Can I file bankruptcy?

If you previously filed a bankruptcy and received a Bankruptcy Discharge, you may not be able to get another discharge if enough time has not passed. For instance, you cannot get another Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge if you obtained a discharge of your debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case within the last eight years, or a Chapter 13 case within the last six years.  However, even though you may not be eligible for another discharge, you may still be able to file a bankruptcy case in order to save a house or a car.

Can I keep my house if I file for bankruptcy?

Many people who file bankruptcy have very little or not equity in their houses, so their houses are exempt and do not need to be sold in the bankruptcy process.  People who have equity in their houses may still be able to keep their houses by using available exemptions or by filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are behind on mortgage payments, you may be able to file a chapter 13 and propose a plan that would let you catch up mortgage payments over a three to five year period.  

Will filing for bankruptcy affect my credit or lower my credit score?

A bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to ten years and it can lower your credit score.  However, not filing for bankruptcy can also negatively impact your credit score if you are not able to afford to make payments on your debts.  Debts may continue to grow with added fees,  interest, or penalties and if the debts go to collections, your credit score may go down even further.

Is Bankruptcy a good option?

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding whether Bankruptcy is a good option for you.  If you are having difficulty paying your bills, if you’re facing a foreclosure or repossession, or if you are financially stressed, it is possible that Bankruptcy may help. Some benefits to bankruptcy are that it may eliminate or reduce certain debts, lower monthly payments on some debts such as car loans, help you to re-establish your credit, reduce stress caused by financial trouble, allow you to save a house or car, and give you a fresh financial start.

If a person files bankruptcy without his or her spouse, only the filer’s debts are discharged. If the debts are held jointly, the non-filing spouse will still owe even after the filer has filed bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing will appear on the filer's credit report, but should not appear on the non-filer’s.

Can I keep my credit cards if I file bankruptcy?

After your case is filed, the bankruptcy court sends out a notice of your bankruptcy filing to all creditors listed in your schedules. ... However, under certain circumstances, you may be able to keep a credit card even after bankruptcy. Some creditors check bankruptcy filings frequently and while some companies will welcome your continued business, others will cancel your account without explanation. In Chapter 7 some credit card companies will allow you to reaffirm the debt and keep the card, although if you have a balance on the card, it may hinder your fresh start if you reaffirm or agree not to discharge a particular credit card debt.