I highly recommend Ms. Wesley. Bankruptcy filing is not something I wanted to do. I believe working with Ms. Wesley made the process easier for me than if I'd chosen anyone else. I could not be more satisfied.
Q. Will I lose my house if I file a bankruptcy?
A. No. Most of the time when you file a bankruptcy you can keep your house. If your mortgage payments are current you can file a Chapter 7. You can keep your house if the equity in your home is less than $15,000.00 if filing single or $30,000.00 if filing jointly. If the equity in your home is too high, or if you are behind in your mortgage payments, you can file a Chapter 13. If you are behind in your mortgage payments you can file a Chapter 13 and make payments through your plan to catch up.
Q. Will I lose my car if I file a bankruptcy?
A. No. Almost always you can file a bankruptcy and keep your car. If you are current on your car payments you can sign an agreement with the creditor to keep your car and continue making payments. This is known as a "Reaffirmation Agreement.” If you are behind on your car payments you can file a Chapter 13 to catch up. In many cases if you owe more money on your car than it is worth, you can reduce the amount owed to fair market value and reduce the amount of your monthly payment as well.
Q. Do I have to keep my house?
A. No. You can file a Chapter 7 and "walk away" from your mortgage. You will not have to pay your mortgage balance. In many situations you can live in your house for several months without having to make a mortgage payment before having to move out.
Q. Do I have to keep my car?
A. No. You can file a Chapter 7 and "walk away" from your oversized car payments when you surrender your car. This is particularly helpful when you owe a lot more than what the car is worth.
Q. Do I have to list all my debts on a bankruptcy?
A. Yes. You are required to list all your creditors on your bankruptcy schedules. You cannot pick and choose which creditors to list.
Q. Will I lose my job if I file a bankruptcy?
A. No. The United States Bankruptcy Code prohibits discrimination by an employer just because you filed bankruptcy.
Q. Will my employer be notified when I file bankruptcy?
A. No. The Bankruptcy Clerk sends a notice to you, your attorney and your creditors. A notice is not sent to your employer. You may actually want your employer to be informed of your bankruptcy if your wages are being garnished. An employer will immediately stop a garnishment upon receiving notice that a bankruptcy has been filed. This notice is called a "Notice of Automatic Stay".
Q. Will filing for bankruptcy ruin my credit forever?
A. No. If your credit score is poor now, filing a bankruptcy may actually improve your credit score because it eliminates your debts. If your credit is excellent, a bankruptcy will have a negative impact on your credit. Even though a bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years you will still be able to get credit. Many people who file bankruptcy receive offers for credit cards or car loans almost immediately after the completion of their case. However, be careful not to fall back into the credit card trap. Many mortgage companies have programs that allow a post- bankruptcy borrower to obtain home financing after a couple years.
Q. Can I file a bankruptcy if I filed a previous bankruptcy?
A. Yes. You can file a Chapter 7 after eight years from a prior Chapter 7 filing or six years from a prior Chapter 13 filing. You can file a Chapter 13 after four years from a prior Chapter 7 filing or two years from a prior Chapter 13 filing.
Q. What are the court filing fees?
A. Chapter 7 $335.00 Chapter 13 $310.00
Q. What are the attorney fees?
A. It really pays to get several quotes because the range of fees charged by attorneys is absolutely astounding. Currently Lynda Wesley charges between $965. and $2,200. depending on the type of bankruptcy filed.