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Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy

Our Crown Point Bankruptcy Attorneys Answer Common Questions

Manning & Mouratides, P.C., ensures clients are fully informed about their bankruptcy options, along with all other options that might be available to them. The answers to the following questions are just the beginning. Once you have read them, you are invited to discuss your financial situation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney at our firm. The following is not legal advice. You must establish an attorney-client relationship to be given legal advice.

What Will I Lose If I File For Bankruptcy In Indiana?

The first thing you will lose is most of your debt. In terms of assets and belongings, a Chapter 7 trustee may take or sell the following to pay your creditors:

  • Cash and bank account balances

  • Stocks, bonds and investments

  • Equity in a house, more than $19,300 for an individual or $38,600 for joint debtors

  • Luxury items such as fur coats, jewelry, coins, stamps and expensive cars

  • Family heirlooms

  • Second house or motor vehicle

  • Musical instruments, unless you are a professional musician

  • Private pension plans

It is essential you retain one of our experienced attorneys to strategize and keep as many of your assets as possible when you file bankruptcy. We strive to maximize the financial benefit of filing, minimize any possible turnover to the Trustee, and protect & exempt as much of your property as possible.

Will I Lose My Car And Home If I File For Bankruptcy?

Not always. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you continue paying certain debts through a new repayment plan, so you keep your house and your car if you include them in your bankruptcy plan while erasing many other debts.

In a Chapter 7 liquidation, the trustee sells your assets to pay your creditors. But if you have less than $19,300 in equity in your home ($38,600 for couples), you are allowed to keep your home as long as you are current and continue to make payments. If you don't make the payments, the lender probably will foreclose on the property. To determine equity, subtract the debts on the home (mortgages and liens) from the fair market value.

To keep your car in a Chapter 7, you can, if your financial situation permits, discharge enough of your debts other than what you owe on your car so that you can then catch up with your car payments, reaffirm your car loan and keep your car.

How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy In Indiana?

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court collects a fee to file a petition for bankruptcy. The fee is $335 to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $310 to file for Chapter 13. The court may allow you to pay this fee in installments. You will also have to pay any attorneys' fees that you and your bankruptcy lawyer agree to.

How Often Can You File For Bankruptcy In Indiana?

You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy eight years after the date of your last Chapter 7 filing. You can file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy any time, but several restrictions apply.

What Is Exempt From Bankruptcy In Indiana?

Bankruptcy exemptions are assets that are protected from creditors. In general, you can keep:

  • Home equity up to $19,300 (for an individual) or $35,200 (joint)

  • Social Security, workers compensation, unemployment compensation and public assistance in any amount

  • Life insurance proceeds

  • Alimony and child support

  • Most retirement benefits such as ERISA, 401k and pensions

  • Tools of your trade

  • Personal property up to $9,350 (individual) or $18,700 (joint)

Should I Hire An Attorney For Bankruptcy In Indiana?

Yes. An attorney is not required to file a bankruptcy petition; however, hiring an attorney is highly recommended. Bankruptcy is an extraordinarily complicated process, and an experienced attorney will know how to maximize the benefit of filing to you, along with protecting your assets from the reach of the Trustee and creditors. An attorney handles every detail, ensuring that documents are filed correctly and, in the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, that your repayment plan has the best chance for approval. Above all, a bankruptcy attorney provides peace of mind.

When Does Filing Chapter 7 Make Sense?

When the following conditions exist, filing Chapter 7 may be your best bankruptcy option:

  • You cannot pay your debts

  • You have tried unsuccessfully to reduce your debt by budgeting and refraining from using credit cards

  • You do not have any debts with co-signers

When Does Filing Chapter 13 Make Sense?

If you need some breathing room to pay your debts, Chapter 13 could be your best bankruptcy option, especially if you:

  • Are behind on your mortgage payments

  • Owe the IRS

  • Do not qualify for Chapter 7

  • Need relief from collection proceedings

  • Have debts with co-signers

  • Can pay your debts within three to five years

How Long Will My Bankruptcy Appear On My Credit Report?

If you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. Chapter 13 may be on the report for 7 years. Lenders may see your bankruptcy on your credit report for even longer if you apply for a loan exceeding $150,000.

Lake County, IN Bankruptcy Attorneys You Can Trust. It Is That Simple.

Contact Manning & Mouratides, P.C., online or at 219-865-8376 for answers to your specific bankruptcy questions from one of our credentialed bankruptcy lawyers located in Crown Point and serving Lake County and Porter County.

With an unwavering work ethic and decades of experience, we are dedicated to providing the best legal representation to clients in Lake and Porter counties and all of Northwest Indiana.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy: About
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