Does filing bankruptcy individually or jointly make more sense if you are married?

Whether or not filing bankruptcy individually or jointly is the best option for married couples depends on a number of factors. Legally, married couples can file bankruptcy together with one petition; a joint bankruptcy. Under a joint bankruptcy; all your combined property and debts are included. This may make sense for some couples. For others, it may be better for just one spouse to file alone. Continue reading

Will filing Bankruptcy affect my employment status?

It’s normal to worry about will filing bankruptcy affect my employment status and who will find out about my bankruptcy filing. Many individuals who are considering filing for bankruptcy also worry about the effect of the bankruptcy on future employment. They are typically concerned with if a potential employer finds out about the bankruptcy filing; will the employer be deterred from hiring you? This is especially true if you are employed in a position of trust or employed to manage others money.

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Will I be able to get a mortgage if I file for bankruptcy?

If you file for bankruptcy, you will not immediately qualify for a mortgage afterwards. Bankruptcy will not necessarily hurt your credit score however it’s likely you will need time to get back on your feet financially. Because bankruptcy provides you with a fresh financial start it will not take forever to qualify for a mortgage. Your options depend on what type of mortgage you are seeking, as well as what type of bankruptcy you filed.

There are a variety of mortgages that are available to you after filing for bankruptcy. One to consider is an FHA loan. An FHA loan is insured by the federal government, and allows buyers to put down a much smaller down payment. The credit score requirements are also looser – some people with a credit score as low as 580 will qualify.

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Should I file bankruptcy or take money out of my retirement account to pay my debts?

There are situations where a person may have a mountain of consumer debts, such as credit card bills, car loans, and medical debt, but could have a significant amount of money in a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA. It can be very tempting to dip into that account in order to pay off those debts when creditors are constantly harassing you to pay off the debt.

However, that is usually not a very good idea for a number of reasons. First, there is normally an early withdrawal fee as well as hefty taxes. Secondly, your retirement funds are exempt from garnishment or levy. Thirdly, credit cards and medical debt can be discharged through bankruptcy. Lastly, it does make sense to take a loan from a retirement account, such as a 401(k), in order to pay off debt.

If you take a loan, you have to pay it back over a certain period of time. If you are able to make your loan payments, you most likely have the money to pay your creditors directly. Therefore it is not a good idea to take a loan out against your retirement proceeds.

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If I choose to file for bankruptcy, can I keep some of my accounts open?

If you are in over your head with debts and are having trouble keeping up with your payments, you may choose to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can offer a chance for consumers to get a fresh start. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy erases most unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization and allows the consumer to reorganize their debts into manageable payments.

Many consumers who file for bankruptcy want to get rid of all of as many of their debts as possible, but may also want to retain one credit card. You may have a credit card that you only owe a small amount of money on that you want to keep open because it provides you with a lot of perks, such as airline miles or cash back.

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Can my car be repossessed if I file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

It’s not uncommon for consumers to get in over their heads with debt and consider filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a discharge in which the debtor’s debts are completely discharged. A debtor must meet certain requirements to be eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

Some consumers may fear that if they file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the car loan lender may repossess his or her vehicle. Normally, during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the car loan lender is prohibited from repossessing your vehicle or trying to collect the debt owed on the vehicle. That is called an “automatic stay”, and it makes it illegal for most creditors to continue any collection activities.

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I am in over my head with tax debts to the IRS. Will a bankruptcy stop them from collecting or wipe the debts out?

Unfortunately for you, many tax debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. However, filing for bankruptcy can at least temporarily halt the IRS from attempting to collect the debt from you. Whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 also has an impact on how your tax debt is treated. 

When you file for bankruptcy, whether it’s a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, an automatic stay is created. The automatic stay prevents most creditors, including the Internal Revenue Service, from continuing or starting any debt collection activities against you. If a creditor wants to continue trying to collect a debt, it must get permission from the court in order to legally proceed. However, when your case is dismissed, or if your debts are discharged, or if the court agrees to lift the automatic stay, the automatic stay ends and your creditors can continue attempting to collect any outstanding debts.

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Do I have to have a job to be able to file for bankruptcy in Atlanta?

When someone goes a long period of time without a job, bankruptcy can be the inevitable result. For most people, it’s hard to stay current on bills without any money coming in. Once debt starts to pile up, it can be hard to get out of it, which can lead to a bankruptcy. Under federal bankruptcy law, there is no requirement that a debtor must be employed. However, being unemployed can affect the success of your bankruptcy filing in some cases.

Individuals typically file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills are wiped out. In most situations, creditors do not receive anything because there is no property that can be taken and sold. Because of the nature of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors have to pass a means test to be able to qualify for a Chapter 7. This means that your income will be compared against the state median income. If you have too much income, you may be disqualified unless you also have very high allowable expenses. If you are unemployed, you will obviously be below the income limitations, even if you are receiving unemployment compensation.

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I am considering filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but I’m worried about my car. Will it get repossessed if I file?

For most people filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of their biggest worries is their vehicle. If a person loses a vehicle in a bankruptcy, he or she loses a way to get to work and will then have even more financial difficulties.

If you are in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your car lender cannot repossess your car or otherwise try to collect the debt without getting permission from the court. The reason is the automatic stay – when a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay is created. An automatic stay makes it illegal for most creditors to attempt to collect debts.

However, your lender can ask the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay in order to repossess your car. In order to do this, the lender must file a “motion for relief from the automatic stay”. In the motion, the lender has to show that it’s a party to the bankruptcy as a creditor, that it has a right to repossess the car, and that its interests are not being properly protected because you are not making timely loan payments.

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