Frequently Asked Questions
Can I keep my house if I file for bankruptcy?
Yes. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, and you file a Chapter 13, which is a payment plan bankruptcy, you can keep your home as long as you stay current with your plan payments, and with your post-petition payments; delinquent payments can be paid over time through your Chapter 13 Plan. If you file a Chapter 7 you may be at a greater risk to lose your house depending on whether you are behind in your payments and how much equity you have in your house. As always, you need to discuss your unique situation with an attorney.
Can I keep my car if I file for bankruptcy?
If you are behind in your payments and you file a Chapter 13¸you can put the pre-petition arrears through your Chapter 13 plan as you continue to make post-petition payments. If you have had your car loan for more than 910 days (2 ½ years)¸ you may only have to pay for the value of the car rather than the full amount of the loan. In a Chapter 7, you may be able to “redeem” your vehicle by paying the lender only the fair market value of the car for the release of its lien.
What debts won’t I be able to discharge in my bankruptcy?
All debts that you didn’t list on your bankruptcy petition will not be discharged, criminal fines and debts, student loans (except in rare circumstances), most taxes, fraudulent debts, dischargeable debt you incurred to pay off non-dischargeable debt (such as paying off student loans with credit cards and then filing for bankruptcy), alimony and child support payments, priority debt such as taxes, wages owed to employees and any social security benefits, pensions, etc. that would not be dischargeable under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and secured debt. You may be able to get out of paying a significant portion of debt incurred from fraud or malicious and criminal activity in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy but not in a Chapter 7.
How long does the bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
It depends. Generally a Chapter 7 will stay for 10 years while a Chapter 13 will stay for 7 years.
Will I be able to get credit after I file for bankruptcy?
Yes. You may be charged a higher interest rate. Bankruptcy does not have the social stigma that it once had, and people often find that once they have discharged many of their debts and wiped the slate clean that creditors are willing to lend to them again. You should be cautious, however, to budget and stay on top of your finances so that you maintain the benefits of having filed for bankruptcy relief.
How much will it cost me to file bankruptcy?
Since every case is unique, it is impossible to quote a flat fee without having interviewed a potential client. That said, Gina Klump’s fees are reasonable and competitive but if you are shopping for an attorney solely based on price, The Law Office of Gina R. Klump is not the firm for you. Gina Klump is a solo practitioner who provides personal, individualized service to each client. There are no paralegals or junior attorneys. She will handle your case herself from petition to discharge. She does not take on every client who walks through the door and is not in the business of “selling” bankruptcies to people who would not be well-served by bankruptcy. There are plenty of budget bankruptcy “mills” that crank out bankruptcy petition after petition because they just want to make their fee and move on to the next client. You should avoid those places the same way you should avoid budget petition preparers. However, if you are shopping by price, bankruptcy mills generally charge lower prices because they work on high volume. If you decide to go that route, just be aware that you will not get the personal service you deserve, and there is a strong likelihood that a paralegal or a first-year attorney will be the one primarily responsible for your case.
Required Disclosure (11 U.S.C. Section 528): The Law Office of Gina R. Klump proudly practices bankruptcy law, and in addition to many other services offered, assists debtors in filing cases under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. According to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, we are considered to be a debt relief agency.