All too often people base their decision to file bankruptcy on unreliable, second hand information. Below, we have set out several of the common myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy. After reading this, if you have additional questions or concerns, please call The Sellers Law Firm. We work every day to help people take back control of their financial lives and we are ready to help you!
MYTH - If I file bankruptcy I will lose everything I own!
This is not true! Chapter 13 allows you to keep your property while setting up a structured repayment plan over 3-5 years to pay back your creditors. Chapter 7 may also allow you to keep your property, but this will vary in each case and depends upon whether you own property over the amount you are allowed to exempt from creditors.
MYTH - Married couples must file jointly!
This is not true! Often times it is in the best interest of a married couple to file jointly; however that is not always the case. One spouse can file to discharge his or her debts but the other spouse does not have to. Each case is unique but there is no requirement that married couples file jointly.
MYTH - I can only file bankruptcy one time!
This is not true! You are eligible to file more than one bankruptcy action; however, there are regulations as to the amount of time you must wait between filings. Chapter 7 can only be filed once every eight years and you must wait four years between the filing of a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. Chapter 13 can only be filed once every two years. If you have filed bankruptcy previously call The Sellers Law Firm and let us help you decide if you qualify for bankruptcy relief.
MYTH - I will never be able to own a home or rebuild my credit after filing bankruptcy!
This is not true! While bankruptcy does negatively impact your credit, you can work to begin rebuilding your credit after you are discharged from bankruptcy. The fact that you filed a bankruptcy does not automatically make you ineligible to own a home or get approved for financing. It does mean that you will have to work with different lenders to see who best meets your needs based on your previous credit history. Making smart choices after your discharge is the first step to getting back on track.
MYTH - Bankruptcy will not take care of any tax debt!
This is not true! Some tax debts can be discharged through bankruptcy, but it depends on the type of tax debt as well as the age of the tax debt. The Sellers Law Firm bankruptcy attorneys can sit down with you and advise as to what your best option is to deal with back taxes, whether owed to the state or federal government.
MYTH - It's too late to file bankruptcy if my wages are already being garnished!
This is not true! Just because your wages are being garnished or your bank account has been garnished does not mean it is too late to get bankruptcy relief. Filing a bankruptcy will actually stop the garnishment and stop the creditors from pursuing future collection efforts. Filing will also allow your checking accounts to be reinstated. If you are dealing with garnishment, call The Sellers Law Firm today to get help and get back on track.