St. Louis Bankruptcy FAQ
Is a St. Louis Bankruptcy Right For Me?
At The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken, we understand that the decision of whether to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one to make. The reason why is because of all the emotions that are typically involved. The stress of trying to deal with a multitude of creditors, rude and harassing phone calls, and staying current on your bills can be overwhelming. As time goes on, this stress can have an impact on every other part of your life as well, including work and personal affairs. In fact, the stress can become so great that it can begin to affect your overall health. At the same time, many individuals will do everything in their power to avoid having to file for bankruptcy. They will sell many of their assets (including their car and other personal possessions), cut out monthly expenses (including some utilities), or fore go food and medicine (like skipping meals or not filling a prescription). But this type of situation cannot go on forever. And continuing to endure this level of stress is unnecessary.
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Is There Life After a St. Louis Bankruptcy?
A second chance in life is something that everyone deserves. Regardless of your circumstances, and no matter how bad things may appear, there is a brighter future ahead. And it starts with what is described in the bankruptcy world as a ‘fresh start, clean slate.’ The St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken take great pride in the number of clients we have helped to obtain this fresh start in life. We have assisted many good people through bad times. After being freed from the debt that had been weighing them down for so long, our clients find themselves in a remarkably better position financially, emotionally and psychologically to move forward. This outcome is available to you as well.
WE WILL HELP YOU GET BACK ON YOUR FINANCIAL FEET!!
What are the benefits of filing for bankruptcy?
Filing a St. Louis bankruptcy will stop your creditors from attempting to collect from you. It will stop harassing calls and letters, lawsuits, garnishments, repossessions and foreclosures. Bankruptcy can also provide a discharge of most unsecured debts, which means those debts are wiped out and you are no longer responsible for them.
ST LOUIS BANKRUPTCY WILL STOP YOUR CREDITORS IN THEIR TRACKS!!
Which chapter of bankruptcy should I file?
The choice of chapter is a difficult one. Which chapter of bankruptcy is best for you is dependent upon your own unique circumstances. Which chapter is best depends upon your income, the type and value of your assets, and the type of debt you have. Don't make such an important decision without the benefit of good legal advice. Contact our experienced St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys today to set up a free consultation to discuss your situation.
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Will I lose my property if I file for bankruptcy?
It depends on the type of property you have and the chapter of bankruptcy you file. Some individuals can lose property in a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they have valuable property that is not able to be protected by the available state exemptions.
Property that would be liquidated in a Chapter 7 can be protected in a St. Louis Chapter 13. In exchange for keeping non-exempt property, Debtors pay their creditors the amount they would have received if the property had been liquidated.
Can I transfer my property to someone else prior to filing?
Transferring title to your property is not an effective way to keep the asset away from the Trustee. In fact, it could lead to denial of your discharge.
A bankruptcy trustee can recover assets transferred within one year of the bankruptcy filing where the debtor did not get reasonably equivalent value for the asset, or where the transfer was made with intent to hinder creditors.
If you have more assets than you are able to protect with the available exemptions, you should consider filing for relief under Chapter 13. In a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors retain their property by paying the non-exempt value of the asset to creditors through monthly payments.
How long does the St. Louis bankruptcy process last?
A Chapter 7 usually lasts approximately four months from filing to discharge. A Chapter 13 is a debt repayment plan which will last a minimum of 36 months and a maximum of 60 months. The types of debts you have, the amounts you owe, and your budget will determine the length of your repayment plan.
How is my Chapter 13 plan payment calculated?
There are many factors that determine your payment such as your income and the amount and type of debt to be included in the repayment.
How will filing for bankruptcy affect my credit?
A St. Louis bankruptcy filing can show up on your credit report for up to 10 years and will affect your credit score initially. However, your credit rating is also negatively affected by high debt to income ratios and late payments. A bankruptcy discharge will wipe out those debts, which will end up improving your credit over time. The best way to rebuild your credit score post-bankruptcy is to make timely payments on a secured debt, such as a car or house, but any timely payments reported to the credit bureaus will help your overall credit rating.
Are there any debts that cannot be discharged?
Student loans and child support cannot be discharged. Some tax debts are not dischargeable. There are certain other types of debts which may not be dischargeable. An experienced St. Louis bankruptcy attorney can advise you regarding the dischargeability of certain debts.
My house has been foreclosed upon. Am I responsible for the remaining debt?
You will be responsible for the difference between what you owed and what the house sold for. This is known as a deficiency balance, and also applies to situations where vehicles are repossessed and sold at auction. The good news is that this type of debt is an unsecured debt that is dischargeable in bankruptcy.
What will happen to my co-signer is I file for bankruptcy?
While filing for bankruptcy in St. Louis may relieve you from liability for a debt, it will not discharge your co-signers liability. This means that the creditor can still attempt to collect the debt from the co-signer. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can protect your co-signer by opting to pay the debt back in full over the course of the plan.
How often can I file a St. Louis bankruptcy?
Technically you can file bankruptcy as often as you want, but you may not get the result you are seeking, which, for most, is a discharge of debts.
A debtor cannot obtain a discharge in a St. Louis Chapter 7 case if the debtor obtained a discharge in (a) a Chapter 7 case filed within the past 8 years, or (b) a Chapter 13 case filed within the past 6 years. The time periods in either case are measured from the commencement dates of the respective cases.
Do I need to have a certain amount of debt before I am eligible to file for bankruptcy relief?
No. There is no set amount of debt necessary to file. You should consider filing for bankruptcy if you are unable to pay the debt you currently have, regardless of the amount.
Can a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy erase all of my credit card debt?
Unless you have engaged in fraudulent charging, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will erase all of your credit card debt. Fraudulent charging is when you charge up your credit cards with the intention to turn around and get rid of the debt by filing bankruptcy. If a creditor can prove to the Court that this was your intent, the Court can make that debt non-dischargeable, meaning you will still have to pay it after the bankruptcy is over. There is a presumption that any charges made within three months of filing bankruptcy were made with the intent to defraud. Rules like these are why it is so important to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your situation.
Do I have to go to court if I file for bankruptcy?
Every debtor has to attend a court hearing known as the Section 341 Meeting of Creditors. This meeting is typically held approximately one month after your case is filed. Upon filing, a Trustee will be appointed by the Court to review your case. At the hearing, the Trustee will ask you questions regarding your bankruptcy paperwork in order to determine if the information provided is truthful and accurate. The questioning typically lasts approximately five minutes.
If I file for bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file too?
No. A married person can file a St. Louis bankruptcy relief without their spouse having to file with them.
Can I file bankruptcy without a lawyer?
You can, but it is not advisable. Bankruptcy is a very complicated area of the law and it is very easy to make costly mistakes that can cost you a discharge. Can you imagine having a bankruptcy on your credit report but still having to repay all of your debts? It has happened to some, don’t let it happen to you! Contact an experienced St. Louis bankruptcy attorney and make sure you get the fresh start you deserve.
Have any celebrities filed for bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy affects all classes, races, and religions. Many people file for bankruptcy and go on to be quite successful.
- Cyndi Lauper
- Abraham Lincoln
- Donald Trump
- Walt Disney
- Mike Tyson
- Corey Haim
- Gary Coleman
These are just a few of the people who have filed bankruptcy. This list confirms that hard times can hit anyone.