Frequently Asked Questions

What is bankruptcy?

What can bankruptcy do for me?

What does bankruptcy not do?

What are the different types of bankruptcy available to individuals and/or small businesses?

Who will know about my bankruptcy?

Will my friends and/or relatives know I have filed bankruptcy?

Will my employer know I have filed bankruptcy?

Can I file bankruptcy on some creditors and not on others?

If I file bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file with me?

If I filed bankruptcy before, can I file again?

If I filed bankruptcy before, how long do I have to wait before I am eligible to file another bankruptcy and receive a discharge of my debts?

What happens if I filed bankruptcy before, need to file again and cannot wait until I am eligible to receive a discharge of my debt?

How will bankruptcy affect my co-signer?

Will I have to go to court?

Will bankruptcy wipe out all my debts?

Will I lose all of my property and belongings if I file bankruptcy?

No, the law allows you to keep all property that is "exempt" from the claims of creditors. The amount of property you are entitled to keep will depend on which set of exemptions you apply. If you have been a resident of Oregon for at least two years prior to filing bankruptcy, you will be able to choose between the Oregon Statutory Exemptions and the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions. Both sets of exemptions allow you to keep a certain amount of personal property such as household goods and furnishings, clothing, jewelry, guns, sports equipment, cash, domestic pets, etc. They also allow you to have a certain amount of equity in your vehicle and home. Retirement accounts are generally fully protected by both state and federal exemptions.

If you have been a resident of Oregon for less than two years prior to filing, you may be required to use the exemptions from the state you lived in prior to moving to Oregon.

What happens to my home and car if I file bankruptcy?

Will bankruptcy affect my credit?

How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

What else should I know?

Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?

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M. Caroline Cantrell, Attorney at Law