Answers To Your Common Bankruptcy Questions
People have many questions about bankruptcy and unfortunately, the Internet does not always provide the most reliable information. At the Law Offices of Mark A. Zimmerman in Visalia, Hanford and Delano, we want to provide you with reliable information that you can trust.
At our firm, we focus exclusively on bankruptcy. Our goal is to empower you to make the best decisions you can about your future. To discuss bankruptcy with an attorney, call our office at 559-702-6995 or send us an email online today.
The following are the most commonly asked bankruptcy questions:
- What does bankruptcy do? Bankruptcy gives you a fresh financial start by eliminating various debts, including debts from credit cards, medical bills and unsecured loans.
What are the advantages of bankruptcy over debt consolidation? Debt consolidation companies may try to negotiate a resolution of your debt, but they cannot protect you from collection efforts. Bankruptcy gives you protection backed by the power of law. When your bankruptcy is filed with the court, an injunction known as the automatic stay goes into effect. Debtors and collection agencies must cease all collection efforts, including pending lawsuits, garnishments and levies. If you are trying to save your home from foreclosure, a bankruptcy filing may even stop a trustee sale if it has not already happened.
- Will I lose everything? People are often worried that they will have to give up everything if they file for bankruptcy. This is not true. California has two sets of exemptions that people use to protect their assets in a bankruptcy. These exemptions include, but are not limited to an amount of money covering the equity in a homestead, the value of a motor vehicle, household furnishings, clothes and jewelry.
How long does bankruptcy take? The bankruptcy process will depend on whether you are pursuing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will typically go to court approximately 30 days after your case has been filed. Your case will typically be concluded 60 days after your court date. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a repayment of your debt, the length of time is dependent on your income and your ability to repay your creditors.
- What is court like? The purpose of the court is to provide testimony to support what is in your bankruptcy petition and to resolve any questions that the bankruptcy trustee may have. This is known as the 341 hearing. Instead of going into a courtroom like you would see on television, you typically go into a small room with just the trustee or with a set of other people who have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once you have been called up and sworn in, the process moves very quickly and most people spend between five and 15 minutes sitting before a trustee.
- Can I file for bankruptcy if I filed before? You are allowed to file bankruptcy more than once, but there are limits to how long you must wait between filing. The time limits are different depending on whether you filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is always best to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer to find out the time restrictions based on your situation.
Do You Have More Questions? Ask Us!
If you did not see your question above or you have more questions, we invite you to call our law firm. We provide a free initial consultation to review your situation and address any concerns that you may have. You can call our firm directly at 559-702-6995 or complete our online contact form.
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We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.