If one’s “record” means on his credit reports: Chapter 7 bankruptcies remain on credit reports for 10 years, whereas Chapter 13 bankruptcies generally remain for 7 years.
There are many factors that impact the ability to keep your home, including:
o The equity you have in your home (value exceeding liens)
o The status of your mortgages (current or in foreclosure)
o The type of bankruptcy you’re filing
Generally, no. Retirement accounts that are ERISA-qualified aren’t considered property of an estate and aren’t taken into consideration as assets. Social Security benefits are protected from assignment, or garnishment for debts in bankruptcy.
Exemptions allow an individual to “exempt”, or keep, certain kinds of property. State law defines what assets are considered “exempt,” but typically include:
o Vehicles up to a certain amount
o Equity in a home up to a certain amount
o “Tools of the trade” or tools and equipment necessary to allow the individual to continue working
No. The debts that can’t be discharged vary slightly between the different chapters of bankruptcy. Generally, the following cannot be discharged:
o Debts for taxes owed to local, state or federal agencies (but there are important exceptions to this!)
o Debts for money, property, services, or an extension, renewal, or refinancing of credit, which was obtained fraudulently
o Debts that weren’t in the initial list of debts or that the debtor waived being cancelled
o Debts owed to a spouse, former spouse, or child, for alimony, maintenance, or support of a spouse or child, with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record
o Debts owed for injury to another person or property owned by another (as in a court judgment)
o Debts for any educational loans, unless it can be shown that repayment will cause an undue hardship
o Debts for death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s drunk driving or from driving while under the influence of drugs or other substances (as in a court judgment)
o Debts incurred after a bankruptcy was filed
o Any type of criminal fine or restitution
No. A divorce decree is an agreement or order between the two divorcing parties. In regard to debts, it spells out who is ultimately responsible for each debt. However, if both parties are responsible before divorce, the creditors can still go after either or both parties. The divorce decree would allow a party who had to pay a debt for which the other was responsible the right to recover payment.
• So, if a divorce decree provided that H must pay Y, where both spouses are indebted to y, Y can still sue W and presumably win. W would then have the right to sue H to recover what she paid to Y.
• And, consider that in a community property state such as Washington, most debts incurred by either spouse during marriage while living together make both spouses liable.
Yes. The lender can require the co-signor to make payments on a loan once the principal has declared bankruptcy on the credit. This makes it extremely important when considering co-signing a loan: Be ready, and able, to pay the loan in the event that the principal signor defaults.
The non-filing spouse will still be liable for debts he or she owes. In a community property state, such as Washington, this will probably entail all or almost all debts EACH SPOUSE incurred while they were married and living together.
A joint petition is when an individual and a spouse file a single petition. Unmarried partners must file separate cases.
No. If you are unable to pay your debts as they come due, bankruptcy is probably worth considering regardless of how much debt you owe.