Frequently Asked Questions
There are difficult decisions when trying to decide which Bankruptcy attorney will best suit your needs. It’s important to be informed with what choices you have.
These are answers to my most frequently asked questions. If you require any additional information, feel free to give me a call, as I’m always happy to hear from my customers, whether existing or potential.
How much does it cost to file?
As of November 1, 2011, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case is $355.00 and the filing fee for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case is $310.00.
How long is the bankruptcy process?
From the date your Chapter 7 case is filed until discharge of your debts is generally three (3) months.
From the date your Chapter 13 case is filed until discharge of your debts depends on the length of time your Plan is scheduled for; however, the
Plan cannot exceed five (5) years or sixty (60) months.
Do I have to go to Court and appear before a Judge?
You must attend a hearing called a 341 Court Hearing approximately 30 days after the date of your case filing in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The hearing is held before a “trustee” not a Judge and is generally three-to-five minutes long for a Chapter 7, and 10-to-15 minutes long for a Chapter 13.
Your attorney is present with you at this hearing and is available to answer any questions.
How long does bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 stay on your credit report for a maximum of 10 years.
Will I be able to obtain credit after bankruptcy?
Generally, most debtors are able to secure credit for a home mortgage within two (2) years of filing a bankruptcy if you have no prior bankruptcy filings. A car loan may be obtained immediately after discharge. The interest rate, however, is likely to be higher for the first car loan until you re-establish your credit.
Unfortunately, many credit card companies do tend to throw credit cards at debtors after a Chapter 7 case discharge because they know that the debtor cannot re-file for eight (8) years. If at all possible, try to have only one or two major credit cards for unexpected expenses.
What will I lose if I file for bankruptcy?
The majority of debtors don’t lose anything, as most of your assets are exempt, such as your house, one car per debtor, household goods, clothing and tools of the trade. There are two types of exemptions available to use to exempt your property Federal exemptions or State exemptions.
For example, as of August 20, 2014, under Minnesota exemptions you can have up to $390,000.00 equity in a home and $4,600.00 equity in one (1) car per debtor. Again, as of August 20, 2014, the Federal exemption for home equity is $22,975.00 and the car exemption is $3,675.00. If you are concerned about losing any one particular item, please feel free to contact us to discuss your specific situation.