Bankruptcy Information - Free Information on Filing for Bankruptcy
Quick & Basic Bankruptcy Information
If you're searching for bankruptcy information, then chances are you're feeling a little flustered and nervous about what you might find out. In all the complexity associated with bankruptcy, it's often easy to get lost in the many myths and misunderstandings. Here is some basic bankruptcy information to get you started on the right track:
1. Bankruptcy stops creditors immediately. They cannot take away your wages or harass you for payment, as you are now under the legal protection of the federal court. This automatic stay, as it is called, is a relief measure that can even prevent foreclosure on a house or car.
2. The process begins with paperwork, and bankruptcy forms are available to everyone. Get them free online, or write to your local bankruptcy court and request them via post.
3. Filing bankruptcy papers is not free. There is an initial court fee charged at the time of filing and the amount depends on which chapter you're filing under. See the U.S Courts website for up to date fees.
4. Bankruptcy cannot get you fired. Employers and the government are legally prohibited from treating you any differently than if you had not filed for bankruptcy.
5. You might (although probably won't) lose your house. Whether or not your home is at risk depends on how much you owe, how much your home is worth, and what the exemptions are in your state. For example, Rhode Island allows a 'homestead exemption' of up to $150,000. Check your state's bankruptcy information.
6. It is even less likely you will lose your personal belongings, for household goods and clothes are rarely worth enough for creditors to target. States recognize this, e.g. Alabama allows unlimited books and pictures, Michigan grants you up to $3,200 of household belongings, and Vermont allows you one stove, one refrigerator, heating appliances and one sewing machine, plus $2,500 in other goods.
7. Your spouse is not necessarily affected. Most states (except for Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) consider your debt and that of your spouse separate.
8. The social stigma attached to declaring bankruptcy is fading. Society held the misguided view that anyone who declared bankruptcy was worthless, perhaps with a gambling or addiction problem. In reality bankruptcy affects every socioeconomic level, in every area of the country. It's usually out of control credit card debt that swallows the stricken. If you do not want people to know about your financial worries, it's as simple as not telling them.
For more bankruptcy information look at our bankruptcy FAQ's.