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?
There are four types of bankruptcy cases provided under the law:
- Chapter 7 is known as "straight" or "liquidation" bankruptcy. It requires an individual to give up property that is not "exempt" under the law, so the property can be sold to pay creditors. Generally, those who file a Chapter 7 are allowed keep all of their property except property which is very valuable or which is subject to a lien which they cannot avoid or afford to pay. A Chapter 7 case is usually completed within 90-120 days from the date of filing.
- Chapter 13 is a type of reorganization used by individuals to pay all or a portion of their debts over a period of years using their current income.
- Chapter 12 is reserved for family farmers or fishermen.
- Chapter 11 is a reorganization used by businesses and individuals whose debts are too large to qualify for Chapter 13.
- Please see Chapters 7, 12 and 13 headings for more detailed information regarding each type of bankruptcy. I do not handle Chapter 11 cases; therefore have not included detailed information regarding Chapter 11 on this website.
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?
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?