It is not uncommon for potential bankruptcy clients to come in for a consultation with their own pre-conceived ideas that are not always fact. It is always our goal to get these concerns out in the open so we can try and relieve some of the burden and get down to the facts. Below I have listed a few of the most widely held concerns that I have been asked about:
1) That once a bankruptcy is filed, I can not keep any assets- that the home, cars and dog will have to go- this is not the case- actually, in most cases, we are able to protect all of the clients property and all of the debt is wiped out in the bankruptcy filing.
2) That once a bankruptcy filing takes place that they will not be able to get any credit for next 7-10 years- not true- in many cases, once the bankruptcy has been completed and the debt discharged, most individuals receive offers of new credit right away- low balances to start, but generally decent interest rates- this allows individuals the ability to begin rebuilding their credit right away.
3) That once a bankruptcy is filed, I can not keep my financed home or car(s)- also not true- as long as your payments are current on your financed assets, you can keep them and continue to pay the lenders- this will allow the individual to continue rebuilding their credit post bankruptcy.
4) That once a bankruptcy is filed, I will not be able to buy a house for 7-10 years- not true- it is a common rule of thumb that once a bankruptcy has been discharged, after two years, individuals would be eligible for FHA insured loans with competitive interest rates.
5) That if an individual is married, they can only file bankruptcy if their spouse files- this is also not true- individuals have the right to file a bankruptcy singly even if they are married- community assets held by the married couple must be considered in the bankruptcy filing to ensure the assets are protected and then the individual can achieve debt relief. It is , in most cases, best to file jointly, but it possible for married individuals to file singly.
It is our goal at the Law Office of Thomas Hogan to get all the facts and concerns from our potential clients and do our very best to put them at ease during this difficult time- no one ever wants to have to proceed with a Bankruptcy filing, but in some cases it may very well be the best decision for getting a clean start.