Frequently Asked Questions

What is bankruptcy?

What can bankruptcy do for me?

Bankruptcy may make it possible for you to:

  • eliminate ("discharge") debt;
  • prevent repossession of a car or other property. It may also force a creditor to return property even after it has been repossessed;
  • stop wage garnishments, bank attachments, debt collection harassment, and other actions taken by creditors to collect a debt;
  • stop foreclosure on your home and allow you an opportunity to catch up on past due payments. It does not, however, automatically eliminate mortgages and other liens on your property without payment;
  • restore or prevent termination of utility service; and,
  • challenge the claims of creditors who have committed fraud or who are attempting to collect more than you really owe.

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?

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