What is bankruptcy?Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows people to get out from under debts that are causing serious financial harm. Through the bankruptcy process, you may be able to get rid of debts like medical bills, credit card bills, and other unsecured debts. Factors such as your income and whether you have assets that you can sell to pay off some of the debts are taken into account when filing for bankruptcy and will determine what happens.
What happens when I file for bankruptcy?When you file for bankruptcy, you will be under a federal bankruptcy court’s supervision and protection. During this time, you, your lawyer, the court, and your creditors will work on a plan for discharging your eligible debts. Collectors will also be unable to repossess property and garnish your wages or bank accounts during this time.
How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy?There is no easy answer to this question. The ultimate cost will be a mix of court filing fees and what you owe your attorney for guiding you through the process. What you owe will depend on how complicated your case is and whether there are any prolonged disputes with creditors. Most likely, however, the debt relief that comes with bankruptcy will outweigh any fees.
How long does bankruptcy stay on your credit report?A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, while a Chapter 13 will remain for up to seven years. A bankruptcy filing will also harm your credit score. However, if you need to file for bankruptcy, it’s likely your score is not that high anyway, and your bankruptcy will give you a chance at a fresh start and time to rebuild your credit score.