Bankruptcy Myths

Truth: While bankruptcy does have a negative impact on your credit score, it isn’t permanent. The effect typically lasts around seven years before it is removed from your record. During this time, you can still rebuild your credit by taking out small loans and paying them off on time. In addition, some lenders may be willing to extend credit to someone with a bankruptcy in their history.

Truth: This is not true. While certain assets such as luxury items and non-essential property may have to be sold off, most of your possessions are protected by the law. Depending on where you live, some or all of your property may be exempt from liquidation. This includes vehicles, furniture, clothing, and tools necessary for work. Even if items must be sold, bankruptcy won’t take away everything you own.

Truth: Bankruptcy is often viewed as a sign of personal failure, but this isn’t the case. In reality, bankruptcy can actually be an effective way to get out of debt and regain financial stability. It allows you to discharge your debts and start fresh with a clean slate. Despite the stigma, it can be a smart and responsible financial decision.

Truth: Bankruptcy isn’t a “get-out-of-debt-free card” and should only be used as a last resort. While it can provide relief from overwhelming debt, there are still costs associated with filing for bankruptcy, including attorney fees and court costs. In addition, the process of filing can be lengthy and complex, so it’s not something to be taken lightly. Before deciding to go through with it, consider all your options to make sure that bankruptcy is the best choice for you.

Truth: Once you have filed for bankruptcy, a court order will be put in place to stop creditors from contacting you directly. However, this doesn’t mean that the debt goes away automatically. In some cases, creditors may try to collect the debt through other means such as hiring a collections agency or taking legal action. Therefore, it’s important to stay on top of your debts even after filing for bankruptcy.

Truth: Bankruptcy is often seen as a hassle and something that should be avoided at all costs, but this isn’t always the case.

Depending on your specific financial situation, it can be a viable option to get out of debt and move forward with your life.

It’s important to speak with an experienced legal professional before making any decisions about filing for bankruptcy so that you understand all of your options.

Truth: Generally, if you want to keep a house or car that has a lien on it, you will have to pay the creditor to do so.  

Truth: While the court filings are public record, typically only someone running a credit check on you would that you filed. It is not listed in the newspaper.  Most of the time, the only people who know you filed are the ones you tell.

Truth: I have represented over a thousand people in my career, and I can count on one hand the number of those that were trying to get out of paying their debts. Most of my clients would love to be able to pay their debts in full. 

However, they’ve experienced a job loss, serious medical issues, or a divorce and simply cannot afford to repay everything they owe. They are honest, hard working people.

Truth: While a married couple may file together, they do not have to. One spouse may file.

Truth: The only person whose credit is affected when you file bankruptcy is your own. As long as your spouse/mother/friend continues to pay their debts, their credit will not be affected by you.

Truth: There are limits as to what chapter and when a person may file bankruptcy that has filed before.  However, there is no limit to the number of times a person may file bankruptcy.

Truth: Whether you can buy a house, car, or obtain any type of credit depends on your credit score. Your credit score will start to improve the month after you file bankruptcy.  Eventually, you will be able to obtain debt.  

Truth: It is fairly common for a debtor to sell a house during their bankruptcy case.  

Truth: It is possible that you may have to appear in the bankruptcy court, but in most cases you will not.