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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know whether I should file bankruptcy or not?

No one can tell you whether you should or shouldn’t file. That’s a personal decision that each person has to make. Some questions to ask yourself are:

• Are you juggling payments, paying some creditors one month, others the next?
• Are creditors calling you at home or work demanding payments that you can’t make?
• Have you been sued by creditors?
• Has anything been repossessed?
• Is anyone garnishing your wages?
• Is your financial situation interfering with your ability to provide for yourself or your family?

If you answer “yes” to some or all of these questions, bankruptcy might be an option.

Can I keep my car/house/boat in bankruptcy

That depends on what the item is worth and how much you owe on it. If you owe more than it is worth or owe just about what it is worth, the bankruptcy trustee probably won’t want to sell it because he won’t get anything out of it. In that case you can keep it as long as you continue making payments to the bank.

Am I still responsible for a car loan if the car has been repossessed or if I’ve given it back?

Yes. Just because you no longer have the car (or other property) doesn’t mean you don’t still owe the debt.

Are taxes dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Only personal income taxes are discharged in a bankruptcy and then only under certain conditions. The taxes have to be more than three years past due, the tax returns have to have been filed at least two years before the bankruptcy and the tax has to have been assessed at least 240 days before the bankruptcy.

Are student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy?

No. The only exception is if the debtor can prove a hardship, which generally means the debtor is unable to work at all, not just unable to find a job in the field in which he or she was trained.

My ex was ordered to pay certain debts in our divorce. Now he’s filed bankruptcy and those creditors are coming after me. What can I do?

If those debts are in the nature of a domestic support obligation as opposed to being a property settlement, they might not be dischargeable and he would still owe them to you. However, the creditors are not bound by a divorce decree. Also, because of the bankruptcy the creditors will not be able to collect from him directly. If he doesn’t pay, you will have to pay and then seek some sort of repayment from him.