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Answering Your Bankruptcy Questions

If you’re considering bankruptcy, it’s natural to have serious questions about the process and your circumstances. While every case is unique, we’re happy to provide some general answers.

Contact the Avallone Law Associates to discuss the specifics of your situation with an experienced Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bankruptcy attorney.

Can I still rent an apartment or house after filing for bankruptcy?

It’s possible for a landlord to refuse to rent to you because of your bankruptcy, and they are legally protected to do so. However, for current renters, many landlords will renew a lease without requesting a new credit report. In these circumstances, your bankruptcy may not be factored in. If you’re encountering trouble with renting an apartment or house, offering up a larger security deposit may persuade a landlord to rent.

I’m being sued. Will bankruptcy stop the lawsuit?

In most cases, yes, filing for bankruptcy will prevent creditors from placing a lien against your property. If you are facing a lawsuit, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney as swiftly as possible. Contact us today to discuss your situation.

Will bankruptcy stop my home from being foreclosed and/or my car from being repossessed?

Filing for bankruptcy can in fact help you keep your home by preventing a foreclosure. In addition, it may also help prevent repossession of your car. Typically, when a bankruptcy is filed, an “automatic stay” arises, which arrests the collection of your property.

By filing for bankruptcy, you could also consolidate any overdue mortgage payments. Our attorneys can help you create a repayment plan that works for you and your situation.

Will a bankruptcy ruin my credit score?

This is one of the key questions that individuals face after filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy may be evident on your credit report for up to 10 years. However, you should begin trying to rebuild your credit immediately after the bankruptcy discharge.

Lenders typically examine a wide range of factors, including your debt-to-income ratio. In some cases, individuals even see their credit score improve upon filing for bankruptcy, as their debt is eliminated.

Can I keep my bankruptcy private?

You can, of course, keep your bankruptcy private, in the sense that you’re not obligated to tell friends or family. However, your creditors, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and the Bankruptcy Court will receive a notice. In addition, bankruptcy is a public record, meaning that anyone who wants to find out can have access to the information.

Can I declare bankruptcy on only some of my creditors, but not all?

No. By law, you must list all of your creditors. If you have borrowed from friends and family members, you are also required to list them. If you intentionally omit a debt, your entire bankruptcy discharge may be denied.

However, you have the option to voluntarily repay certain debts after filing for bankruptcy. This process can be better explained by a trained bankruptcy attorney.

What documents should I have with me at my bankruptcy appointment?

It’s a good idea for customers to bring the following when meeting with their bankruptcy attorney:

  • A detailed list of all creditors. This should include addresses, loan numbers, and the amount and description of each debt.
  • The most recent statements of any monthly bills.

For a home mortgage or car loan, you should bring:

  • The latest statement, showing the balance due.
  • Your income tax returns for the past two years.
  • Copies of your last five pay stubs or bank statements for the past three months, demonstrating the amount and frequency of your income.
  • A detailed list of your monthly living expenses. This should include all utilities and taxes, as well as food expenditures, etc.
  • Copies of any lawsuits or judgments in which you are involved.
  • Copies of any prenuptial agreements or family trusts.

Is it necessary that I go to court?

You are required to attend the first meeting of creditors, to which your attorney will accompany you. However, this meeting does not take place in court and are frequently very short. While creditors are rarely present at this meeting, your presence is required.

Will bankruptcy stop my child support or spousal support payments?

No. Any payments you make as part of a child support or spousal support agreement are not dischargeable by bankruptcy.

Call Today: 215-253-3855

Lawrence Avallone has decades of experience helping clients with bankruptcy issues. We’re happy to speak to you about your situation and circumstances, and we begin assessing your options immediately. Bankruptcy is often a scary, stressful proceeding. We’re there by your side as you navigate your way out of debt.

Should we decide together that a bankruptcy is appropriate and desirable, we will make an appointment for you to meet with one of our attorneys to start the process. If you are interested in filing a bankruptcy or need information about bankruptcy filings, please feel free to call us or contact us by email.