Consumer Bankruptcy FAQ
If you work with the Law Office of Joanne Yi, PLLC, you will personally work with attorney Joanne Yi to best present your case and protect your financial interests. She can walk you through the process and clearly explain your next steps, from helping you understand the documentation you need to attend the meeting of creditors (341 Meeting) with you.
What Do I Need To Bring To Court?
Bankruptcy can be intimidating. Having complete, thorough and accurate paperwork and associated documents can make the process go more smoothly. While the documentation you need may vary, common documents to bring include photo ID and social security card. Other documents such as tax returns, bank statements and other evidence of your income will be sent to the interim trustee at least seven days prior to the meeting of creditors.
Will All My Debt Be Erased?
It depends. Not all types of debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy. It is very difficult to have federal student loan obligations discharged. Also, taxes owed for unfiled tax years taxes is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Unpaid taxes from at least 3-year-old filed returns are dischargeable.
However, many common forms of debt, including medical debt, credit card debt, car loans, home loans and other forms of debt can be discharged in bankruptcy.
Which Bankruptcy Is Right For Me?
There are two types of bankruptcy available for consumers: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In a Chapter 7 “liquidation” bankruptcy, some of your assets may be sold to pay off creditors, but your remaining debt is discharged (cleared). In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can reorganize your debts into a single, manageable monthly payment. After three to five years, your debts are either paid off or discharged.
The above is a simplified explanation, but which bankruptcy is right for you depends on the amount and type of debt, and whether you have a steady income stream.
Am I Eligible For Bankruptcy?
Not everyone can file for bankruptcy, of course. However, you do not have to wait until you have lost everything before filing. It is more difficult to qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, so it is important to speak to a qualified bankruptcy lawyer to determine whether it is in your best interests to file. Attorney Joanne Yi can walk you through Chapter 7’s “means test” to determine if you may be eligible to file under Chapter 7 protection.
What About My Credit? Can I Get A Credit Card After Bankruptcy?
Your credit is negatively impacted by a bankruptcy. However, how much, and for how long, depends on your individual circumstances. In fact, because bankruptcy is often a better option than simply failing to pay bills, it can be less damaging to your credit to file for bankruptcy protection.
After bankruptcy, when you get back on track financially, you will be able to build up credit. Qualifying for credit may not take as long as you think. For example, one option that is available relatively soon after bankruptcy is a secured credit card, in which you make a refundable security deposit prior to making any purchases. Other options of obtaining credit and building a credit history.
More Bankruptcy Questions?
At the Law Office of Joanne Yi, PLLC, we pride ourselves on our welcoming atmosphere and willingness to engage with clients and answer questions. You can schedule a free initial consultation by calling 703-997-9156 or reaching us online. We can schedule appointments at our Manassas, Virginia, office.