Frequently Asked Questions
For your convenience, our most common client questions are answered below. Please feel free to contact us with further questions.
- Do I need to hire an attorney to file for Bankruptcy Protection?
- Which chapter should I consider when filing for individual bankruptcy protection?
- Will filing for bankruptcy stop creditor’s phone calls and letters?
- If I file bankruptcy, will my debts all be erased?
- If I file for Bankruptcy, can I keep valuables like my home or car?
- Do I need to list all of my debts when I file?
- How are debts categorized?
- What is the 90-Day Rule?
Q: Do I need to hire an attorney to file for Bankruptcy Protection?
A: Yes and No.
Yes, businesses, corporations and partnerships are required to hire an attorney to file their bankruptcy case.
No, Individuals are not required to hire an attorney, and DO have the right to represent themselves in bankruptcy court. To do so is to file “pro se.” Please remember that filing for bankruptcy protection is a very technical process. Due to the long-term legal consequences on your financial life, it is important that all documents and processes are filed and followed precisely. One seemingly small misstep could result in a delay of your case, or worse yet, the loss of your right to file another case.
Marchese Law Group highly recommends that you seek the services of a competent attorney to guide you through this complex process and uncertain time.
Q: Which chapter should I consider when filing for individual bankruptcy protection?
A: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common forms of individual protection.
In certain cases like sole proprietorships, Chapter 11 protection may be more appropriate.
Contact Marchese Law Group today for a thorough discussion of the relief best suited for your situation.
Q: Will filing for bankruptcy stop creditor’s phone calls and letters?
A: Yes. This is the most positive aspect of filing for bankruptcy relief. Once you file for protection, the federal district court issues a stay order to your creditors.
This order immediately stops creditors from attempting to collect.
The harassing telephone calls and letters you’ve been receiving stop within a few days. Once you’re represented by Marchese Law Group, all creditors must contact us from that point forward.
Q: If I file bankruptcy, will my debts all be erased?
A: No. Rather than simply erasing your debts, Bankruptcy protection prohibits your creditors from attempting to collect your outstanding debts.
Marchese Law Group reminds you that a bankruptcy discharge stays on your credit record for up to 10 years. This fact may seriously affect your ability to borrow in the future.
Q: If I file for Bankruptcy, can I keep valuables like my home or car?
A: Maybe. Without a thorough examination of your specific situation and the type of bankruptcy filed, it is not possible to qualify with certainty.
However, in many cases, individuals are able to keep their home, vehicles, personal property and retirement accounts. Call Marchese Law Group for an in-depth discussion of your personal situation; we’ll cover and discuss all of your options in complete detail.
Q: Do I need to list all of my debts when I file?
A: Yes. Bankruptcy law requires 100% disclosure of ALL debts, not just the debts you wish to have discharged. Failure to do so may be perceived as bankruptcy fraud, which is a federal crime.
Q: How are debts categorized?
A: There are 3 broad classes of debt: priority debts, secured debts and unsecured debts. The description of these is much too lengthy and technical for this forum.
For an in-depth discussion, contact Marchese Law Group for your free consultation. Keep in mind, when you partner with Marchese Law Group, one of the first things we do is list and categorize your debts into the proper classes.
Q: What is the 90-Day Rule?
A:The 90-day rule states that one cannot engage in unusual financial activity within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy.
Basically, this prevents people from going on a buying spree before filing and having the debt eliminated.
Marchese Law Group reminds you that making significant purchases, giving loans or paying off debts during this 90-day period may be considered fraud. Bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime that can result in your case’s dismissal and even criminal prosecution.