to take action to resolve your financial situation.
8. I will not be able to purchase a home if I file for bankruptcy?
Generally, most individuals who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, are able to qualify to purchase a home after 3-4 years. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will have to seek the permission of the court if the bankruptcy case is still pending.
9. I recently moved to California; do I have to file for bankruptcy in the state I moved from?
Federal venue rules allow you to file for bankruptcy where you have resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. This means that you can have resided in California for as little as 91 days and you can file for bankruptcy in the California.
The founder of Southern California Law Advocates (SCLA), Orange County bankruptcy attorney Norma Duenas, is an experienced bankruptcy attorney who graduated from the University of San Diego Law School, Cum Laude. Ms. Duenas has handled hundreds and hundreds of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases – simple and complex.
Attorney Norma Duenas will make time to sit down with you personally if you call and schedule a free and confidential consultation.