If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, surely you have seen and considered the numerous advertisements by debt relief agencies. Although there certainly are legitimate debt relief companies that exist, some of these companies engage in deceptive and/or illegal practices. Even the legitimate companies will may charge you a substantial amount of money. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the scams that exist and the warning signs.
Read more about types of debt relief scams.
The second major category of lawsuit against debtors is the non-dischargeability lawsuit. A creditor or trustee can file this type of lawsuit against a debtor to request that the bankruptcy court determine the debt owed is non-dischargeable. This lawsuit is often based on the debtor obtaining the credit through fraud or a false financial statement.
Learn more about this type of lawsuit.
The Meeting of Creditors must be attended by all debtors that file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. During the Meeting, you will be questioned by the bankruptcy trustee and possibly creditors. If you intend to file a bankruptcy case, you should prepare beforehand by learning about this important meeting.
Read more about the Meeting of Creditors.
There are many misconceptions and confusion regarding bankruptcy. Furthermore, many future debtors have basic questions regarding the bankruptcy system and process. These questions are often similar or identical from person to person. Most of these questions grow out of misinformation and a lack of knowledge of bankruptcy, which is a deceptively complex body of law.
Click here to read some frequently asked bankruptcy questions and the answers!
Chapter 15 bankruptcy may be considered by some as the most unique bankruptcy chapter. This is because it is a way for foreign representatives to gain access to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Usually, a foreign company or individual will have a bankruptcy proceeding pending in a foreign court, however, there are assets in the United States that need to be dealt with. So, the foreign company can file a Chapter 15 petition. The proceeding in the United States is secondary to the foreign proceeding.
Read more about Chapter 15 bankruptcy.
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is specifically designed for family farmers and fishermen. So, this Chapter has been designed to accommodate the unique financial situations in which family farmers and fishermen find themselves. The process is fairly similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Read more about Chapter 12 bankruptcy.
Chapter 9 bankruptcy is for "municipalities," which refers to cities, towns, taxing authorities, municipal utilities, and other governmental entities. This type of bankruptcy is usually very contentious, complex, political, and expensive. Right now, the city of Stockton in California is contemplating Chapter 9 bankruptcy. It may be the case that due to the economy, more and more municipalities will be filing for Chapter 9 in the future.
Read more about Chapter 9 bankruptcy here.
Bankruptcy in the United States has a very long and perhaps "tortured history. The federal bankruptcy laws were enacted and repealed multiple times since late 18th century, all the while, many individual states had been operating their own bankruptcy systems. Did you know that these systems sometimes provided for imprisonment of debtors?
Read more about the history of bankruptcy in the United States.
The goal of bankruptcy is the discharge, which essentially wipes out your personal liability as to certain (and usually most) debts. However, if you lied on your bankruptcy petition or did other acts that are against the federal bankruptcy laws, you can be denied a discharge. This can even result in a criminal referral.
Denial of a bankruptcy discharge will not occur unless you are sued in bankruptcy court. Read more about this process here.
As discussed in my previous blog post, in order to file for bankruptcy, you must provide the court a basic filing fee. In certain cases, you can even waive the bankruptcy filing fee. This entails completing an application and filing it with the court. The bankruptcy judge will then decide whether the fee will be waived.
The judge, however, cannot waive your filing fee if your income is greater than 150% of the federal poverty line. Therefore, please be aware that the waiver of the filing fee is only for those who have very low income. Read more about how to apply for this waiver.