Frequently Asked Questions
30 Years of Bankruptcy Attorney Experience in Richmond
In the many years we have spent with our clients, several questions have consistently come up. We have listed them, with their answers, below.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us and take advantage of a free consultation with our Richmond bankruptcy attorney!
How Can I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy?
After checking your credit report to ensure that all creditors are marked “filed in bankruptcy”, be certain that you are paying your various monthly bills on time. You can also obtain a credit card, making sure that you pay off the balance by the end of each month, and be certain to avoid car title loans or payday loans.
How Long Will Bankruptcy Stay on My Credit Report?
A bankruptcy filing can remain on your credit for up to ten years. Rather than removing debts from your credit report, filing bankruptcy means that creditors cannot initiate collection on discharged debts.
Can Filing Bankruptcy Erase My Student Loans?
Student loans cannot be erased in bankruptcy, with few exceptions: If the student loan is not insured by a government entity and is not made under a program which gains funding from a government entity, the student may attempt to be rid of the loan. Even in the event that a student qualifies for one of the exceptions, the loan’s discharge may not be automatic.
Can I Keep My Property If I File for Bankruptcy?
In the case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are entitled to whatever property the law says is “exempt” from creditor claims.
Keep the following in mind as you determine what property of yours is exempt:
- The property value refers to current market value, not what was paid for it. The value is likely to have depreciated significantly since obtaining it originally.
- You only need to look at your actual equity in a property. For example, if you own a $100,000 home with a $70,000 mortgage, you should count your exemptions against the $30,000 which is your equity if you were to sell.
- Even in a Chapter 7 case, these exemptions make no difference to the rights of a creditor if you are behind on payments; they can still claim the property to cover the debt.
In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if your plan meets bankruptcy law requirements, you can keep all of your property.
Will Bankruptcy Wipe Out My Debts?
Yes, but with the following exceptions:
- Child support or alimony, fines, and taxes
- Debts that you failed to list on your bankruptcy petition
- Loans incurred by giving false information to a creditor, knowingly
- Debts due to “willful and malicious” harm
- Student loans due to a university or government entity
- Mortgages and other liens not addressed in the bankruptcy case.
Are Utility Services Affected?
Public utilities cannot deny or interrupt service due to your bankruptcy filing. They do reserve the right to require a deposit for future service, however, and you must pay any bills from after your bankruptcy filing.
Call (804) 655-0502 now to get in touch with a Richmond bankruptcy lawyer who can help.