Q: Can I Use My Tax Refund Money to File for Bankruptcy?

A:  Yes.  Tax refunds can be spent on legal and filing fees for bankruptcy.  

Q:  Do You Offer Flexible Payment Options?

A:  Yes. I work with clients to create flexible payment arrangements, including payment plans.

Q:  Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?

A:  The vast majority of people qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. During your free initial consultation, I will gather information about your financial situation, including your assets, debts and information about your creditors. If you make more money than most people, I can help you understand your options during your free initial consultation.

Q:  When Can I Qualify for Credit Again?

A:  After your debts are discharged, it will take about four to six months to begin rebuilding your credit again. Generally, it will take about two to three years before you qualify to buy a house or car. Rebuilding credit is a gradual process, with most individuals rebuilding at a rate of about 15 points per month.

Q:  How Long Does the Process Take?

A:  From filing to discharge, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases usually take about 90 days. However, as soon as we file, you will begin receiving the benefits of bankruptcy. All creditor collection activity, including harassing calls and letters, garnishment and lawsuits, must stop and any creditor contact must be directed to your attorney.

Q:  Do I Have to Go to Court?

A:  The only appearance you need to make at court is at the trustee's meeting, also called the "meeting of creditors." This meeting is at the courthouse in an informal setting (it's not in a courtroom and there is no judge or jury), and I will be there with you. Other than that meeting, most clients do not need to make another appearance.

Q;  Why Can't I Do this Myself?

A:  Bankruptcy is a complicated area of law. I know what questions to ask, and I am able to anticipate concerns and identify issues you may not be aware of.

Q: What debt will bankruptcy not get rid of?

A: Most taxes, most student loans, alimony and child support, criminal fines and debts not listed in your bankruptcy.  There are exceptions for taxes and student loans.

Q: Can I have money in my bank account when I file bankruptcy?

A: No. You should have a minimal amount of money in your account on the day of filing. An attorney can advise you of what it's OK to spend money on before filing, so you don't leave money in your account.

Q: Can I use my credit cards before filing bankruptcy?

A: No. If you're considering filing bankruptcy you should stop using your credit cards immediately.

Q: Can I use my bank account before filing bankruptcy?

A: Yes, but you will want to stop writing checks several weeks before filing.  Money left in your account on the day you file to cover outstanding checks can be taken by your trustee.

Q: Can I use my bank account after filing?

A: Yes, you can use your account as you normally would.

Q: Can I file bankruptcy without my spouse?

A: Yes, but any debt that your spouse is also liable for will still have to be paid by your spouse.  In Kansas, medical debts incurred while married are automatically also owed by your spouse, even if your spouse did not sign for the debt.

Q:  Does Bankruptcy Prevent or Stop Credit Card And Other Lawsuits?

A:  Bankruptcy brings with it a court order called an “automatic stay,” that stops all collection actions immediately. Phone calls become immediately prohibited. Lawsuits stop as well and are prohibited for the duration of the bankruptcy unless a lift-stay is granted.

Q:  Can Bankruptcy Halt Garnishments?

A:  Yes, bankruptcy can stop some garnishments for good, and other garnishments can be put on hold until they are provided for in the chapter 13 repayment plan or until the completion of your chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Q:  Will My Assets Be Seized From The Bankruptcy Court?

A:  Nearly all people who file bankruptcy face no major risk to have their assets seized and liquidated. By filing, powerful bankruptcy laws protect many if not all of your assets from being liquidated. Most assets are exempt such as transportation and housing.

Q: When will my case be over?

A: Most chapter 7 cases last 3-6 months.  Chapter 13 cases must last between 3 to 5 years.