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Frequent Questions about Bankruptcy

I have already filed a bankruptcy, can I file again?

Probably yes.  If your previous case was a chapter 7 ,you need to wait 8 years from the date the previous case was filed.   It does not matter when you got your discharge or when the case closed, it only matters when your last case was filed.  If your previous case was a chapter 13, you need to wait 4 years to file a new chapter 7 case, and 2 years to file a new chapter 13 case.

Can I stop a garnishment?  

Yes, almost all  garnishments can be stopped - except for child support or spousal support obligations. Some creditors that hold  claims that will not be discharged, such as student loans, can start garnishment again as soon as your discharge is entered. 

Can I stop a foreclosure on my home?

Yes, usually the best way to do this is to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy and propose a payment plan to pay off your past-due house payments.  In many cases you will have up to 5 years to do this.  This means that even if you owe a fairly large amount of past-due payments, your chapter 13 payment could be relatively small and affordable. 

Can I sell my …….... before I file?

Maybe, it depends on what you are selling, to whom you are selling it to and how much money you receive.  The main thing you need to be aware of is that you cannot sell something for a lot less than it is worth. For example, if you own a classic car worth $20,000, you cannot sell it to your brother or friend for a dollar or even for $10,000. This is called a fraudulent conveyance, and a bankruptcy trustee can sue the person you “sold” it to in order to recover the property. Generally if you sell something for a fair price and keep good records to show where the money was spent, there is no law that states you cannot sell the property before bankruptcy. However, I always advise clients to not sell anything without first consulting with their lawyer.

Can I give away my ……… before I file.

Maybe, but probably not.  Just like with a sale for less than fair market value, giving something away will probably be considered a fraudulent conveyance and a bankruptcy trustee could recover the property.  However, if the property is worth very little money, it may not be worth it for the trustee to go after the property. I always advise clients to not dispose of anything without first consulting with their lawyer so they avoid any problems. 

I really need a car,  can I buy a car before I file?

There is nothing in the bankruptcy laws that prohibit you from borrowing money prior to filing a bankruptcy as long as YOU INTEND TO PAY IT BACK. If you borrow money and do not intend to pay it back, it would be considered fraud.  The bankruptcy code prohibits attorneys from advising anyone to incur debt in contemplation of bankruptcy.  An Oregon Federal Judge has declared that provision unconstitutional but the federal government is appealing that decision. If you do decide to buy a car before you file your bankruptcy you may be required to reaffirm the debt in order to keep the vehicle.   

Can I pay you with a credit card?

I am sorry but I  cannot accept credit card payments from my clients, and it would be fraud to borrow money on your credit cards to pay for your attorney.

Can I leave a creditor off my schedules?

No, you are required to list all debts. Even debts that you want to keep paying.  In fact, just because a debt is not listed on a bankruptcy schedule does not mean it is not included in the bankruptcy. In many cases even unlisted debts are discharged.  

Can I pay someone back after bankruptcy.

Absolutely, there is no prohibition against paying a debt back after you file. You can voluntarily pay back anyone you like. However, the creditor cannot demand payment once the debt has been discharged.


Important Disclaimer: I provide this website for information and advertising purposes only. It is not intended to and does not constitute bankruptcy assistance services or specific legal advice on a specific matter.  As I am sure you understand, I can only offer to provide such people that participate in a telephone or office consultation directly with me. The information contained on this website does not and should not be construed as legal advice.  You should not act on any of the information contained in this website without first conferring with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by visiting this site or by sending unsolicited email. Initial emails should not contain any confidential information or information you want to keep secret. I am licensed only in Kansas and Missouri and offer my services only in Kansas and Missouri. The applicable laws may have changed after the information on this website was published. While I strive to keep the information current, you should not presume that all information is up to date since laws change frequently.  You must confer with an attorney to be sure you have current information.  Sections 341, 342, 527(a) and 527(b) of the Bankruptcy Code require that an “assisted person” be given certain required disclosures and notices.  I urge every person who is considering bankruptcy to seek the advice of a competent attorney.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.