Bankruptcy: Common Questions and Answers
At the Law Offices of Robert L. Firth, we offer a wide range of bankruptcy and debt relief services for people throughout Riverside County and the surrounding areas. As a bankruptcy and debt relief firm, we are contacted frequently by people who have questions about the process of bankruptcy, what debts may be discharged and other common bankruptcy questions.
We have compiled below a list of commonly asked questions and their answers. If you have additional questions about bankruptcy or need to speak with an experienced lawyer, contact our law office In Cathedral City, California. To contact our law firm, call 760-770-4066, or contact us by e-mail.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q- What is the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
A- Chapter 7 is a debt liquidation bankruptcy that eliminates or reduces most debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt repayment bankruptcy that results in a three- or five-year debt repayment plan.
People who want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must meet a means test that takes into account their Income and ability to pay debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often used by people who have significant income and assets and who are not eligible for Chapter 7 relief or want to protect assets from liquidation.
Q- Can I restore credit after bankruptcy?
A– Yes, and you can do it faster than you may think. People are often surprised to find that credit card companies, auto lenders and other credit providers are willing to provide credit to people who have had a bankruptcy. In fact, many creditors actively fight for the business of recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors because they know their debts have been discharged and they may not file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for eight years.
Q- Can I keep some of my property?
A- Yes, certain assets are exempt from liquidation. Homes and cars of a certain value are exempt from liquidation. Most people are surprised at how much of their property they can actually keep.
Q- Can my employer fire me if it learns about my bankruptcy?
A- No. Employers may not discharge an employee because he or she filed for bankruptcy.
Q- What debts are dischargeable?
A- Most forms of debt are dischargeable through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Credit card debts and medical bills are dischargeable. Federal income tax debts may also be discharged if they are at least three years old and/or meet additional requirements.
Q- Are there any debts that cannot be discharged?
A- Yes. Certain debts like child support, student loans, judgments against you as a result of drunk driving or fraud, and some income taxes may not be discharged.
Q-. If I have a car which has a loan against it, can I keep it?
A- In almost every case, the answer is yes, but you will have to file a “Reaffirmation Agreement which must be reviewed and approved by the bankruptcy judge assigned to you case.
Q- Do I need a lawyer to file bankruptcy?
A- Anybody can represent themselves in court, but have you heard the old adage “Never bring a knife to a gun fight”? A good bankruptcy lawyer knows how to structure your case os you can take maximum advantage of your exemptions and get you the maximum benefits from your bankruptcy. Your creditors have legal counsel. You should too.
Q-How Can I Learn More about Bankruptcy?
To speak with an experienced attorney about bankruptcy and other debt relief services, contact the Law Office of Robert L. Firth in Cathedral City, California. We represent clients throughout Riverside County and the surrounding areas.