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What It Means To File Bankruptcy

Your Public Records On Annulment

What Actually Happens When You File For Bankruptcy

Youll need to check the details of the bankruptcy are removed from your credit record. If an IVA has been agreed, this will be put on your file.

You will need to apply to both Land Charges and Land Registry to have your bankruptcy entry removed from any properties you still own after paying your debts. If you dont, the entries will remain for 5 years.

Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right For You

Make sure you know the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy vs Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 makes sense when:

  • You dont have many assets.

  • Your problem debts total more than 50% of your annual income.

  • Your problem debts can be discharged, or forgiven, by Chapter 7. These include debts such as medical bills, credit card debt and personal or payday loans.

  • It would take five years or more to pay off your debt, even if you took extreme measures.

Some debts typically cant be erased in bankruptcy, including recent taxes, child support and student loans. Bankruptcy still may be an option for you, though, if erasing other kinds of debt would free up enough money to pay the debts that cant be erased.

The other common form of consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 13, may be better if you have more assets or secured debts, and can repay some or all of what you owe.

Other debt relief options are available, too, such as a debt management plan through a agency. Take advantage of the free initial advice that credit counselors and many bankruptcy attorneys offer before deciding on a path.

What Happens To Your Credit

Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven to ten years. While filing for bankruptcy significantly damages your score, it doesnt mean that it consistently holds you back the entire period the impact to your credit score tends to diminish over time, shares Gonzalez. Stay focused on rebuilding it, be responsible, and keep monitoring your credit to minimize the damage.

So just how much will bankruptcy impact your score? While the drop will fluctuate on a case-by-case basis, Debt.org maintains that someone with an average 680 score would lose between 130 and 150 points in bankruptcy, while an individual who started out with near-perfect creditlike an above-average 780 scorewould lose between 200 and 240 points. Here are 10 things you probably think will hurt your credit score but actually wont.

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You Cant File Chapter 7 If You Make Too Much Money

If youâre making less than the median income, youâre probably wondering how thatâs even possible. Donât fret this is not about you. This is about folks who have money they can put into savings after paying their main living expenses.

Thatâs called having disposable income and itâs calculated by the means test. Having too much disposable income means youâre not eligible to simply walk away from your debt. But, while you canât file Chapter 7, you can still get a bankruptcy discharge after completing a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

What Cant Bankruptcy Do

The Means Test in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing

Bankruptcy doesnât make all debt disappear. Youâll still owe child support, alimony, most IRS debt, court fines, and student loan debt. Those are non-dischargeable debts. Youâll also have to pay the debt that you incurred after your petition was filed. Bankruptcy will dismiss old utility bills, but not current bills. Bankruptcy only helps with pre-bankruptcy debt.

If a creditor files an Objection to Discharge, which they might if they think you never planned to pay for the debts you incurred or that you can pay, the judge will decide on the discharge. Bankruptcy is not a way to accumulate assets without paying for them. You canât hide assets in bankruptcy, everything goes on the table. If you have a car loan, the only way to keep your car is to pay for it. Whether thatâs through a reaffirmation agreement that keeps you obligated to pay off the car even after your discharge has been entered, or by paying the fair market value of the vehicle through a redemption. Finally, bankruptcy does not increase your income.

Now that we have a general idea of what the concept of bankruptcy stands for, letâs take a closer look at the different types of bankruptcy an individual can file.

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Bankruptcy Definition: What Exactly Is It

By FindLaw Staff | Reviewed by Maddy Teka, Esq. | Last updated April 19, 2021

Bankruptcy is a generalized term for a federal court procedure that helps consumers and businesses get rid of their debts and repay their creditors. If you can prove that you are entitled to it, the bankruptcy court will protect you during your bankruptcy proceeding. In general, bankruptcies can be categorized into two types:

Among the different types of bankruptcies, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings are the most common for individuals and businesses. Chapter 7 bankruptcies normally fall in the liquidation category, meaning your property could be sold in order to pay back your debts.

Conversely, Chapter 13 bankruptcies generally fall under the reorganization category, meaning that you will probably be able to keep your property, but you must submit and stick to a plan that will allow you to repay some or all of your debts within three to five years.

When To File For Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy law exists to help people who have taken on an unmanageable amount of debtoften as a result of large medical bills or other unexpected expenses that are no fault of their ownto make a fresh start. But it isnt a simple process and doesnt always lead to a happy ending.

So before filing for bankruptcy, be sure to explore all your alternatives and be prepared for some of the negative consequences described above. If you decide that bankruptcy is your only viable optionas hundreds of thousands of Americans do every yearremember that the blot on your record will not be permanent. By using credit carefully in the future and paying your bills on time, you can begin to rebuild your credit and gradually put bankruptcy behind you.

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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.

How Long Bankruptcy Lasts For

What Is The Bankruptcy Means Test?

Bankruptcy normally lasts for one year. After this time, you’ll be ‘discharged’ from your bankruptcy regardless of how much you still owe.

Your discharge could happen earlier if you co-operate fully with the Official Receiver. In some cases and if you’ve behaved irresponsibly , bankruptcy can last for more than one year.

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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Declaring Bankruptcy

When your debt exceeds your assets and your ability to pay your creditors, bankruptcy can offer you a financial lifeline. Filing for debt relief through bankruptcy can have many advantages and disadvantages. Advantages of bankruptcy protection include:

  • A new start that can help you create a healthy financial future
  • The ability to retain much, if not all, of your personal property and assets
  • Your creditors will be required to cease all debt collection actions

In addition to putting a stop to relentless phone calls and other debt collection efforts, filing for debt relief through bankruptcy can also have disadvantages that you should be aware of. Disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy protection include:

  • Filing for bankruptcy stays on your credit profile for 7 to 10 years
  • Filing for bankruptcy can lead to higher interest rates when you are eventually able to obtain financing
  • You can be ordered to undergo court-approved credit counseling
  • You cannot use bankruptcy to discharge overwhelming debt, again, for at least four to eight years, depending on what type of bankruptcy you had filed.

Each individual or business debt load is unique and requires close scrutiny and careful debt reduction planning. Your lawyer can take a clear, objective, and comprehensive view of your financial situation and help you create a plan to reorganize, reduce, or eliminate your debt.

For a legal consultation, call

Getting A Lawyer To Help You With Your Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a specialized area of law that is very complex. And the issues are not always apparent or simple. The bankruptcy laws changed in October 2005 to discourage many people from filing for bankruptcy. So the law became more complicated. And there are more situations where a mistake can result in your case getting dismissed. If your case is dismissed, the bankruptcy court often imposes a penalty of 180 days before you can refile, and in this time period a lot can happen. This is why it is so important to have a lawyer advise you and help you with your bankruptcy.

Find a lawyer who can help you work through the issues, alternatives you may have, and consequences of your choices.

  • Pick a lawyer with whom you are comfortable, one who will allow you to ask questions and give you responses that you can understand.
  • Pick a lawyer who either specializes in bankruptcy or does a large part of his or her practice in the field.
  • Ask questions until you understand what your choices are.
  • Don’t be afraid to interview a lawyer and leave without hiring him or her.

If you decide to represent yourself in bankruptcy court, read a guide for Filing for Bankruptcy Without an Attorney.

To find a good bankruptcy lawyer:

  • Check state bar groups and specialization/certification programs for bankruptcy lawyers in your community.
  • Ask other lawyers or tax preparers you know for recommendations.

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How Do You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You can probably complete the process within six months. You’ll have to follow several steps.

  • You must complete pre-file bankruptcy counseling from a qualified nonprofit credit counseling agency within 180 days before filing.

  • Find an attorney:Before diving into the various forms required to file Chapter 7, find a qualified bankruptcy attorney to help. Its hard to find money for a lawyer when you need debt relief, but this is not a DIY situation. Missing or improperly completed paperwork can lead to your case being thrown out or not having some debts dismissed.

  • File paperwork: Your attorney will help with filing your petition and other paperwork. But its on you to gather all relevant documentation of your assets, income and debts. An automatic stay goes into effect at this point, meaning that most creditors cannot sue you, garnish your wages or contact you for payment.

  • Trustee takes over: Once your petition is filed, a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee will begin managing the process.

  • Meeting of creditors: The trustee will arrange a meeting between you, your lawyer and your creditors. Youll have to answer questions from the trustee and creditors about your bankruptcy forms and finances.

  • Your eligibility is determined: After reviewing your paperwork, the trustee will confirm whether youre eligible for Chapter 7.

  • Education course: Before your case is discharged, youll have to take a financial education course from a qualified nonprofit credit counseling agency.

  • What Does It Mean To Declare Bankruptcy

    What Do the Chapters in Bankruptcy Mean? A Guide

    It gives debtors a second chance at consumer credit, and it gives creditors some repayment of the debt. On successful completion of the bankruptcy process, the debtor is relieved of the debt obligations that were filed.

    In most cases, the debtor begins a bankruptcy proceeding with an attorney by filing a petition on behalf of himself. In some cases, the debtor files on behalf of all debtors. In either case, all of the debtors assets are evaluated, and these assets may be used to repay all or a portion of the outstanding debt.

    Bankruptcy is a term for the federal court procedure that helps individual consumers and business people, as well as business organizations, get out of debt while paying creditors what they can. Bankruptcies can be categorized into two general types: liquidations and reorganizations.

    In the United States, there are several kinds of bankruptcy filings, each classified by a code. Chapter 7 is the code dealing with the liquidation of assets. Chapter 11 covers individual or company reorganizations. Chapter 13 deals with debt repayment with lowered debt agreements or some kind of payment plans. Chapter 12 is similar to Chapter 13 except it applies only to those who have at least 80% of their debts due to a family farm.

    Rules for filing bankruptcies and associated fees differ from state to state, depending on complexity.

    Heres a look at three of the most common types of bankruptcies

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    What Debts Are Forgiven In Bankruptcy

    Generally, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies for individuals eliminate unsecured debt such as credit cards. They can also potentially prevent foreclosures, wage garnishments, debt collection, and utility shut-offs. However, they cannot normally eliminate certain types of debt, such as:

    Court-ordered alimony

    The Benefits Of An Automatic Stay Of Proceedings

    As soon as the trustee files your paperwork, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act guarantees your right to an automatic stay of proceedings. This means that all collection actions and attempts to force repayment are suspended immediately while you go through the legal process of bankruptcy. This includes:

    • Collection calls
    • Repossession
    • Foreclosure

    No new enforcement actions can be started, and even current enforcement actions must cease. For example, if you owe back taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency and they are garnishing your wages, the garnishment will stop once you file.

    This can give you some welcome breathing room if your wages are being garnished or if youre dealing with threatening calls from collectors.

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    Who Can Be Made Bankrupt

    A bankruptcy order can be made for one of three reasons:

    • you cant pay what you owe and want to declare yourself bankrupt
    • your creditors apply to make you bankrupt because you owe them £5000 or more
    • an insolvency practitioner makes you bankrupt because youve broken the terms of an individual voluntary arrangement

    Wipe Out Secured Debt

    What is Bankruptcy for Beginners

    If you can’t afford a payment that you secured with collateralsuch as a mortgage or car loanyou can wipe out the debt in bankruptcy. But you won’t be able to keep the house, car, computer, or other item securing payment of the loan. When you voluntarily agree to secure debt with property, you must pay what you owe or give the property back .

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    Consequences Of Filing For Bankruptcy In Bad Faith

    Filing for bankruptcy in bad faith can get you in trouble. The consequences of a bad faith filing can vary depending on the egregiousness of your conduct. But they can include dismissal of your bankruptcy, forever losing the right to discharge debts existing at the time of your filing, and loss of your nonexempt assets.

    The Chapter 7 Discharge

    A discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for most debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor. Because a chapter 7 discharge is subject to many exceptions, debtors should consult competent legal counsel before filing to discuss the scope of the discharge. Generally, excluding cases that are dismissed or converted, individual debtors receive a discharge in more than 99 percent of chapter 7 cases. In most cases, unless a party in interest files a complaint objecting to the discharge or a motion to extend the time to object, the bankruptcy court will issue a discharge order relatively early in the case generally, 60 to 90 days after the date first set for the meeting of creditors. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4004.

    The grounds for denying an individual debtor a discharge in a chapter 7 case are narrow and are construed against the moving party. Among other reasons, the court may deny the debtor a discharge if it finds that the debtor: failed to keep or produce adequate books or financial records failed to explain satisfactorily any loss of assets committed a bankruptcy crime such as perjury failed to obey a lawful order of the bankruptcy court fraudulently transferred, concealed, or destroyed property that would have become property of the estate or failed to complete an approved instructional course concerning financial management. 11 U.S.C. § 727 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4005.

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    The Truth About Bankruptcy

    If youre reading this, youre probably thinking about bankruptcy. The world may tell you this route is a fresh start . . . or a horrible ending. But whats the truth about bankruptcy?

    In simple terms, bankruptcy is a legal process a person can go through to clear some of the debts theyre unable to pay.

    If youre so overwhelmed by debt that bankruptcy feels like your only option, know these three things: 1) There is hopeand you will be okay. 2) There are other optionsand you should try every single one before jumping into bankruptcy. 3) Bankruptcy does not define you and will not be the end.

    Keep these three things in mind as you read through the rest of this article and learn the truth about bankruptcy, including a breakdown on these specific topics:

    Explore Your Bankruptcy Options

    Filing for Chapter 7 with a Bankruptcy Attorney in Atlanta ...

    Get the financial relief you are entitled to by filing for bankruptcy protection. Our team represents individuals and small business owners in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. We can also provide help filing for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy and Chapter 12 bankruptcy for family farmers and fishermen.

    We can help you through the petition and filing process. We can help you retain your assets when you choose Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We can even help you restructure financial debt through other bankruptcy filings with complex financial structures or extremely large debt loads. Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, at to speak to a member of our client intake team and learn what happens if you declare bankruptcy today.

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