FAQ from The Law Offices of Mayer and Newton
How often can I file bankruptcy?
A debtor can receive a Chapter 7 discharge once every eight years. Under certain circumstances, a Chapter 7 can be followed by a Chapter 13.
When will creditors stop harassing me?
Generally, a debtor is “fair game” for a creditor until a bankruptcy petition is actually filed with the court. As a practical matter, however, most creditors will cease collection efforts once the attorney has been retained to file.
I’ve already been sued. Can bankruptcy help me?
A bankruptcy filing will automatically stop all collection efforts. If you have been sued, but the bankruptcy is filed before a judgment is entered, no judgment can be entered. If a judgment has been entered, collection of the judgment is stopped.
How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit record?
10 years. No one can legally remove a bankruptcy notation from a credit record if 10 years have not elapsed. Do not trust anyone who says that bankruptcy notations less than 10 years old can be removed, especially if they want to charge a fee to do this.
Will I ever get credit again? Will I be able to buy a home?
There is no magic formula to rebuild credit after a bankruptcy. Obviously, a debtor who has just completed bankruptcy will want to make timely payments on continuing obligations, such as utilities, rent/mortgage payments, car payments, etc. in order to rebuild the credit record. Another way to help rebuild credit is through the judicious use of a secured credit card. Once two years have elapsed after the discharge, creditors start to look favorably about granting credit. Obviously, the reason why someone files for bankruptcy comes into play here. Home mortgage loans are generally available to a debtor after two years have elapsed (assuming the person otherwise qualifies for the loan).