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5 Surprising Facts About Bankruptcy You’ll Be Surprised to Learn

facts about bankruptcyThink you know everything there is to know about bankruptcy? Here are five surprising facts about bankruptcy that surprise most people.

Bankruptcy is a big decision with a lot of implications. It’s not something to be taken lightly. If you are considering bankruptcy, it’s important to do your research and understand all that bankruptcy entails.

Here are five things you may be surprised to learn about bankruptcy:

1. Bankruptcy Can Be Good for Your Credit Score

You might think that filing for bankruptcy would ruin your credit score. Surprisingly, it could actually help your credit score over time.

Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to 10 years, but that doesn’t mean your credit score will suffer for 10 years. After filing for bankruptcy, you can begin to rebuild your credit score by making timely payments on any debts you still have and by using credit wisely.

2. Not Everyone Who Files for Bankruptcy Has Their Assets Seized

When you file for bankruptcy, the court appoints a trustee who oversees your case. The trustee reviews your assets and determines which assets are exempt from seizure. Exemptions vary from state to state, but they typically include things like your home, your car, and your retirement savings.

When filing for bankruptcy, consulting with a knowledgeable attorney familiar with state laws is crucial to protect assets effectively. They can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance and maximizing asset protection. Properly disclosing all assets and liabilities is essential, as hiding assets can lead to serious legal consequences. Understanding exemptions available in your state is vital; exemptions allow you to keep certain assets safe from creditors.

Additionally, exploring alternatives to bankruptcy, like debt negotiation or consolidation, may offer asset protection while resolving financial issues. Ultimately, transparency, legal counsel, and understanding state-specific laws are key to safeguarding assets during bankruptcy proceedings.

3. You Might Not Have to Give Up Your Home or Your Car

Even if the trustee overseeing your case determines that some of your assets are subject to seizure, you might not have to give them up. If you can show that selling those assets would cause undue hardship, the court might allow you to keep them.

Demonstrating undue hardship involves proving that surrendering a particular asset would significantly impair one’s ability to maintain a basic standard of living. This can include essential needs such as housing, transportation, or employment opportunities, compelling the court to consider alternatives to asset forfeiture.

4. Bankruptcy Might Not Discharge All of Your Debts

While bankruptcy can give you a fresh start by discharging many of your debts, it won’t get rid of all of them. Some types of debt are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. This includes:

  • Student loans
  • Alimony
  • Child support payments

You will still be responsible for repaying those debts even after you file for bankruptcy.

5. Filing Jointly Can Protect Your Spouse’s Finances

Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file—Chapter 7 or Chapter 13—filing jointly with your spouse might protect their finances from being included in the bankruptcy proceeding.

Chapter 7 bankruptcies are known as liquidation bankruptcies because they involve the sale of some of your assets to pay off your debts. If only one spouse files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court might not consider the other spouse’s income when determining whether the debtor has enough money to pay off their debts.

This varies from family to family, so speak to your bankruptcy attorney about the best way to file if you’re married.

Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

These are just five things you might want to know before deciding whether or not to file. Of course, there is much more to know about bankruptcy and its implications. If you are considering bankruptcy, it’s best to consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can answer your questions and guide you through the process.

For more facts about bankruptcy or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with an experienced debt settlement lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696.

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