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A brief review of the three main types of bankruptcy cases for individuals chapters 7, 11, and 13. The most common types of bankruptcy are chapter 7, which are...Bankruptcy Basics - Part 1: Introduction
What is bankruptcy? What happens in a bankruptcy case? Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides relief for individuals who can no longer pay all of their debts. If you...
- Q. What if my lawsuit hasn't been settled and my bankruptcy is still open?
- A: I presume this is a continuation of a question about a car accident settlement. The answer is the same - you need to amend your petitions and schedules and inform the trustee about the claim. The situation is somewhat better if you haven't settled yet, because the trustee still has a chance to take a look and decide what he or she wants to do, if anything. Regardless, you'll probably need an attorney to help you protect the settlement, because the trustee may be entitled to some portion of it.
- Q. If I was in a car accident and my case is settled and I have an open bankruptcy, should I had reported the lawsuit?
- A: If the car accident took place before the bankruptcy, your claim became part of the bankruptcy estate and it technically wasn't yours to settle. If you have a bankruptcy attorney, you should bring this up with him or her. If you don't, you should definitely get one right away because there are some significant issues that need to be dealt with here. At the very least you'll need to amend your schedules to list the claim as an asset and claim an exemption.
- Q. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy question - can i file separate from my family income?
- A: There are multiple interpretations of what constitutes a "household" for means testing purposes. Some judges will simply count how many people are living in the domicile, others will just look at your dependants, while others will try and figure out who's part of your "financial unit". My recommendation is to set up some consultations with local bankruptcy attorneys who can tell you what judges in your district tend to do.
- Q. If in chapter 13 jointly with your wife and you get a divorce can you file chapter 7 legally?
- A: You'll need to talk to your attorney (or get one if you don't already have one. In many jurisdictions, but not necessarily MI, the first step would be to bifurcate (split in two) your chapter 13 case. Then you and your wife have separate cases. At that point, your attorney can seek to convert your case to a chapter 7 if you're eligible. Alternatively, you and your ex can jointly move to dismiss the 13. After a waiting period, you can file a chapter 7 (if you're eligible). There are pros and cons to conversion vs. dismissal which a local bankrutpcy lawyer can expound on. You absolutely should not do any of this until you've talked to an attorney to confirm that you are eligible to file a 7. It's a real mess if you dismiss your 13 only to find that you can't file a 7, because having the 13 reinstated at that point may be impossible.
- Q. Can a debtor try to collect a old bill that was discharged in 2012 to get services again?
- A: Depends on what type of service. If it's a utility, like Xcel, they can require a deposit. If it's a cable provider or a gym, they don't have to let you open a new account. If I were representing the creditor, I'd probably advise against bringing up the old debt in the discussion of new service, but I don't know that it's a stay violation to do so.
- Q. I need to file for bankruptcy as soon as possible to stop the sell of my house and I can't afford another attorney
- A: It sounds like you may need a Chapter 13, which you really shouldn't file without the assistance of an attorney because there are too many moving parts. Consult this site for information about finding "legal services providers in your area who may be able to assist you with your legal needs for free or at a reduced cost": https://www.nysba.org/probono/
- Q. A discharged Ch 7 bankruptcy from 5 years ago. I just received a medical bill from before bankruptcy. Do I have to pay?
- A: In some states, debts can be discharged even if they're not listed. I would check with a bankruptcy attorney in Utah to find out whether that's the case there. That said, simply sending a copy of your discharge order to creditors tends to make many of them back off, even if they weren't listed.
- Q. I told my lawyer I didn't want to reaffirm my car loan. Is it too late to change my mind after the bankruptcy is final?
- A: This is going to come down to the judge in your case. Some judges don't believe that they have the authority to approve a reaffirmation after your debts have been discharged. Ask your lawyer to find out whether this is the case before you spend the money to reopen (there's a court fee).
- Q. If i owe a somebody filing bankruptcy money, and there is no written contract nor payment arrangement, what can happen
- A: The bankruptcy trustee steps into the shoes of the Debtor. This means the trustee can sue you for the money. Whether or not he or she does so will depend on whether the Debtor discloses the claim, which he or she must, and whether the trustee thinks he or she could prevail in a suit against you.