Seelinger Law

Bankruptcy Blog

Do I have to pay income tax on a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy?

Friday Feb 11th, 2022

Did you receive a Form 1099-C from a former creditor?There is a bankruptcy exception to the general IRS rule that says if a debt is canceled or forgiven by a creditor, the amount of the canceled or forgiven debt must be included in your gross income on your tax return.

Will I lose my car if I file bankruptcy? What about my pension, or my guns?

Thursday Feb 10th, 2022

Can they take my car?In most cases, the answer is no.  

A trustee is not permitted to take your car unless it is worth more than the law allows you to protect in bankruptcy, and the law gives you more than one way to protect it.

Can I file for bankruptcy if I have income from a job?

Wednesday Feb 9th, 2022

Yes, you can file for bankruptcy even if you have income from a job, but the amount of your income matters. You can file chapter 7 bankruptcy if you pass the “means test.

Can I be fired for filing bankruptcy?

Wednesday Feb 9th, 2022

It is rare for an employer to fire an employee because they filed for bankruptcy.  Employers may not fire you solely because you filed for bankruptcy.   If your employer did fire you for filing bankruptcy, it would be a direct violation of the bankruptcy laws.

Can they take my house if I file for bankruptcy?

Wednesday Feb 9th, 2022

Sometimes.  It depends on how much the house is worth, and whether there is a mortgage on it.   It also makes a difference which chapter you file under, that is, chapter 7 or chapter 13.

Can you file for bankruptcy alone if you are married?

Monday Jan 24th, 2022

Yes.   There is no requirement that a married couple file bankruptcy jointly when one spouse needs or wants to file and the other does not.   It is very common for one spouse to file for bankruptcy while the other spouse does not.

Would filing for bankruptcy hurt your spouse?

Monday Jan 24th, 2022

In most cases, filing for bankruptcy would not hurt your spouse. Only your creditors will be informed of the bankruptcy, although that would include creditors whose debts are owed jointly by you and your spouse.

Will filing bankruptcy hurt your credit score?

Wednesday Jan 19th, 2022

If your credit score right now is high, then yes, your score will drop when you file bankruptcy.  But not permanently.

Why would you choose Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Wednesday Jan 19th, 2022

Individuals may file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcyAfter struggling with debt, you have reached the conclusion that filing for personal bankruptcy is your only solution (short of winning the lottery).

Mortgages and car loans are not the same as credit cards, and bankruptcy treats them differently

Wednesday Jan 19th, 2022

Does bankruptcy work the same way for a mortgage or car loan as it does for credit card debt?No.   Secured debts are treated differently than unsecured debts in bankruptcy.

Will the trustee search your home?

Wednesday Jan 19th, 2022

Filing for bankruptcy is not a crime Credit card companies wish it was, but it’s not.   You cannot be arrested for filing for bankruptcy.   You will not be frisked, cuffed, and thrown into debtor’s prison.   Likewise, your home will not be searched.

What is the most important thing to know about consulting with a bankruptcy attorney?

Tuesday Jan 18th, 2022

Tell your attorney the truth.   The more your attorney knows about your situation, the better the attorney’s advice will be.   That includes everything from disclosing all of your assets and income to answering your attorney’s questions completely and accurately.

What to look for in a lawyer

Tuesday Jan 18th, 2022

If you have been considering filing for bankruptcy protection, you may have noticed that there are quite a few attorneys who offer representation for filing bankruptcy.

Is overspending enough reason to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Tuesday Jan 18th, 2022

Overspending is one of the most common causes of chapter 7 bankruptcy filingsChapter 7 trustees ask what caused the debtor to file for bankruptcy, and when the answer is “overspending,” that typically satisfies the trustee.   Other common reasons are loss of income, medical expenses, and divorce.

How much debt must you have to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case?

Monday Jan 17th, 2022

The law does not have a minimum amount of debt to file chapter 7 bankruptcy. The answer is determined on a case-by-case basis.   What may be a manageable amount of debt for one person may be overwhelming to someone else.

Do I have too much debt for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Monday Jan 17th, 2022

There is no limit on how much you can owe and still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.   In fact, the more you owe, the more likely it is that you need bankruptcy relief.

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You Might Not Need to File for Bankruptcy if:

Monday Mar 4th, 2019

You are “Judgment Proof”You might not have to worry about collection actions by your creditors if you do not own anything that a creditor can legally take from you, under the laws of your state.

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What Debts are Eliminated in Bankruptcy?

Wednesday Jan 23rd, 2019

Through a Chapter 7, most of your debts will be discharged. Credit cards, medical bills, utility bills, deficiency balances on car loans, and many more are completely discharged. Student loans will not be discharged except in rare circumstances, and neither will alimony, child support, and recent tax debt.

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Can I Keep My Tax Refund if I File for Bankruptcy?

Friday Jan 11th, 2019

Before looking into the specifics of tax refunds, keep in mind that 97% of bankruptcy cases are 'no asset cases.' This means that the filer gets to keep all of their things and the trustee takes nothing.

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Do Debt Collectors Target Some People More Than Others?

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2018

Debt collectors call you multiple times a day: they call at work, they call at home, and they even call family members. You have friends who are behind on their bills yet they do not get any of the phone calls. This scenario is quite common. It doesn't just seem like creditors are targeting you, they are targeting you.

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Can I File For Bankruptcy if I Only Have Medical Bills?

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2018

Yes. Health care can be very costly. Hospital charges and doctor’s fees add up quickly, for procedures of all kinds, whether performed as outpatient services or more complicated procedures requiring a hospital stay.

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What Does the Bible Say About Bankruptcy?

Monday Nov 12th, 2018

There is a stigma attached to bankruptcy that sometimes deters individuals from persuing it. Bankruptcy is not a bad word- bankruptcy is a forgiveness of debt that has been around since biblical times. We should not be ashamed that we sometimes dig ourselves too deep- we are human and we deserve a fresh financial start.

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What Happens to My Debts After I File for Bankruptcy?

Thursday Feb 8th, 2018

At Seelinger Law, we believe that you should find out your options. We believe that bankruptcy is a way out, a way to a fresh financial start just as Congress intended, not the nasty “B” word that creditors would have you believe.

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What is a Jury Trial?

Sunday Nov 5th, 2017

The defendant has the right to proceed by jury in all cases where the most serious offense charged is a misdemeanor, felony, or murder charge. Also, the representative for the Commonwealth may elect to proceed by jury. The first step is picking the jury of twelve.

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Why Debt Consolidation Companies are Not a Good Alternative to Bankruptcy

Thursday May 11th, 2017

Debt consolidation companies tell you that they can make deals with the banks and settle your credit card debts. Understand that they start taking your money even before they make any contact with the banks. There is absolutely no guarantee that the banks will take their offer.

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