Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions

Attorney Judy Varnell
Attorney Judy Varnell

What types of bankruptcy cases are available to an individual? 
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

What is Chapter 7? 
Chapter 7 is often referred to as a "straight" bankruptcy.  With a Chapter 7 case, the debtor has the choice of keeping secured items such as a house or car or furniture as long as the payments on these items are current.  Unsecured debts such as signature loans and credit card debts are discharged.

What is Chapter 13? 
Chapter 13 is often referred to as the "wage earner plan" bankruptcy.  It is often useful when a debtor has fallen behind on a house or car loan, but still has the income needed to repay the debts.

Will I lose my house or car if I file for bankruptcy? 
Not necessarily.  Each person's situation is different, but in most cases, you can keep your house and car while filing for bankruptcy.

Do I have to go to Court? 
Yes, you must attend a meeting of creditors that is held before a United States Trustee.  During this short meeting, the Trustee will ask you questions about your assets as well as your income and monthly expenses.

How long does it take to file for bankruptcy? 
Once you have made the decision to file, my office can quickly file your case.  Once the case is filed, the meeting of creditors is scheduled.

How long does it take to get a discharge in bankruptcy? 
Chapter 7 cases are usually completed within approximately 90 days.  Chapter 13 cases are usually completed in 5 years.