A financial crisis and overwhelming debt can produce a great deal of stress and many questions. At Kleven Law, LLC, I can help answer those questions and reduce your stress.
Common Questions About Bankruptcy
Below is a list of common questions concerning bankruptcy. If you have additional questions, feel free to call my office at 260-407-7077.
What type of bankruptcy is right for me?
Choosing bankruptcy is a very personal decision. The facts of your financial situation will govern in many cases, and the best way to determine this is by discussing your finances with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Attorney Yvette Gaff Kleven has more than 35 years of experience working with individuals and can help you choose the filing that best fits your case.
How long does a bankruptcy last?
Chapter 7 typically lasts 120 days from filing to discharge. Chapter 13 takes three to five years, depending on the facts of your case.
What are Bankruptcy Exemptions?
Certain property is ‘exempt’ from being taken during a bankruptcy. For instance, Indiana allows an individual to keep up to $22,750 in equity in their home. There is also an exemption for personal property, such as clothes, furniture, appliances and jewelry. Attorney Yvette Kleven can help you determine which property will qualify for the exemption.
What’s the 341 meeting?
The Section 341 ‘Meeting of Creditors’ is an opportunity for creditors to ask questions to debtors. It is scheduled 45 days from the filing of the bankruptcy and typically involves a few straightforward questions about your debts. It is not a courtroom, and there is no judge present. Attorney Yvette Kleven will help you understand the process and what to expect before you need to appear.
Can I keep my car or home?
It depends. Homes and vehicles are usually ‘secured assets,’ meaning the lender has a security interest in that property, can repossess and sell it to satisfy the value of their loan. The key to keeping these assets is being able to continue your payments.
If you need to protect your home or vehicle, Chapter 13 will allow you to make regular mortgage or car loan payments within the plan. It can be very helpful in allowing you to make up arrears within the plan and avoid an acceleration of payments. A Chapter 13 plan works like a budget and helps you stay on track with important secured debts like a mortgage.
Are there debts that bankruptcy cannot eliminate?
Some debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Child support and alimony cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Student loans may be dischargeable, but they require a showing of ‘undue hardship’ which is difficult to demonstrate. Also, any debts obtained by fraud.
Will bankruptcy hurt my credit?
Again, this depends. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is often likely you are behind on some bills or loans. Your creditors know when you are late or miss a payment (they send you delinquency notices and demand letters), and they report these to the credit bureaus. If you have been late on numerous payments for a period of time, your credit score has likely already been lowered.
While a bankruptcy filing may cause it to fall again, it may already be seen as distressed, and your ability to obtain new credit may be affected. One benefit to your credit from filing a bankruptcy is that because you will discharge most of your debts, while interest rates may be somewhat higher on new loans, creditors may offer you credit because post-bankruptcy, you have little or no debt, and you cannot file a new bankruptcy for a specified period of time after discharge.
Contact Me With Additional Questions
If you still have additional questions about bankruptcy, please call my Fort Wayne office at 260-407-7077 or use the convenient online contact form to make an appointment.
Kleven Law, LLC, is a debt relief agency that helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.