Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions
Bankruptcy can be a very complex process. The attorneys at Goldsmith & Guymon P.C. answered several questions that are commonly asked by individuals interested in bankruptcy.
Can I keep my assets (House/Car/Phone/Jewelry/etc)?
With regards to the filing of bankruptcy, there is a perception that you will be forced to surrender all your assets upon filing. Indeed, under the letter of the law, when you file bankruptcy you surrender everything you own to the bankruptcy trustee. However, the state legislature has decided that there are certain assets that a person should be able to keep even if they are filing bankruptcy. These are called “exemptions.”
If you reside in Nevada, we are fortunate enough to have fairly generous state exemptions. In Nevada, you may exempt $15,000 for a car; $12,000 for household furniture and goods, including clothes; $5,000 for jewelry and certain other collectibles; $10,000 “wildcard” for anything you choose; and $605,000 for a house. This list is only an example of the various exemptions available to Nevada residents. If you are concerned about a particular asset you have, please come in for a consultation.
How much does a bankruptcy cost?
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Please note that, no, we do not do $0.00 down bankruptcies. $0.00 down bankruptcies have the effect of impairing a Debtor’s fresh start. By hiring a firm with $0.00 down you could be harassed for payment, forced to have voluntary wage garnishments or ACH withdrawals from your bank account. Sometimes, your account is assigned to another company called a factoring company where the debt is now owed to them (akin to a collection agency). As a result, when you get your discharge you have received your fresh start but you are still in debt, creating a potentially precarious situation at the beginning of your fresh start.
With our firm, most Chapter 7 cases are handled on a flat fee of $1,500.00. This amount covers the filing fee and the cost for the credit report. Fees for Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases are determined on a case by case basis due to their greater complexity. Accordingly, when you get your discharge you really get a fresh start!
How long does a typical bankruptcy take?
While it is hard to predict accurately based on the nuances of your case, many of our Chapter 7 cases are resolved within six months. By their nature, the length of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is unpredictable a case-specific but likely are over a five-year timeframe.
How long does it take to rehabilitate my credit?
Credit improvement is wholly dependent on the steps taken post-bankruptcy.
We have observed that some clients’ credit scores immediately improve upon filing bankruptcy. Typically, this occurs with people who begin with an exceptionally low credit score. However, this is not the norm. Undeniably, most people experience a decrease in the credit score upon the filing of bankruptcy.
That is not the end of the story, as filing and receiving your discharge are only the first step of the credit rehabilitation process. Many debtors find that they receive numerous credit card offers upon receipt of their discharge due to the sudden freeing up of their income. Debtors need to walk a careful line with regards to rehabilitating their credit post-bankruptcy, but it is certainly possible. We would love the opportunity to discuss credit improvement methods with you!
Will bankruptcy stop foreclosure/lawsuits?
While it depends on the nature of the lawsuit, Bankruptcy can potentially buy time or even stop a lawsuit entirely. Similarly, foreclosure can be delayed or even stopped entirely depending on your circumstances.