The Myths of Bankruptcy
Like most formidable situations, bankruptcy has earned its reputation based on very few truthful facts and too many false embellishments. The majority of the myths about bankruptcy have begun since the current bankruptcy laws went into effect in 2005. But have no fear, once you know the facts, filing for bankruptcy is not nearly as terrifying as it first appears. Here are some of the most common myths about bankruptcy and what you need to know before you clean your slate.
Myth #1: It is difficult to file for bankruptcy.
False. The new bankruptcy laws have changed some aspects of filing for bankruptcy, but they have largely not affected the honest debtors who need relief. In today’s economic landscape, it is understandable that individuals need to file for bankruptcy in order to start over. A qualified, experienced bankruptcy lawyer can make the process as simple and painless as possible.
Myth #2: You will lose everything you own.
This one of the biggest misunderstandings deterring people from filing. Bankruptcy laws do vary from state to state, but every state has exemptions that can protect certain assets, such as your house, car, qualified retirement plans, household goods and necessary clothing.
Myth #3: You will never get credit again.
Quite the opposite, actually. Before your case closes, your mailbox could be rich with credit cards offers again. The catch is that they will be from subprime lenders charging very high interest rates; but even these cards can help you rebuild your credit. In fact, if you have a credit card with no balance at the time you file, you may not have to include it in your list of creditors, since you don’t owe them money. You may even be able to keep the card after the bankruptcy is finished.
Myth #4: If you are married, both spouses have to file.
This one is tricky, but not true. Whether both spouses need to file depends on who owes the debt. Any spouse who is a signor on a debt is liable for the debt. If there are debts that a married couple wants to discharge on which they both signed, they will need to file together. Otherwise, the creditors may be able to collect from the spouse who does not file. But if only one spouse signed for most of the debt, the other spouse often does not need to file for bankruptcy.
Myth #5: You can only file for bankruptcy once.
You can actually file for bankruptcy more than once, but the new bankruptcy laws extended the amount of time in between filings. You must wait eight years between Chapter 7 filings when you received a discharge. And the wait is only 2 years between Chapter 13 bankruptcies. The time is different if you go from a Chapter 7 to a 13, or from a 13 to a 7, so speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to learn how the limits apply to your case.
Myth #6: Everyone will know you filed for bankruptcy.
Unless you are a very prominent person or a major corporation and the media gets word, the only people that will know about your filing are your creditors. These days, the number of people filing is so immense that very few publications have the time, space or inclination to run anyone’s name.
If you are seriously considering bankruptcy and you live in Utah, you need to consult with a Utah bankruptcy attorney. While the process appears complicated, a Utah bankruptcy lawyer will be able to help you understand your options and avoid making bad decisions that you could later regret. If you are over-burdened with bills and cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel, bankruptcy may be the best option to help you get that much needed clean slate and allow you to rebuild your future. Lincoln Law specializes in bankruptcies. Every day, we help people get out from under debts from $10,000 to $1,000,000 and higher. So far, we’ve wiped out over 100 million dollars in debt. We even created the software that is now used by other leading bankruptcy law firms throughout the country! You need Lincoln Law. No other law firm is better qualified to bring you the fastest debt relief, and do it right the first time.
Author: Carl Gustafson