Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the bankruptcy process take?

It depends on the type of bankruptcy that is filed. Chapter 7 bankruptcies typically take 5-6 months to complete, assuming there are no unusual issues or circumstances. Chapter 13 bankruptcies can be anywhere between 3 and 5 years long.

When will the creditors stop calling me and attempt to collect from me?

All collection attempts will stop once the case is filed with the court. The bankruptcy automatic stay goes into effect immediately and with few exceptions (such as child support) no creditor is allowed to violate the stay.

How long does the bankruptcy process take?

It depends on the type of bankruptcy that is filed. Chapter 7 bankruptcies typically take 5-6 months to complete, assuming there are no unusual issues or circumstances. Chapter 13 bankruptcies can be anywhere between 3 and 5 years long.

Can creditors or the bankruptcy trustee force me to liquidate my retirement accounts?

No. Retirement accounts are generally exempt from collections.

Are student loans dischargeable?

Most student loans are not dischargeable. However, there may be cases where the debtor can petition the court for a “hardship discharge” of the student loans due to unique and extremely difficult circumstances of the debtor.

Can medical bills and past due utilities be included in the bankruptcy?

Yes. However, utility companies may and in most cases do ask for a post filing security deposit.

Can I keep my house and car after I file chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you are current on the payments or have worked out an agreement with the lender to resolve any delinquent amounts, then you can reaffirm the secured debts and keep the collateral, i.e. house, car.

The Sheriff’s sale has been scheduled to sell my house, can I still seek bankruptcy relief?

As long as the Sheriff’s sale has NOT occurred yet, then you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy to pay back the mortgage arrearages inside the chapter 13 plan, if your financial situation allows it. Once the Sheriff’s sale occurs, the bankruptcy filing cannot undo the sale.

What happens to 13 payments prior to confirmation of the plan?

The payments are held by the Trustee’s office until the plan is confirmed, once the plan is confirmed, the disbursements will begin. Generally speaking, the attorney’s fees and the secured creditors are paid first, then the priority creditors, then the unsecured creditors, if the plan is more than a 0% plan.


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