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BANKRUPTCY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ's):

How long will it take me to reestablish good credit?

We have found that if you keep current on your bills after bankruptcy, you can establish good credit within 18 to 24 months.

How long will the bankruptcy be reported on my credit report?

This question comes up all the time, and it is perhaps the most confused area in all of Bankruptcy. There will be an entry on your credit report showing "Bankruptcy" and showing the date you filed. It will remain on your credit report for 10 years. (7 years in the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy)

This is so, because the credit reporting agencies are allowed by law to report your bad credit information for up to 10 years. Therefore it is important that the "Bankruptcy" entry be on your report for that same period of time. If it were not, anyone pulling a credit report on you during that time would see all your old bad credit information but would not see that it had been forgiven by the Bankruptcy.

So, having it on there for that period of time is a good thing. It proves that the debt has been wiped out and is no longer owed by you.

Can I keep certain credit cards or other debt even though I'm filing a bankruptcy?

Yes. You can keep secured debt, such as your home and car as long as you indicate your intention to do so in the bankruptcy petition. As far as credit card debt, you must list all of your existing credit card debt and you will be forgiven it. You can keep your debit card and use that. Many of those have credit card privileges attached to them

Since you are a better risk to the credit card companies after bankruptcy, they will send you credit card offers immediately after you file bankruptcy.(You will not believe how many you will get! ) We usually recommend that you do keep at least one credit card so that you can book airline tickets or rent a car in case of an emergency.

Will I qualify for a bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is not like applying for a loan or a scholarship. You don't have to qualify for anything.

It is your right under the Constitution of the United States and you cannot be denied it unless you are acting illegally, or are acting in bad faith.

In certain Chapter 13 cases, the Court may feel that your Plan is not feasible, that is, you don't have enough money or income to make it work. Then your bankruptcy would be denied. This, however, is the exception, rather than the rule.

If my Chapter 13 doesn't work can I convert to a Chapter 7 and get rid of all my debt?

Yes. You have that absolute right by law, and it cannot be taken away from you.

I've seen all sorts of prices and fees for filing a Bankruptcy. How do I know if I'm paying too much or too little?

Obviously, everyone wants a bargain. But in Law, particularly in specialty areas of Law, such as Bankruptcy, you usually get what you pay for.

Questions you should ask a prospective attorney are:

These questions are critical!

  • Do you charge a "flat fee".
  • Is everything included?
  • Do you have extra charges for additional creditors or additional letters or calls you have to make?
  • Will I be given advice by an attorney or turned over to a legal assistant or secretary?
  • Will you, the attorney, be with me at the meeting I must go to, or will I be there with somebody else?
  • Can I visit you as much as I want or call you as much as I want without any extra charges?
  • Is this all you do in your law practice or do you do other things? (In other words, "Are you a specialist who does this all the time?")