Frequently Asked Questions

What is bankruptcy?

What can bankruptcy do for me?

What does bankruptcy not do?

What are the different types of bankruptcy available to individuals and/or small businesses?

Who will know about my bankruptcy?

Will my friends and/or relatives know I have filed bankruptcy?

Will my employer know I have filed bankruptcy?

Can I file bankruptcy on some creditors and not on others?

If I file bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file with me?

If I filed bankruptcy before, can I file again?

If I filed bankruptcy before, how long do I have to wait before I am eligible to file another bankruptcy and receive a discharge of my debts?

What happens if I filed bankruptcy before, need to file again and cannot wait until I am eligible to receive a discharge of my debt?

How will bankruptcy affect my co-signer?

Will I have to go to court?

Will bankruptcy wipe out all my debts?

Yes, with some exceptions. Bankruptcy will not normally wipe out:

  • Money owed for child or spousal support;
  • Most fines and penalties owed to government agencies;
  • Most taxes and debts incurred to pay taxes which cannot be discharged;
  • Student loans, unless you can prove to the court that repaying them will be an "undue hardship";
  • Debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition;
  • Loans you got by knowingly giving false information to a creditor who reasonable relied on it in making you the loan;
  • Debts resulting from "willful and malicious" harm;
  • Debts incurred by driving while intoxicated;
  • Mortgages and other liens which are not repaid in the bankruptcy case (but bankruptcy will wipe out your obligation to pay any additional money if the property is sold by the creditor).

Will I lose all of my property and belongings if I file bankruptcy?

What happens to my home and car if I file bankruptcy?

Will bankruptcy affect my credit?

How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

What else should I know?

Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?

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M. Caroline Cantrell, Attorney at Law