Frequently Asked Questions


What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is not an end, it is a new beginning. And for many individuals, it is THE SOLUTION.

The right to file for bankruptcy is a federal right, and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all collection efforts. 

What can bankruptcy do for you?

Bankruptcy will allow you to:
(1) Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts. This is called a “discharge” of debts. 
(2) Stop creditor harassment.
(3) Prevent foreclosure of your home.
(4) Prevent repossession of your car.
(5) Stop or prevent wage garnishments.
(6) Reduce or eliminate debt arising out of credit card debt, personal loans, collections, or medical bills.

What will bankruptcy NOT do?

Bankruptcy will not eliminate certain rights of “secured” creditors. A “secured” creditor has taken a mortgage or other lien on property as collateral for the loan. Common examples are car loans and home mortgages. You can force secured creditors to take payments over time in the bankruptcy process and bankruptcy can eliminate your obligation to pay any additional money if your property is taken. However, you cannot keep the collateral unless you continue to pay the debt.

• Bankruptcy will not discharge types of debts singled out by the bankruptcy law for special treatment, such as child support, alimony, certain other debts related to divorce, most student loans, court restitution orders, criminal fines, certain taxes, and debts incurred by fraud.

• Bankruptcy will not protect co-signers on your debts. The co-signer will still be responsible for the loan.

• Bankruptcy will not discharge debts that arise after bankruptcy has been filed.

What is the cost to file bankruptcy?

The filing fee for a Chapter 7 is $335 and $310 to file bankruptcy under Chapter 13. The attorney fees for each case vary on the complexity of each case. There is also a cost for the two required bankruptcy courses that must be taken prior to the debtor’s discharge. 

What are the required bankruptcy courses?

The first course you must take is called a Credit Counseling Course. You must receive a certificate from an approved credit counseling agency within 180 days before your bankruptcy case is filed. You will be able to take your classes on-line or over the phone. The agency will review possible options available to you in credit counseling and assist you in reviewing your budget. 

You will also need to take a second course, known as a Financial Management Course. The certificate must be filed within 45 days after the filing of your bankruptcy case. 

At Adiuvo Law Group, we will register you for your courses with an appropriate agency. If the course certificates are not filed, your case will likely get dismissed.


What property can I keep?

In a Chapter 7 case, you can keep all property which the law says is “exempt” from the claims of creditors. You can choose between your exemptions under your state law or under federal law. In some cases, the federal exemptions are better.

In a Chapter 13 case, you can keep all of your property if your plan meets the requirements of the bankruptcy law. In most cases you will have to pay the mortgages or liens as you would if you didn’t file bankruptcy.

What if I receive a benefit after bankruptcy?

If you receive an inheritance, a property settlement, or life insurance benefits within 180 days after filing for bankruptcy, that money or property may have to be paid to your creditors if the property or money is not exempt.

Do I have to go to court?

In most bankruptcy cases, you only have to go your 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. Occasionally, if issues arise, or if you choose to dispute a debt, you may have to appear before a judge at a hearing. If you need to go to court, you will receive notice of the court date and time from the court and/or from our office.

May I repay some of my creditors and not others under the bankruptcy?

 You cannot selectively “prefer” some creditors and decide to pay them outside of your bankruptcy proceedings. Creditors may also include family and friends you may owe money to. All of your debts must be dealt with through the Court. Any payments which you make to a creditor must be paid under the authority of the Court, by the terms of the law, and not by any personal desires. If you want to pay creditors, you must do so through a Chapter 13 plan.

Will I lose my property?

If creditors have a “security interest” in your home, automobile or other personal property, this means that you gave that creditor a mortgage on the home or put your other property up as collateral for the debt. Bankruptcy does not make these security interests go away. If you don’t make your payments on that debt, the creditor may be able to take and sell the home or the property, during or after the bankruptcy case. So as long as you remain current on your payments, you will generally be able to keep the collateral. For car loans, you are now required to reaffirm the debt. 

There are several ways that you can keep collateral or mortgaged property after you file bankruptcy. You can agree to keep making your payments on the debt until it is paid in full or you may have to reaffirm the debt. At times, you may be able to pay the creditor the value of the property instead of the full debt.


Call Adiuvo Law Group at (559) 439-2991 for your

FREE bankruptcy consultation!