FAQs (Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions)
The words “filing bankruptcy” or “bankruptcy protection” or “Stop foreclosure” or “Chapter 7 Bankruptcy”, “Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”, “Chapter 11 Subchapter V” and/or “Chapter 13 Bankruptcy” can create confusion to individuals in financial distress which is why I try to answer some questions below in the frequently asked bankruptcy questions (FAQs) section. The majority of the time bankruptcy clients are not regular long-term clients and not repeat clients. Clients come to me for a way to improve their situation, learn, gain new spending habits, and move forward.
Compiled below is a list of some of the frequently asked bankruptcy questions (FAQs) with answers. You can read through these to obtain some insight. The questions and answers will allow you to gain a preliminary understanding of some of the basics of the bankruptcy process and may provide answers to your particular situation. This list of questions is not all-inclusive.
Bankruptcy is a specialized field of law with specific terms. Contact me Ralph A. Ferro, Jr., Esq. for a Free Bankruptcy Consultation to learn more. My law practice is 100% focused on NJ Bankruptcy Law.
Bankruptcy Law has a strict code of procedures
- Bankruptcy has very specific rules. The United States Bankruptcy Code contains the governing rules as to bankruptcy law.
- I do not recommend that clients seek to learn about their particular bankruptcy issues by:
- searching the internet, consulting with friends, making assumptions, and/or looking at other cases.
- Each bankruptcy situation has specifics related only to you.
- You can review the answers to some questions via our FAQs (Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions) section below.
- If you have additional questions related to filing bankruptcy, I offer a free bankruptcy consultation.
I will set up an in-person free bankruptcy consultation and provide details and legal advice pertinent to your situation.
- When we meet, you can be sure I will take the time to provide accurate legal advice and understand your financial situation and goals.
- You should never file bankruptcy without a complete understanding of bankruptcy. I am here for you, call me today for bankruptcy protection.
If you have any questions not listed in our frequently asked bankruptcy questions (FAQs) section, please don’t hesitate to call me Ralph A. Ferro, Jr., Esq. – I provide my personal cell phone (201) 446-5094.
Please read my clients’ reviews – I hope to be able to make you as satisfied as they are in my representation for bankruptcy needs.
Do not look to the internet or others’ advice, the best answers to your bankruptcy questions are obtained by an in-person bankruptcy consultation.
Each individual situation is so different. We do not have one cookie-cutter style or Plan when we meet with you.
How Much Can I Earn and Still File For Bankruptcy?
There is no limit on income. The amount of income you earn determines your eligibility for different Bankruptcy Chapters.
If There are Wage Garnishment Pending, Can’t Pay Mortgage/Rent/Bills – What Can I Do?
Set up a free consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options so that the garnishments can be stopped immediately. A bankruptcy plan can be put into place with the correct Bankruptcy Chapter.
If a Creditor Levied My Bank Account and I Cannot Access My Money – What Can I Do?
The levy can be lifted and any money taken can be returned to you with the appropriate Bankruptcy Chapter filing.
How Can Bankruptcy Help Me if I am Getting Laid Off and Want To Stop Collections While I Look For A Job?
Set up a free consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options and stop collections immediately. This may be the best time for you to file bankruptcy because the appropriate timing is important in filing bankruptcy.
Can I Set Up a Bankruptcy Payment Plan To Pay Creditors?
Yes. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your debts. When we meet for a Free Bankruptcy Consultation, I will advise you what debts and what portion of your Debts, if any, you will need to pay back over time.
Can I Stop a Foreclosure?
Yes, I can Stop a Foreclosure Immediately. Even on the day of the Sheriff’s Sale, the sale can be stopped that day.
Can I Get Protection from Creditors So I Can Refinance My Mortgage?
Yes. However, when we meet for a free bankruptcy consultation, it may be beneficial to File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Instead.
Can I Stay in My Home Until the Foreclosure Sale?
Yes. However, you should set up a Free Bankruptcy Consultation to see your options to keep your Home.
Can I Reorganize My Past Due Mortgage Payments so I Can Keep My Home or Car?
Yes, This is one of the many benefits of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Your mortgage arrearages can be spread out over a 60-month period.
Do I Still Make My Car and/or House Payments in Bankruptcy?
Yes. If you would like to keep your car, you must continue to make your lease or car payments as well as your mortgage payments.
Do I Have to List All of My Creditors in the Bankruptcy Petition?
Yes. You cannot pick what creditors you would like to include in your bankruptcy. All Creditors must be listed in your Bankruptcy Petition.
Can I Still Use My Credit Cards When I File Bankruptcy?
No. You cannot use your credit cards when you file bankruptcy. All your creditors will cancel your cards since they will be notified of your bankruptcy within 24-48 hours. However, you can reapply when your bankruptcy is completed. Many Debtors immediately qualify for new credit cards.
Can I Keep Any of My Credit Cards While in Bankruptcy?
No. You cannot keep/use any credit cards while in Bankruptcy.
If I am Married and File Bankruptcy, Does my Spouse Have to File Too?
No. A spouse is not required to file bankruptcy. However, the household income is analyzed for bankruptcy planning. Sometimes it is beneficial for both spouses to file and sometimes no. Every case is different.
If I Filed a Joint Bankruptcy Petition, Do Both My Spouse and I Attend the Meeting of Creditors?
Yes. All Debtors who file Bankruptcy must attend the Meeting of Creditors which is referred to as a 341a Meeting of Creditors.
How Long Does the Bankruptcy Process Take from Start to Finish?
For a Chapter 7, it is normally around 90 days. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can take from 3-5 years. However, I can file an emergency/immediate bankruptcy the same day.
If I am Listed on a Bank Account That’s Not Mine – Does this Asset Get Listed as an Asset?
It depends. If you are listed on the bank account as an owner, then that asset must be listed. You can, however, indicate what portion or percentage of the funds are yours.
If I Co-Signed for Another Person, Do I Have to Include that Debt?
Yes. When your Co-Sign a debt for another Person, you are also responsible for that Debt. Therefore, it must be included in your Bankruptcy Petition.
If My Salary Varies from Month to Month, What Amount Should I List as Income?
The average of your last six month income is included when you file bankruptcy in consumer cases. For business cases, more information is gathered to determine your income.
Can I Discharge My Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy?
Sometimes. However, there are very strict guidelines for discharging student loan debt. Each individual case must be evaluated.
Do I Have to File My Income Tax Returns While in Bankruptcy?
Yes. You must have all your Income Tax Returns current when you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you must continue to file your Income Tax Returns while in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7, if you are required to file tax returns, then your last filed tax return is required and/or your current tax return (depending on your particular case).
Is Back Child Support Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?
No. Child Support is not Dischargeable in Bankruptcy.
Is Alimony Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?
No. Alimony is not dischargeable in Bankruptcy. Your alimony obligations are listed and your partner is informed of your bankruptcy.
What is Disposable Income?
Disposable Income is the amount of money that you have left after paying all your normal and required living expenses and any retirement savings.
Who Can File Bankruptcy in New Jersey?
Any individual that lives or owns property in New Jersey.
Any business that is headquartered or has presence in New Jersey.
Can Creditors Still Contact Me When I File Bankruptcy?
No. Creditors cannot contact you from the day you file your bankruptcy petition. There are strict regulations against creditors so they cannot contact you.
Can I Continue to Add to My 401K During Bankruptcy?
Yes. You can continue to add to your normal 401K deductions/savings.
Are My Retirement Accounts Protected in Bankruptcy?
Yes. Retirement Accounts have bankruptcy protection.
If I File for Bankruptcy, Does My Spouse Have to Join In the Bankruptcy?
No. One spouse can file bankruptcy without the other.
If I Have Wage Garnishments, Judgments or Bank Levies, Is It Too Late to File Bankruptcy?
No. You should immediately make a Free Bankruptcy Consultation with me It is not too late at all.
Do I Pay Back All My Debts in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
No. If you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, your unsecured creditors are not paid back at all.
Do I Have to Pay Back All of My Debts in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Not necessarily. Depends on what you own and what your earn. During my free bankruptcy consultation, I will advise you.