FAQs for Missouri Bankruptcy Lawyers

Will the Court Take My Property Away?

Bankruptcy law allows for certain “exemptions” which can protect most or all of your property, depending on the circumstances. Contact a bankruptcy attorney for answers to your specific situation.

How Long Does a Bankruptcy Case Take?

Depending on what chapter of bankruptcy you have filed for, the length of your case can vary. Chapter 7 lasts approximately 7 months if run smoothly. A chapter 13 case can take from 3-5 years depending on the plan approved by the court.

How Much Does Bankruptcy Cost?

The court charges a filing fee of $313 for Chapter 13 petitions and $338 for Chapter 7. Legal fees vary based upon the chapter being filed and the client’s specific circumstances; however, payment plans are always available. For an estimate, please submit our Free Evaluation today.

How Do I Stop Creditors From Harassing Me?

Until you hire an attorney, Creditors are allowed by law to call you within reason to discuss your amount due. If a creditor has stepped outside the bounds of collection laws you are entitled to sue them.

What Happens to My Credit?

The fact that you filed bankruptcy will, most likely, show up on your credit report. It can remain there for a maximum of 10 years. Although the filing of bankruptcy is a negative on your credit report, in many cases, it actually improves the credit report in the future.

Can Student Loans be Discharged?

Usually not, unless you have a significant problem earning enough to repay the loan. Government guaranteed student loans cannot be discharged unless you can prove that being required to repay the loan will cause an undue hardship. This is difficult to prove because the government offers consolidation programs that will stretch out payments for 20 years or more based upon an “ability to pay.”

Are Relatives You Owe Given Special Treatment in Bankruptcy?

One of the main ideas behind filing bankruptcy is that all creditors share your misfortune equally, which means relatives too. One of the questions asked in the bankruptcy petition is whether you have repaid any loans from relatives within the past year. If you have, you are required to disclose the amount.
If the amount is large enough, the bankruptcy trustee has the power to get the money back from the relative and spread it out equally among all the creditors.

Is it Better to Settle Debts Through a Debt Consolidation Plan?

For several reasons, the Missouri Bankruptcy Center encourages you to pay your debts and avoid bankruptcy if possible. While there are some reputable credit consolidation services, we have found that most will not and cannot give you what they promise.
The facts are that (1) credit consolidation services cannot control creditors or fix the terms of repayment, and (2) your credit does not avoid negative reporting. In many instances where debtors cannot meet their obligations, they would be better off filing a bankruptcy which forces the creditors to accept fixed terms of repayment.

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