Presented by a Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney
What is the difference between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
If you’re seeking to eliminate unsecured debt like credit card and medical bills, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a good option for you. If you’re facing mortgage foreclosure or looking for a restructured debt repayment plan, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the right choice for you. It is important to consult with the Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer at our firm who can evaluate your financial condition to help determine what best suits your needs.
Can I keep my house if I file for bankruptcy?
The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of each individual.
If you are current on your mortgage payments, and there is not any equity in your home, (taking into consideration the allowed exemptions in your state as well as the cost of sale), you can file a chapter 7 as long as your monthly expenses exceed your income, and your income is below the median income set by the IRS for your family size in the state in which you reside.
However, if you are behind on your mortgage payments, you will not be able to keep your home unless you file a chapter 13 with a plan to cure your mortgage arrears.
There are many other scenarios that will determine whether or not you are eligible for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and whether or not you will be allowed to keep your home.
For this reason, you should contact our office to schedule a legal consultation with our Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer.
Can I keep my car if I file for bankruptcy?
In most cases the individual or married couple filing for bankruptcy will be allowed to keep their car if they file. However, the ultimate answer really depends on your situation. Under the new bankruptcy laws passed in 2005, in order to keep your car you must sign a reaffirmation agreement that then must be approved by the Court. A reaffirmation agreement essentially allows the automobile finance company to pursue all legal avenues against you if you default on the car loan subsequent to your bankruptcy filing. In essence it negates the protection afforded to you once you file for bankruptcy. In theory, if you do not sign the reaffirmation agreement, the car loan company can take the car from you even if you are current on your monthly payments.
As a practical matter, even if you do not sign the reaffirmation agreement, you are still able to keep the car provided you are current and up-to-date on your monthly payments. Sometimes it depends on who the finance company is as to whether or not they will attempt to repossess your car once you file a bankruptcy and do not sign a reaffirmation agreement.
Can I lose my job if I file for bankruptcy?
Under the federal bankruptcy laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or those seeking employment from them because of a bankruptcy on their record.
Won’t everyone know that I’ve filed for bankruptcy?
Unless you’re a public figure or celebrity, the chances of anyone else finding out that you filed for bankruptcy are very slim. The only persons who would find out that you filed are people to whom you owe money who will be affected by your bankruptcy proceeding.
For more information about bankruptcy and how it may benefit you, contact the Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney at our firm for a consultation today!