FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy often takes only 3-4 months from petition filing to discharge and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy typically takes 3-5 years. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you are paying your creditors back over time, through a budget created by yourself and your attorney (under the bankruptcy rules) whereas a Chapter 7 bankruptcy often discharges all of your unsecured debt at the end of a few months. There are specific income qualifiers for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and there are limits on the amount of property you can protect, so people with higher incomes may not qualify for a Chapter 7 filing and those who own houses may not want to risk losing their house in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The short answer is NO. You get to keep at least $30,800 of you stuff and maybe more. Click HERE for more info on protecting your stuff in bankruptcy.
Probably not. The court would have to approve this and they rarely do. Your attorney can help you with strategies to build up you credit after you file bankruptcy, but holding on to a credit card through bankruptcy is generally not allowed because it is seen as favoring a creditor over another creditor (which is frowned upon). The court also frowns upon placing you in debt right after your bankruptcy.
Probably. If you have a car loan, you can ask the loan company if you may re-affirm your loan and continue it past bankruptcy. Unless this would put a heavy financial burden on you and/or this is for a luxury car, you may be able to re-affirm this contract. If the court does not approve this re-affirmation, you will likely be able to keep you car simply by continuing to make the monthly payments.
Your attorney can help you with strategies on building up your credit after your bankruptcy is completed. For example, you can apply for secured credit cards, pay them off on time, build up your credit line and then apply for a car loan, pay that off over time, etc. The effect the bankruptcy has on your credit diminishes over time and with proper credit management and a steady income, you can build your credit back up to an acceptable level within a year or two, and to a good score within a few years.