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Bankruptcy FAQs

Learn More About Bankruptcy From Harness Law Office LLC

Bankruptcy FAQs

Do I have to list my house when I file bankruptcy?  
Yes, all property that you own must be included in your bankruptcy petition. However, if you are current on your house payments and have less than $15,000 equity in your home, you may be allowed to keep your home after filing for bankruptcy provided you continue making your regular monthly payments.

Do I have to list my car when I file bankruptcy?
Yes. All property must be included in your bankruptcy petition. If you are current with your payments and have less than $3,000 equity in your vehicle you may be allowed to keep it after filing for bankruptcy provided you continue making regular monthly payments. You may also be required to sign a "reaffirmation agreement" with your lender.

How long will bankruptcy effect my credit?
Bankruptcy stays on your credit history for 10 years. There are some instances where you will be able to secure credit once you receive your decree of discharge.

How long will my bankruptcy take?
Your bankruptcy hearing will be scheduled approximately 30 days from the date you file your bankruptcy with the court. Your decree of discharge is usually issued 60 days after your hearing. Your case will be closed about two weeks after that. In all, it may take about four months to close your case.

What happens at the court date?
The trustee assigned to your case will ask you several questions about the answers you listed in your bankruptcy petition. A simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy will usually take about 10 minutes.

My debts were made prior to my marriage, can I file an individual bankruptcy petition?
Yes, it is possible.

Do I have to list the money that I owe to my parents and grandparents?
Yes, all debts must be listed. As long as you do not pay any friends or relatives for a period of time prior to your bankruptcy and you list them as a creditor, you may be able to voluntarily repay them after your bankruptcy.

I owe the IRS — can I discharge this in my bankruptcy?
Debts owed to the government such as back taxes or student loans are usually not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

I still owe on my furniture, will they come and get it?
Any secured creditor may elect to take your furniture. This depends on the creditor, the length of time you have paid on the furniture, and its present value.

Who will be notified of my bankruptcy? Is it public information?
Only people or creditors that are listed on your petition are notified by the court when you file bankruptcy. It is public information on file with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and may be published in some legal newspapers.

Where do I go to court?
Bankruptcy is a federal matter. We handle the majority of our bankruptcy cases at the Thomas Eagleton Building in downtown St. Louis; the Federal Courthouse in Cape Girardeau; or the Wentzville Justice Center.

Is there a maximum amount that I must owe in order to file bankruptcy?
There is no set maximum or minimum. Please note that bankruptcy will stay on your credit rating for 10 years and you can only file for bankruptcy every 8 years.

Can I list medical bills?
Yes, you can.

My car is paid for. Will I lose it if I file bankruptcy?
If your car is worth less than $3,000 or you have less than $3,000 equity in the car, you can keep it in bankruptcy. If you have more than $3,000 equity or the car is worth more than $3,000, the trustee may take your car to help pay back creditors. You may have the option of purchasing your car back from the Bankruptcy Court. Factors in establishing your car's worth include age, mileage, condition, and appearance.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The information contained on this web site is for general purposes only. This is not formal legal advice. No formation of an attorney/client relationship should be construed or inferred.

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