Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions
I already filed bankruptcy, but my debts are piling up – how soon before I can file again?
- If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you must wait 8 years from the date of filing to file another Chapter 7.
- If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you must wait 4 years from the date of filing to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you must wait 6 years from the date of filing to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you must wait 2 years to file another Chapter 13.
However, you will need to speak with an attorney to determine if you fall within these scenarios
If I file a Chapter 7, will I lose everything I own?
Ohio has exemptions that protect certain kinds of assets, such as your house and your car (up to a certain value), as well as: money in qualified retirement plans and bank accounts; household goods; clothing; and jewelry (up to a certain amount).
My spouse is filing bankruptcy on some joint debts, do I have to file?
If spouses have debts they want to discharge that they are both liable for, they should file for bankruptcy together. Otherwise, the creditor will simply demand payment for the entire amount from the spouse who did not file.
Do I have to make payments in a Chapter 13?
Yes. The whole purpose of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is to pay a percentage of your unsecured debts. Based on a variety of factors (gross income, net income, fixed monthly expenses), the percentage you pay over the course of the bankruptcy will be between 1% - 100% of the total unsecured debt
Once I file, can my creditors still sue me?
No, once you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay begins which prevents any creditors from instituting any action against you, and stops any action presently going on. Creditors cannot proceed against you unless they receive permission from the Bankruptcy Court. However, if a debt is discharged through bankruptcy, then that creditor can never take legal action against you for that debt.
What types of debts can be discharged in a Chapter 7?
- Credit cards
- Personal Loans
- Most Judgment Liens
- Pay day loans / cash advances
- Medical Bills
However, most debts incurred within 90-days prior to filing will generally not be discharged – so it is imperative that if you intend to file bankruptcy that you not incur any additional debt.
What types of debts cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7?
- Taxes (State, Local & Federal)
- Domestic Support Obligations
- Fees, Fines, Penalties, and Restitution orders
- Back wages / benefits owed to employees
Can I just do a debt consolidation or debt settlement?
Debt settlement and debt consolidation programs only work if 1) your creditors are willing to be involved; and 2) your debt is the type of debt that the program deals with. Most debt settlement / debt consolidation companies deal only with credit cards, and only with the companies they have agreements with. There is never any guarantee that these programs will work. More often than not, people who enroll in these programs are put in a worse position and have to file bankruptcy anyway.
Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?
Yes! Bankruptcy is a complicated process which requires knowledge of federal law and state exemptions, as well as the ability to competently represent you if any issues arise. Get the job done right the first time and leave it to the professionals.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.