Six Myths About Bankruptcy (Part 2)
6. It’s really hard to file for bankruptcy. It’s really not. You don’t even technically need an attorney. However, it’s not recommended to go through the procedure without one. I have seen more than one person leave the 341 hearing with rivers of tears flowing when some expertise from Bankruptcy Lawyer Port St Lucie would have avoided any hardship.
7. Only deadbeats file for bankruptcy. Most people file for bankruptcy after a life-changing experience, such as a divorce, the loss of a job or a serious illness. They’ve struggled to pay their bills for months and just keep falling further behind.
8. I don’t want to include certain creditors in my filing because it’s important to me to pay them back someday and if the debt is discharged, I can’t ever repay them. Bless you for even thinking about such a thing. You’re no longer obligated to repay them, but you always have that opportunity. If your conscience won’t let you sleep nights because you didn’t pay your debts, there’s nothing in the bankruptcy code that prevents you from doing that once you’re back on your feet. But bankruptcy is an all-or-nothing deal, so you have to include all your creditors in the petition.
9. Filing for bankruptcy will improve my credit rating because all those debts will be gone. That sounds like an ad for a bankruptcy lawyer trolling for clients. Filing for bankruptcy is the worst ‘negative’ you can have on your credit report. Unlike other negatives, which stay on your report for seven years, bankruptcy can be there for 10 years.
10. You can’t get rid of back taxes through bankruptcy. Generally speaking, this is true. However, there is such a thing as tax bankruptcy. To get a shot at it, you have to file all your returns and the taxes owed need to be at least three years old.
11. You can only file for bankruptcy once. The truth is, you can only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years. For Chapter 13 reorganization, you can file more often than that, but you can’t have more than one case open at the same time.
Of course, that doesn’t make it a good idea.
Multiple bankruptcies are really bad. Many people get into the habit of once they’ve done it, it becomes a way of life. This is not good for your karma. Or your credit rating.
12. I can max out all my credit cards, file for bankruptcy, and never pay for the things I bought. That’s called fraud and bankruptcy judges can get really cranky about it. The trustee in your case will review all your purchases right before your filing. He knows what to look for.
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