Are you curious about any of these surprising bankruptcy FAQs?
Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals who are unable to pay off their debts. It provides a fresh start for those who are in financial distress. However, filing for bankruptcy can be a complex and overwhelming process.
As you move forward with filing for bankruptcy or you consider if it’s right for you, you might have some uncommon questions. Here are a few that bankruptcy attorneys often hear.
Can I File for Bankruptcy Without My Spouse?
Yes, you can file for bankruptcy as an individual, without your spouse’s involvement. If you’re married, you can file either jointly or individually. Joint filers typically include the combined debts of both spouses.
However, in some cases, individual bankruptcy may make more sense. For instance, if one spouse has significant assets, they may wish to file alone to keep them protected from creditors.
Can I Keep My Car If I File for Bankruptcy?
Yes, you may be able to keep your car if you file for bankruptcy. The answer will depend on the value of your vehicle, the state’s bankruptcy exemption laws, and the bankruptcy chapter you file under. If your car’s equity is exempt, you can keep it as a “non-exempt asset.”
You can also reaffirm your car loan, which means you agree to keep making payments on your car loan despite filing for bankruptcy.
Can I File for Bankruptcy to Discharge My Student Loans?
No, it’s almost impossible to discharge student loans through bankruptcy. To do so, you need to prove that repaying your student loan debt would cause you “undue hardship.” The court will judge your financial hardship and determine whether paying off your student loan is reasonable or not.
If you’re struggling to repay your student loans, you may want to consider other options, such as student loan consolidation or income-driven repayment plans.
What Happens to My Tax Refund If I File for Bankruptcy?
Your tax refund may be considered an asset in bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your tax refund will be included as a “non-exempt asset” if you filed for bankruptcy before receiving your refund.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your tax refund may be used to pay off your debt as part of your repayment plan. However, you may be able to keep your tax refund if you can prove that you need it for necessary expenses such as rent, utilities, and other living expenses.
Can I File for Bankruptcy More Than Once?
Yes, you can file for bankruptcy more than once. However, there are time limits between successive bankruptcy filings and exceptions to consider.
If you received a debt discharge in your previous bankruptcy case, you must wait at least eight years before filing for Chapter 7 again. If you filed under Chapter 7, you need to wait four years before filing under Chapter 13. In some cases, filing for bankruptcy too soon may result in a dismissal or denial of your bankruptcy case.
Bankruptcy can be a challenging and complicated process, but it’s crucial to know the ins and outs of filing for bankruptcy before you dive into it. If you have other questions about bankruptcy or you’d like to learn more, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.