What Happens When You File For Bankruptcy
If bankruptcy is the option you choose, you will work with the LIT to complete the required forms. The LIT will then file these documents with the OSB and you will be formally declared bankrupt.
From that point on, the LIT will deal directly with your creditors on your behalf. Once you have been declared bankrupt
- you will stop making payments directly to your unsecured creditors
- any garnishments against your salary will stop and
- any lawsuits against you by your creditors will also be stopped
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Do You Have Surplus Income
If your monthly income is $200 or more in excess of the current surplus income limit set by the government, it is possible that your bankruptcy will be extended for longer than nine months, and you will be required to pay a portion of this income into your bankruptcy.
It is not wrong to make surplus income, but it is only fair that a portion of it be paid to your creditors. Having surplus income also lengthens the period you are bankrupt usually to twenty-one months for first-time bankruptcies.
For more information, see our page on surplus income.
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Consequences Of Multiple Bankruptcies
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee will explain the consequences to be considered when declaring bankruptcies multiple times.
In addition to your bankruptcy lasting longer, your credit rating will be negatively impacted. The additional reporting for multiple bankruptcies is significant. Compared to a first-time bankruptcy which will stay on your record for 6-7 years, a second bankruptcy can last up to 14 years.
What Not To Do Before Bankruptcy
Debt can creep up on you. Perhaps you had a credit card that started out with a low interest rate. You have that credit available, so why not buy a couple of things that you wanted for a while, but haven’t been able to afford? Or, perhaps you’re using it to buy something essential. Either way, that interest rate suddenly balloons, or the amount you owe grows larger every month, until you simply cannot keep up.
That is the point when you might want to consider filing for bankruptcy. That’s a scary word these days, but the truth is it is meant to provide some protection, and a way forward, for people who are unable to pay their debts. Speaking with a lawyer or financial planner can be helpful, but if you find yourself in over your head, filing bankruptcy may be your only option.
That are lots of guides, and lots of people, out there that can help you navigate the first few steps in the filing process. However, there are some things that you definitely do not want to do before filing for bankruptcy.
5. Don’t Provide Inaccurate InformationYou are required, in the process of filing for bankruptcy, to provide full and complete information. Any debt, assets, accounts, and other financial information has to be provided. Attempting to hide information can, again, be considered fraud. Fraud is a serious issue, and can prevent debts from being discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. It can also potentially lead to criminal charges.
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Suspended Income Tax Payments
HMRC will apply a nil tax code when youre bankrupt. This tells your employer not to take any further income tax from your wages for the rest of the tax year . The extra money in your pay that results from this can be claimed by the trustee to form part or all of an IPA or IPO. If the IPA or IPO is wholly paid out of this extra income, it will stop when you start paying tax again.
The NT wont tell your employer youre bankrupt as an NT can be applied for a number of reasons.
Can I File Again
However, many people assume that if the bankruptcy is still listed, they cant file again. The confusion can lead to questions like this:
Question: Ive been working with a debt settlement company since May 2017. They have settled six of my accounts with three more to go.
I chose not to do bankruptcy because it was still showing on my credit report, although it was discharged in 2006. And I didnt know if I can file again.
How I got to this point was through unfortunate circumstances and bad habits. Ive been living paycheck to paycheck, so I used payday loans anytime I had an emergency. Then I got a car title loan just to pay other loans. Now Im stuck with a foolish car title loan until October 2020.
The debt settlement has given me some relief. But I still have quite a bit to go, and I find myself being in the red each month. I have a budget for each pay period, but I still end up using overdraft funds almost every month.
Sometimes, Im over by a $100 and sometimes by $300. It depends on what has happened unexpectedly in that pay period. Those additional fees of $28 each can add up. Ive cut back all that I can and just pay my bills. I do get an extra $200 a month for keeping my grandchild on weeknight and weekends.
What can I do more to help with my financial difficulties?
Jo in California
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Complaints Seeking Revocation Of Discharge Will Require Retaining Counsel
Keep in mind that the mere filing of an adversary proceeding seeking to revoke the discharge will require hiring an attorney to answer the allegations of improper conduct. If these allegations are not addressed in a timely fashion, the debtor will lose their discharge by default.
The possibility that a bankruptcy discharge can be revoked highlights the importance of full disclosure to your bankruptcy attorney. You must inform your bankruptcy attorney of all assets and debts in order to ensure that your discharge is not subsequently challenged.
What Are The Signs That You Should File For Chapter 7
There are some very tell-tale signs that you are drowning in debt. Simply being unable to pay a bill every so often, usually isnt cause for concern for most people. However, when your financial situation keeps you up at night, you may want to consider contacting a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy lawyer.
There are five signs that will indicate that you should file for Chapter 7 may be the right solution for you:
There are also significant mental effects that debt can take on you. If this is the case, you need a compassionate bankruptcy lawyer to help you navigate the bankruptcy process.
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How Many Times Can A Debtor File Bankruptcy
Seattle bankruptcy lawyer assisting consumers in eliminating debt, planning estates, probate and real estate matters.
So what if you file a bankruptcy case and dont receive a discharge?
Most jurisdictions follow the majority opinion that all property of a debtor is part of the bankruptcy estate and is therefore protected by the automatic stay, even with regards to a serial filing. The automatic stay is terminated as to the actual debtor however and would not stop an eviction for instance. Unfortunately for those of us in the 9th circuit , there is a case called In Re Reswick, 446 B.R. 362, 37172 , which found that Congress intended that the automatic stay to terminate as to all property despite how the bankruptcy code was written. So the moral of the story is you might want to consider filing a motion extending the automatic stay within 30 days of filing a second or third bankruptcy within a year to prevent any mortgage companies from getting relief from the automatic stay. With that said it is always advisable to file all of your schedules and information required in a chapter 13 bankruptcy to extend the amount of time that your case is active and give you the chance of having your case confirmed which may put you outside the scope of filing 2 or 3 cases within a year so that you do not find yourself in this in enviable position.
Does The Debtor Have The Right To A Discharge Or Can Creditors Object To The Discharge
In chapter 7 cases, the debtor does not have an absolute right to a discharge. An objection to the debtor’s discharge may be filed by a creditor, by the trustee in the case, or by the U.S. trustee. Creditors receive a notice shortly after the case is filed that sets forth much important information, including the deadline for objecting to the discharge. To object to the debtor’s discharge, a creditor must file a complaint in the bankruptcy court before the deadline set out in the notice. Filing a complaint starts a lawsuit referred to in bankruptcy as an “adversary proceeding.”
The court may deny a chapter 7 discharge for any of the reasons described in section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code, including failure to provide requested tax documents failure to complete a course on personal financial management transfer or concealment of property with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors destruction or concealment of books or records perjury and other fraudulent acts failure to account for the loss of assets violation of a court order or an earlier discharge in an earlier case commenced within certain time frames before the date the petition was filed. If the issue of the debtor’s right to a discharge goes to trial, the objecting party has the burden of proving all the facts essential to the objection.
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How To Get Out Of Debt Keep The House Car Retirement Savings And Finally Get A Fresh Start
Filing Bankruptcy Cases Under Different Chapters
If youre filing under a different chapter the second time around, the following rules apply:
- Chapter 7 after Chapter 13 According to Title 11 Section §727 of the U.S. Code, if your first filing was under Chapter 13, you will not be granted a discharge under a Chapter 7 until at least six years has passed from the date you filed your Chapter 13.
- Chapter 13 after Chapter 7 According to Title 11 Section §1328 of the U.S. Code, if your first case was a Chapter 7, you only have to wait four years before filing a Chapter 13.
Filing for Bankruptcy for Reasons other than Discharge
Keep in mind that the time limits discussed only pertain to discharges, not to filings. There is no limit to amount of times you can actually file. While seeking a discharge of debts is the most common reason to file for bankruptcy, its not the only reason.
Some file for the automatic stay which prevents creditors from collecting on debts. Depending on your circumstances, this could help you stop collection efforts and catch up on your payments.
Running into Difficulties with Repeat Bankruptcy Filings
There may be no legal limit on how many times you can file for bankruptcy in Texas but the courts will take a good look at why the debtor is filing for a subsequent bankruptcy. First, lets review why bankruptcies were written into American law.
Discuss Your Options with a Bankruptcy Attorney
Here’s How Bankruptcies Impact Your Credit Score
While bankruptcies on your credit report will always get factored into your credit score for as long as they are on there, the impact on your score lessens with each year that passes. So, you may see a dramatic drop in your score in the first month immediately following your bankruptcy filing, but by the end of the first year it could have less weight, and certainly less in later years compared to year one.
Your own credit profile will also play a part in how much your credit score is affected when you declare bankruptcy. Similar to how having a higher credit score can ding your more points if you miss a credit card payment, so, too, is the case if you file for bankruptcy. According to FICO, someone with good credit may experience a bigger drop in their score when a bankruptcy appears on their report than someone with an already poor credit score.
Estimates we found online from places like Debt.org show how people with different credit scores would be impacted by a bankruptcy filing. Someone with a credit score of 780 or above would be dinged between 200 and 240 points, while someone with a 680 score would lose 130 to 150 points.
Whatever the case, no one really benefits from filing for bankruptcy. It’s an option of last resort that sometimes even those with good credit find themselves making.
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How Can The Debtor Obtain Another Copy Of The Discharge Order
If the debtor loses or misplaces the discharge order, another copy can be obtained by contacting the clerk of the bankruptcy court that entered the order. The clerk will charge a fee for searching the court records and there will be additional fees for making and certifying copies. If the case has been closed and archived there will also be a retrieval fee, and obtaining the copy will take longer.
The discharge order may be available electronically. The PACER system provides the public with electronic access to selected case information through a personal computer located in many clerk’s offices. The debtor can also access PACER. Users must set up an account to acquire access to PACER, and must pay a per-page fee to download and copy documents filed electronically.
What Happens To Your Motor Vehicle
Your motor vehicle will be sold to pay for your bankruptcy debts, unless you need it:
- for your work or vocation
- to meet basic domestic needs where alternative transport is not practical
If the official receiver agrees you need the vehicle, it will be classed as exempt and not included in your bankruptcy. This does not apply if you own your vehicle through an ongoing hire purchase agreement .
If you are allowed to keep the vehicle you remain responsible for road tax, MOT and insurance.
If your vehicle is exempt but valuable it can be replaced with a cheaper alternative. The official receiver will use the money from the sale to either pay for the new vehicle directly or give you the money to buy one. You must provide proof of purchase for your new vehicle within 1 month. The guide price for a replacement is £1,000.
Stop the sale of your vehicle
If your vehicle is not exempt you may be able to keep it if a third party can pay to transfer it to them for you and you provide a:
- current insurance certificate
- vehicle registration document
- a valid MOT
The price paid will be the market value of the vehicle but must at least cover the agents costs for the sale of the vehicle.
If you dont want to keep the vehicle the official receiver will dispose of it.
Vehicles under finance agreements
A finance agreement can be a:
- hire purchase
- conditional sale
- leasing agreement
If the trustee decides they wont be claiming the vehicle they will give notice to you and the finance company.
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Restrictions On People Who Have Been Declared Bankrupt
Once you have been declared bankrupt, you will be guilty of an offenceif:
- You do not disclose the bankruptcy when getting a loan or any other credit facility of 650 or more
- When trading in a name other than that in which you were made bankrupt, you do not disclose the bankruptcy
- You act as a director, manager, auditor, liquidator or receiver of a company without permission of the court
These offences carry a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine of1,270.
Other consequences of bankruptcy are:
- If you wish to travel outside the State, you should tell the Official Assignee. You may be arrested if it seems to the High Court that you are leaving the State in order to avoid the consequences of your bankruptcy.
- You cannot be granted an enduringpower of attorney on behalf of someone else, and if you hold one already, it is automatically revoked if you become bankrupt.
- Under the Charities Act 2009, you may not be a trustee of a charity if you are adjudicated bankrupt.
- Some professional bodies disqualify members who are adjudicated bankrupt
Your Bankruptcy Discharge Can Be Revoked
Additionally, bankruptcy courts may revoke a discharge under certain circumstances. For example, a trustee, creditor, or the U.S. trustee may request that the court revoke the debtors discharge in a Chapter 7 case based on allegations that the debtor obtained the discharge fraudulently, like if you concealed property or failed to keep adequate records.
Typically, a request to revoke the debtors discharge must be filed within one year of the discharge or, in some cases, before the date that the case is closed. The court will decide whether such allegations are true and, if so, whether to revoke the discharge.
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