BANKRUPTCY FAQS

Bankruptcy FAQs

FAQ REGARDING BANKRUPTCY

Most people have lots of questions about bankruptcy and there is a lot of incorrect information out there about bankruptcy. The best way to get answers to your questions is to schedule an appointment with Mr. Rhyne. The following are some common questions that people have:

HOW CAN I STOP THE CREDITORS AND COLLECTION AGENCIES FROM CALLING AND WRITING ME?

When you file your petition, in most every situation creditors must stop trying to collect from you. This means that the phone calls and letters stop, lawsuits stop, and in most cases, foreclosure actions are stopped.
Even if you do not file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there may be some tools that we can employ to get the creditors and collection agencies to back off calling you!
I AM BEING SUED BY ONE OF MY CREDITORS. DOES THAT STOP ME FROM FILING BANKRUPTCY?

No! Even if a creditor is suing you or has a judgment against you, you can still file bankruptcy.

MY HOUSE IS BEING FORECLOSED. WHAT CAN I DO?

In most cases, you can file a bankruptcy, and stop the foreclosure. In most cases, we have a chance to save your house. Even if a foreclosure has started, you still have time. But do not wait until the last minute to see a bankruptcy lawyer.

CAN I KEEP MY HOME IF I FILE A BANKRUPTCY?

No promises, but most people keep their house in a bankruptcy if they can afford to pay their mortgage(s). Your unique situation will determine whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the best way for you to keep your house! In Chapter 7, you can keep your home if you are current with your payments, can remain current, and you do not have too much equity in the house. If you are not current with your payments or if you have too much equity, a Chapter 13 might be the solution.

WILL I LOSE EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE IN A BANKRUPTCY?

At our initial consultation, we focus on what you get to keep in a bankruptcy. Since every case is unique, it is difficult to answer this question in the FAQ section. Every person is allowed to keep a certain amount of equity in their assets. Equity is defined as the value of the item, minus what is owed against it. For instance, if you own a car that is worth $20,000.00 and you owe $18,000.00 on it, you have $2,000.00 in equity. With that said, here is a basic list of what each person can keep in a bankruptcy. The word we use in Bankruptcy cases is 'exempt':


Residence: You may exempt up to $35,000 total equity in your residence, including a mobile home and burial plots. If you and your husband or wife own the property jointly and file a joint petition, you can claim $70,000 as exempt.

Vehicle: You can claim up to $3,500 in equity in one motor vehicle.

Personal Injury and Workers Comp awards: Generally speaking, these awards are exempt.

Household furnishings and personal effects: You can claim exemptions of up to $5,000 for yourself, plus $1,000 for each dependent (not to exceed 4), in items such as household furniture, clothes, jewelry, etc. You value these items at a price at which you can sell them, not at their original cost or replacement value.

Wild Card: Depending on your use of the Residence exemption, you may be allowed a $5,000.00 exemption in anything else.

Life Insurance: Life insurance policies insuring the life of the debtor in which his or her spouse and/or children are named beneficiaries are totally exempt.

Retirement Benefits: 401Ks, IRA accounts. Retirement benefits of North Carolina Teachers, State Employees, Local Government Employees, and Federal Civil Service Employees are exempt. Government benefits such as veterans benefits and SSI are also exempt.

This is only a basic list of assets that are exempt. Please note that if you owe money against your house or car(s), you will have to keep paying for them if you want to keep them. During your initial consultation, we explain the exemptions in much greater detail.  
 
HOW LONG DOES A BANKRUPTCY STAY ON MY CREDIT REPORT?

A bankruptcy will remain on credit reports between seven and ten years. Some clients actually report that their credit score improved when they filed their bankruptcy case!

IS BANKRUPTCY RIGHT FOR ME AND WHAT TYPE SHOULD I FILE?

We are here to give you the best advice for your situation. We will tell you what is in your best interests. If we do not believe that bankruptcy is best for you, we will tell you, even if it means our office will not earn a fee. We will also tell you if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is best for you.

DO I GET RELIEF FROM ALL OF MY DEBTS?

A bankruptcy will discharge or relieve you of most of your debts. Some debts are never discharged, such as alimony and child support, student loans, and certain taxes. Some debts might not be discharged, depending on how they were incurred. We will discuss this at your initial consultation.
 
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and  
should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT. CALL TODAY TO SET UP YOUR FREE CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEY JOHN G. RHYNE.

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