Can I file for bankruptcy if I do not have any credit cards, only medical bills?

Yes. Medical bills are treated the same way as credit cards and any other unsecured debt. There are many people in this country who do not have health insurance and it is easy to see how someone could get overwhelmed by medical bills from an unanticipated health issue.

Do you have to be in default on your loans before you file for bankruptcy?

No, there are no certain requirements for how much financial trouble you are in before you file. Just be careful not to pay off preferred creditors. If you have accepted loans from your friends and family, they must be treated just like all of your other creditors.

Must I have a certain amount of debt before I file for bankruptcy?

There is no amount of debt that you have to have before you can file for bankruptcy. Your debt may be less than $5K but to people living on social security, single household income, or unemployed this is a significant drain on their pocketbooks and quality of life. Also, even if you have a steady income coming in, understand that with the compounding interest, that same $5K will look more like $15K in just a matter of years. It would make more sense to use that same money that you are paying on your unsecured debt and put it away toward retirement or improving your quality of life for you and your family.

If I file for bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file with me?

The short answer to this is, no, your spouse does not have to file with you. Depending upon whose name the debts are listed, it may be advisable to file alone and leave the non-filing spouse’s credit score untouched. Understand that if you have joint debts, the non-filing spouse will still be responsible to pay the joint creditors even after your debt is discharged. However, if you later change your mind and wish that you had both filed for bankruptcy, the non-filing spouse will not be precluded from filing. So the filing spouse will have to wait for a period of years before a repeat filing but the non-filing spouse can file at any time.

If you have mostly joint debt, you get more bang for your buck so to speak to file jointly as you will be charged one fee for the two of you. There are certain intricacies involved when only one spouse files, mostly regarding property, and income. It is best to contact an attorney at Seelinger Law for advice on how to proceed in your particular situation. Seelinger law has had many cases where only one spouse chooses to file and they have all been successful.

What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?

If you are currently considering filing for bankruptcy, licensed bankruptcy attorneys at Seelinger Law will help you make a wise decision about which route you should go. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the most common route, and there are several reasons for this. With Chapter 7, you are not required to pay back any portion of your dischargeable debt, you can get the discharge that you are seeking in a matter of months and you have less court involvement. All of these reasons make a very strong case for using Chapter 7 to get out of debt and start enjoying your life again. Read on to explore in more detail the advantages of Chapter 7. Beware of bankruptcy attorneys who try to steer you toward a Chapter 13, understand that bankruptcy attorneys are paid more money for a Chapter 13 than a Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is much easier than Chapter 13 in terms of court appearances, paperwork, and the length of the case/time invested. Under a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, an individual or business is asking the court to eliminate, or discharge, all of their debt. Under a Chapter 13, you submit a plan to the court showing how you plan on repaying your debt. In this case, some debts may be discharged, while others may have to be paid partially or in full. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the most common route, and there are several reasons for this. In general, it takes care of all of the problems that caused you to think about filing for bankruptcy in the first place.

Chapter 7 will stop creditors from harassing you, stop wage garnishment, repossession and foreclosure and it is faster, less expensive, and easier, and it boasts a higher success rate than Chapter 13.Chapter 7 will stop creditors from harassing you, stop wage garnishment, repossession and foreclosure and it is faster, less expensive, and less invasive. With Chapter 7, you are not required to pay back any portion of your dischargeable debt. All of these issues make a very strong case for using Chapter 7 to get out of debt and start enjoying your life again.

Although the filing fees are comparable between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13, the attorney fees are considerably less expensive in a Chapter 7. You also need to take into account the fact that in a Chapter 13, you would be required to repay a portion of your debt, making monthly payments for a three or five year period. When you total these together, you will see that it is far less expensive for you to file Chapter 7 where you are not required to pay back any portion of your dischargeable debt. This is actually the very reason that most people do file for Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 13. Although there are many advantages, the total debt discharge is probably the most popular reason. Beware of bankruptcy attorneys who recommend a Chapter 13 to you when you have a low income and are not behind on your mortgage payment; some attorneys push people to choose a Chapter 13 as they will get paid more money in the long run.

At Seelinger Law we pride ourselves on our honesty and sincerity in dealing with clients. Recognizing that we are the experts, we use our moral compass to guide you toward the best option for your particular case. We understand that each case is different and we take a sensitive and caring approach with our clients. We will help you make the best decision for you.

Do I get to choose which type of bankruptcy I am filing?

In order to be eligible for Chapter 7, you do need to meet certain income requirements. If you make too much money, you will still be eligible for Chapter 13. Other than the income requirements, there are asset restrictions where you are not allowed to have over a certain amount of equity in property. Your licensed bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise you after your first meeting which as always is a FREE CONSULTATION.

What are the income requirements for filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The median income for you state will generally be the qualification for eligibility. If you fall within the income limit, then you will most likely be eligible. If you do not fall within the income limit, you may still be able to file Chapter 7. Your attorney will want to know how many people are in your household and your monthly expenses. Some people may be over the median income for their household size but perfect candidates for Chapter 7 because of their high medical expenses. Ask your attorney before deciding that you are not eligible.

What if I am a parent and I co-signed on the loan for my teenage kid’s car?

Many parents help their teenage kids buy their first car by signing on the loan as a co-debtor. If the parent files for bankruptcy but the child would like to continue to pay the vehicle loan, that is fine. The bank will not take the vehicle unless the child stops paying. You as the parent will lose any liability associated with the vehicle by filing for personal bankruptcy. That way if your child stops paying for the vehicle, the bank cannot come after you any longer.

What if I am a teenage kid filing and I don’t want my parents to get stuck with the car bill after they were generous enough to co-sign the loan so that I could get a car?

This is not a unique situation. Child has a low credit score and would like a car loan so parent helps out and co-signs on the loan. Now child has made some bad decisions and racked up a lot of credit card debt. The child wants to discharge the credit card debt but still drive and pay for the vehicle. Also the child does not want his or her parents’ credit score to be affected. There are some things that your Seelinger Law attorney can do to ensure that the child’s car loan and the parents’ credit score continue virtually unaffected by the bankruptcy filing.

 


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Erie, PA 16509
814.824.6670

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Meadville, PA 16335
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Pittsburgh, PA 15212
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