We receive a lot of questions about bankruptcy in Centennial, Aurora and Littleton. Bankruptcy law is confusing and complex, and often there is confusion. We hope this bankruptcy FAQ helps you as you research how to deal with your financial issues. If you have any questions, please contact bankruptcy lawyer Barry Arrington for a free consultation. You will be able to discuss all your options and he can answer all your bankruptcy questions.
1. Do I Need a Lawyer?
People often wonder if they even need a lawyer in order to file for bankruptcy in Centennial, Littleton, or Aurora. It is possible to file on your own, but it is not advised by the United States Bankruptcy Court, who says: “While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or “pro se,” it is extremely difficult to do it successfully…bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences – hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.” Your future is in the balance. You want an understanding, experienced professional by your side who has a complete knowledge of the U.S. Bankruptcy code. Save yourself years of regret and get it down right the first time with bankruptcy lawyer Barry Arrington.
2. Can I File Without My Spouse?
The short answer to this question is yes. But, if you live with your spouse, they will be liable for any joint debts you may have accrued, and their income must be considered. If only one party has debts, or if one has debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, it might be the best option to have only one spouse file for bankruptcy. It is important to understand that if one spouse discharges debt, it still may show on the other spouse’s credit report.
3. If I Personally File for Bankruptcy, Do I Have to File My Business as Well?
The answer to this question depends on what type of business you own. If it is a sole proprietorship, then there is no differentiation between your personal finances and those of your business. So, your business and its assets would automatically be in bankruptcy as well. If it is an LLC or a corporation, it would not be in bankruptcy if you personally filed. Your business or its stock is an asset of your personal bankruptcy estate, however, so it could be sold if you do not have enough exemption to protect your business.
4. Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect my Credit?
Without knowing your individual financial history, it is impossible to fully answer this question. However, if you have been unable to keep up on your bills, you credit may already be suffering. Filing for bankruptcy most likely won’t make your credit any worse. In fact, because bankruptcy removes old debts, you will be able to pay your new bills and can work on rebuilding your credit.
5. Will I Lose My Home and Car?
It is impossible to fully answer this question without knowing your individual circumstance, but in most cases you will be able to keep your home and car when you file for bankruptcy. This is absolutely true if your property is fully exempt. If your property isn’t fully exempt, but you are able to pay its non-exempt value to your creditors when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be able to keep your home and car. However, if your creditors have a “security interest” in your home, car, or other personal property, and you are unable to repay, they may be able to sell your property during your bankruptcy case once the automatic stay is removed. If this is the case, there are a few options we can discuss which could allow you to keep your home and car. This is a complex question, and perfectly illustrates the confusing bankruptcy code.
6. Will I Lose My Retirement Savings (401k)
No. You will not lose your retirement or 401k when you file for bankruptcy. Retirement accounts such as a 401k are exempt and protected from creditors in bankruptcy filings. We highly discourage our clients from removing funds from their retirement savings accounts to avoid bankruptcy. Because these funds are exempt, they are an excellent way to rebuild your finances after your declare bankruptcy. They will continue to work for you so that you can be prepared for the future.
7. Will I Be Able to Get a Loan after I File for Bankruptcy?
To be honest, it can be difficult to get a loan after filing bankruptcy; many lenders avoid giving credit to someone with a bankruptcy in their past. The best way to go about getting a loan after filing for bankruptcy is to work at rebuilding your credit, and saving as much as possible for a down-payment on a house or car. The greater the downpayment you can make, the more likely a lender will be willing to give you a loan.
8. Does Filing for Bankruptcy Stop Creditors from Calling?
Yes. When you file for Chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy in Centennial, Littleton or Aurora, automatic stay will restrict creditors, banks and collection agencies from calling you, conducting a foreclosure, filing lawsuits or taking away (garnishing) your wages. This is so that you can be safe while the bankruptcy process occurs.
9. What Does a Consultation Cost?
When you call the Arrington Law Firm, we will set up an initial consultation to discuss your options. This is absolutely free. We will not pressure you into working with us. There are three important things to consider when hiring a bankruptcy attorney: What are their areas of practice (are they focused on bankruptcy, or distracted by many other areas), how much experience they have (the bankruptcy code requires a thorough knowledge), and your level of comfort working with the lawyer (read our post “How to Choose a Bankruptcy Attorney”). We don’t want you to work with us unless you feel comfortable, and won’t pressure you during your visit.
10. Do I Need to Have a Certain Amount of Debt to File for Bankruptcy?
There isn’t any set dollar amount that you must owe in order to file for bankruptcy in Colorado. However, filing for bankruptcy is a serious option, and you shouldn’t begin the process without fully understanding the significant impact it can have on your future. In some cases, the expense of filing for bankruptcy can be more than the benefit you will receive from doing so. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney before considering bankruptcy as an option.
We hope this bankruptcy FAQ was able to answer your questions. If you are struggling financially, and are considering bankruptcy, contact Barry Arrington, an experienced, trustworthy and understanding bankruptcy lawyer at 303-205-7870 (or submit the “Get Help Now” form) to request your free initial consultation.