Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you offer a free consultation?

A. Yes. We offer a free one hour in office consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. We believe it takes that much time to meet with you, answer your questions, assess your situation and explain how bankruptcy works.

Q. Do you do case evaluations through your website?

A. No. We do not do full consultations over the internet. We believe that we need to talk to you and meet with you to provide you competent legal advice. You can call us or use our chat box to communicate with us.

Q. Will bankruptcy stop garnishments?

A. Yes. Bankruptcy will stop all action to collect any debt from you.

Q. Will bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

A. Yes. The bankruptcy must be filed prior to the foreclosure sale date to stop a foreclosure. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will temporarily postpone foreclosure. Chapter 13 can be used to put you on a repayment plan for your mortgage arrearage and permanently stop the foreclosure if you make all payments.

Q. What debts can I get rid of in bankruptcy?

A. You can generally wipe out debts such as credit cards, medical bills, utility bills, mortgages, foreclosure deficiencies, automobile loans, automobile repossession deficiencies, judgments and many other debts. Income taxes that are at least 3 years old where the tax returns has been filed at least 2 years ago and where there has been no tax assessment in the last 240 days.

Q. I heard that I should max out my credit cards before I file. Is this a good idea?

A. No. If you are contemplating filing bankruptcy you should stop using your credit cards or at the least minimize your credit card use. Creditors can object to you getting rid of recent credit card use.

Q. Can I get rid of my student loans?

A. Generally student loans are non-dischargeable obligations. In very limited circumstances your may be able to get rid of them in bankruptcy.

Q. How will bankruptcy affect my credit score?

A. Both chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will remain on your credit for up to 10 years. Some bankruptcy commentators believe that filing bankruptcy will improve your credit because you have eliminated your bad debt.

Q. How long will it take me to rebuild my credit?

A. There is no magic formula to rebuilding your credit. You will likely receive credit card offers in the mail three to six months after your case is filed. By using credit wisely you may be able to reestablish your credit within two to three years.

Q. How will bankruptcy affect my ability to buy a car?

A. Generally, as soon as you file bankruptcy you will start to receive offers from car dealerships to purchase cars under various post bankruptcy programs.

Q. Are there other ways to get rid of my debt other than filing bankruptcy?

A. Yes. However, bankruptcy is the only process that provides you the protection from your creditors that Federal Law provides. Credit counseling agencies that put you on a repayment plan may be an option, but; your creditors are not required to work with them and if they cannot get them all included you will still have a creditor trying to collect from you.

Q. Can I file bankruptcy without an attorney?

A. Yes. However, bankruptcy is a complicated legal process. It is easy to make a mistake which may cost you thousands of dollars, cause the loss of your home or your property and result in you not getting rid of some or all of your debt. Your case may be dismissed if not filed properly. We can guide you through the process to avoid these problems.

Q. Can I have a petition preparer file my petition and save money?

A. No. A petition preparer is not an Attorney. It is against the law for them to provide you any legal advice. Only an Attorney can provide you with legal advice. A petition preparer cannot file your case for you. All they can do is take your information, right or wrong, and put it into the petition and then give it back to you and it is your problem. You have to ask yourself if it is really worth saving a little money to get rid of tens of thousands of dollars in debt and risk doing it wrong. By the way, hiring an Attorney to try to fix the problems may very well cost you a lot more than doing it right to begin with.

Q. How long is the bankruptcy process?

A. Chapter 7 takes about 90 days from the time the case is filed until the court can issue an order wiping out your debt although your case may remain open for a long time if the bankruptcy trustee is making a distribution to your creditors. Chapter 13 is a 3 to 5 year repayment plan depending on income level and payment amount.

Q. Will I lose my assets when I file bankruptcy?

A. Most of our clients keep all of their assets because each state has a list of things that you get to keep and we are experienced in helping you keep everything possible.