Question and Answers

1. What is the difference between Chapter 7 and 13?

Both are types of personal bankruptcies. Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most debts and allows an individual to “reset" their financial clocks. Some non-exempt assets can be sold off to settle debts with creditors. It puts an immediate stop to creditor harassment, wage garnishment, lawsuits and other collection attempts. Some individuals have incomes that are too high to qualify, and there may be other factors that lead to ineligibility. You should call to find out if you qualify.

Another option is Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It reorganizes an individual’s debt rather than fully excusing it; the court outlines a three to five-year repayment plan. This can be a viable option for individuals, married couples, and small businesses that have steady income. It is also a better option than Chapter 7 for those who have assets they want to keep. Chapter 13 will stop foreclosures, and allow individuals to keep their homes,

2. If I file for bankruptcy, will I need to sell my belongings?

With Chapter 7: Almost never. Most individuals who qualify for Chapter 7 are able to keep all of their household items.

3. If I file for bankruptcy will I lose my job if my boss finds out?

The short answer is “No." Your rights are protected when you file for bankruptcy and you may not be discriminated against by an employer or company you work for.

4. Will everyone know if I file bankruptcy? Won’t it be in the newspaper?

We do not share any of your information with those outside of the bankruptcy process. Newspapers are not allowed to list bankruptcies. We will talk you through how to make sure this stays a private matter.

5. I have filed bankruptcy before, can I do so again?

You can file for Chapter 7 once every eight years. You can file Chapter 13 every two years or four years after you file Chapter 7.

6. If I file for bankruptcy will my credit be permanently damaged?

Filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit scores in the short-term, however it can also work to your advantage in the long-term. Typically, individuals see an improvement in their credit scores shortly after going through the bankruptcy process. You could even be eligible for car loans shortly after filing. We will help talk you through the process and help make your new start a good one.

If you have a question, please email me your question using the contact sheet.

Or call me, Dan Vaughan at (925) 674-3622