Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy/ People Often Ask:
Can I keep my car in bankruptcy? 
The bottom line is yes, you can keep your car IF (1) you are current on your payments and (2) you have the money in your budget to make the payment after we get rid of the credit card debt.
Can I keep my house in bankruptcy?
The answer is yes, you can keep your house IF (1) you are not behind on your payment and (2) you can afford the payment after we get rid of the credit card debt.
Do I have to include all my debt in bankruptcy?
Most people really are not asking the right question. The technical answer is yes, you have to include all your debts. If it is a secured debt such as a car or a house, you can Reaffirm the debt and continue to keep the property and pay the debt. What you cannot do is keep a particular credit card. Certainly, if you owe money to someone and you want to pay them after the bankruptcy, this is up to you. However, they cannot try to collect the debt even if you do make a voluntary payment of part of the amount.  
What do I do if someone is trying to sue me for money I owe them?  
Talk to an attorney! We can help.
Do I have to take a credit counseling course?
You will be required to take a class BEFORE you file your case and one AFTER you file your case. The good news is that you can do most of this online and/ or with a phone call. This cost will be included in your bankrutpcy fee.
Can I discharge my student loans?
 This answer is not a simple yes or no, but most student loan is not dischargeable. You need to talk to the attorney about this question to see how the rules apply to your situation.
Can I discharge the taxes I owe?
This answer is not a simple yes or no. You will be required to pay the last 3 years and some taxes which are older are dischargeable. You will not be required to pay most penalties assessed on your taxes, but you will have to pay interest on the years that are not dischargeable. 
Are there any debts I cannot discharge in bankruptcy?
 Yes. Child Support and Maintenance are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. If you were in a car accident and alcohol was involved, you cannot discharge a Judgment against you for any money you owe to do damages to property or injury to a person. There are other things that may not be dischargeable such as Guardian Ad Litem fees, fraud, fines assessed at Court, and a few other categories.  Some categories MAY be dischargeable and have special rules such as taxes and student loans.  If you have questions, you should discuss this with your attorney.
Can I get rid of my second mortgage? 
Sometimes you can discharge a second mortgage if you house is worth less than the amount owed on your first mortgage.
Why do people file for bankruptcy? 
42% of people file due to an illness or injury. Of these 42%, 78% of them had health insurance. 22% are due to a job loss. 8% is due to a divorce. 7% is due to a natural disaster. 3.5% are trying to avoid a foreclosure on their home, repossession of their vehicles or to re-establish utility services. The balance of people file due to over spending or poor financial planning. 
How much does bankruptcy cost?
Part of the answer to this question is if you file a Chapter 7 case or a Chapter 13 case. Each case will require payment of a filing fee and payment of the credit counseling courses. Chapter 13 cases have a "no look fee" which means that Judges will approve attorney fees without review as long as they are below a certain amount. Currently, in Kansas City, the fee ranges from $3600-4100 for attorney fees. This will depend on your income and whether it is above or below the average shown by the IRS. Not all of these funds will be due up front and can be paid as part of the Chapter 13 Plan payment. Chapter 7 attorney fees range from $1500 to $2500 for most cases. Your attorney can let you know what your fee will be when you sit down for a consultation.
How do I get my creditors to stop harassing me?
Many collectors will step a bit outside of the law in their attempt to get you to pay money.  Sometimes, it is even hard to know if you owe a debt once it has been sold from the original creditor.  Unfortunately, the only sure fire way to stop the calls is to file bankruptcy.  Once you hire an attorney, you need to inform the creditor and ask them to call the attorney directly rather than calling you.  With the onset of robo-calling and creditors moving away from calling centers, sometimes the message gets back to the creditor to call the attorney while other times they continue to call you directly.  Once you file your bankruptcy, the calls should stop within 48 hours or so as the creditor will receive notice of the filing of your case.  If they continue to call you, this is a violation of the Bankruptcy Rules and the creditor may have to pay a fine for each time they call you.  
What happens to my credit if I file bankruptcy?  
Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 10 years.  However, the good news is that your credit to debt ratio will dramatically improve and so most people actually see a small bounce in their score after the bankruptcy is filed.  Further, if you do have a house or car that you are keeping, the positive pay history will be the only thing being reported and your score will continue to improve.
Will I ever be able to buy a house?  
This is a major concern for people and a question that is asked very often in consultations.  The answer is that, while we cannot predict the underwriting for mortgage companies with certainty, some people are able to purchase a house as early as 2 years after their bankruptcy case is over.  This will completely depend on your credit score and how it rebounds.  Your chances are better if you do at least have a vehicle with a lien and have positive pay history on that debt and you are able to establish a positive pay history on unsecured debts.  
Is it better to settle debts through a Credit Consolidation Plan?  
Debt Consolidation has been a popular method of dealing with creditors over the last 10 years.  While this works for some people, it is important to know what this option can and cannot do.
Promise:  We will contact all your creditors and work out a plan with them to repay your debts.
Facts:  
  • No Overall Plan With ALL Creditors At Once: Basically, the plan is one where you pay into the company and then they one by one negotiate and settle your debts.  
  • Creditors Can Still Sue: There is nothing in the plan which prevents creditors from suing you.  If they have an agreement with one creditor, this creditor won't sue, but the rest still may come after you.  
  • Fees Are High: Many companies have very high fees which are paid over the life of your consolidation plan.  Make sure you fully understand what you are paying.
  • ​You Can Stop Your Plan:  If you are no longer able to make payments into the consolidation plan, you can stop the plan and ask for anything not yet used to be refunded to you.  

Don't make a mistake that can cost you...

  • Being Able to File: Some people make mistakes that can delay filing for 6 months, a year, two years, ten years!  Don't make these mistakes by accident.  
  • Putting Friends and Family in Danger of a Lawsuit by the Trustee: We don't want you to put your friends and family members in the firing squad.  
  • Don't Give Up Money You Could Keep In Your Pocket: Find out what assets are protected and why sometimes paying things off can hurt you big time in the long run.
Why Choose Us?
Our firm has had years of experience in helping people file for bankrutpcy. Our clients receive compassion, practical advice, and patience during this process. We excel in providing value for your representation as we have handouts explaining questions you have, emails that specifically respond to your questions or help you understand what is required every step of the way. In Chapter 13 case, you will receive copies of everything filed in your case AND explanations on what the filings mean to you. Bankruptcy is full of potholes and we know how to avoid them. You will receive instructions on what NOT TO DO as much as what you NEED TO DO to so that your case will proceed as smoothly as possible.  

Ready to work with us?  

We offer a 30 minute consultation with you. As part of your consultation, you will receive our FREE eBook on Bankruptcy and our Welcome Video to help you understand the basics and be ready for your appointment.  We want your time with the attorney to be about your questions.  
By the time you leave our office you will know...
  • How Bankruptcy Works: Budget, Means Testing, and Exemptions to Protect Your Property
  • How Bankruptcy Works In Your Specific Situation: Find out if you can keep all your stuff (house, car, property, tax refunds, etc).  When strategically it might be the right time for you to file your case.  Help you avoid making mistakes before you file your case.  
  • Is Bankruptcy the Right Fit For You: Why bankruptcy can help you get rid of your stress and give you financial freedom.  If it is not the right option, what else can you do to improve your finances.  

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