Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions
What happens in the first consultation?
At my office, I will do a budget for you (and your family). I will take the information you provide the office (paystubs, pension, business income, quick book statement), and do a budget. I will take your net income and subtract out the necessary household expenses. If you like me, then you may hire me as your bankruptcy attorney in Reno. I will give you “homework” to do to help the office prepare your bankruptcy paperwork. In addition, I will take your creditor’s phone calls.
What are “necessary household expenses”?
Typically, these are the expenses that do don’t go away in one’s life. They include, but are not limited to: Rent/Mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, medical care, transportation expense, pet care, day care, child or spousal support and recreation. It does not include credit card debt or old bills you might be paying, these will be dealt with in the bankruptcy.
What is Chapter 7?
Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy. It is for people who don’t have a the ability to pay their existing debts. If your net income from your employment and your necessary household expenses are the same, or expenses exceed income, then most likely you are a chapter 7
What is Chapter 13?
This is a reorganization bankruptcy. It is designed for people who have income left over after paying their necessary household expenses. Typical clients for 13 are:
1) People with tax problems
2) People who want to save a home from foreclosure
3) People who have a business;
4) People with disposable income, but not enough to pall all debts.
What property may I keep if I file bankruptcy?
One of the big myths of bankruptcy is that a debtor will lose all of their assets. This is simply not true. The law entitles you to property that you get to keep when you file a bankruptcy. This includes, but is not limited to: Home, security deposit, furniture, clothes, wedding rings, one gun per person, 401k/IRS, PERS for State, County or City employees, one vehicle per spouse up to 15,000 in value or equity, tools used for work, pets
Will I ever get my credit back?
Do not be fooled by the credit card companies, you can get your credit back after filing a bankruptcy. I will show you more when you hire the office.
May I discharge taxes in a bankruptcy?
Yes, some taxes can be discharged in a bankruptcy. It is complicated, and I would need to examine the situation. Another alternative is that you pay the taxes back in the Chapter 13. It is a complicated formula, and I will need information from you to help in this matter.
Will I keep my business?
Yes, in many cases, if you want to continue to operate your business you can still file a bankruptcy.
What will be discharged in a bankruptcy?
I will never answer that question in the negative. Typically, the debts that cannot be discharges include: most taxes, student loans, criminal fines and restitution, debts not listed (with some exceptions), child support and alimony, debts for personal injury caused by DUI. Some credit card debt cannot be discharged, if you have been using credit cards just prior to the filing.
May I get rid of my second mortgage in a bankruptcy?
In a chapter 13, one can do a “lien strip” if: the value of the home is less than what is owed on the first mortgage. We can try and help you discharge the second mortgage. The law does not allow a discharge of a second mortgage in Chapter 7.
Do you charge for a consultation?
Yes, I charge $100. However, this money is applied to your fee if you hire the office. During the consult, I answer all your questions about bankruptcy, and help you find the best option for addressing your debts in a bankruptcy. Moreover, you can start to refer the terrible creditor’s phone calls to my office. You can make payments to my office. I will file answers to lawsuits to make sure you do not get garnished.
What do I need to do to file?
Once hired as your bankruptcy lawyer in Reno, I have a very easy worksheet to give you that has the information on it and will help you and I with your debt problems.