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Due to the extremity of filing for bankruptcy, it is not uncommon that most people are unsure and even a little fearful of the process. This stems from sheer misunderstanding - an uncertainty as to what bankruptcy actually entails and how it will affect your credit, future and more. At Blevins & Hong, P.C., we know that there are some drawbacks to filing for bankruptcy, but we also know that there are countless benefits. To give visitors a better understanding of the process, we have included some of the most common bankruptcy "myths," with the actual truth. Please read below to get the truth about this debt relief process:
This is one of the largest fears regarding bankruptcy and the one belief that most commonly keeps people from filing. The truth is that filing for bankruptcy will not strip away everything that you own. The idea of being left out on the street after filing a complete and absolute myth. The truth is that how much you have left is completely dependent on what chapter you file for. If you file Chapter 13, you won't lose a single item. Instead of liquidation, you will simply reorganize your debts into more manageable payments. If you file for Chapter 7, you are at risk of losing some items, but the truth is that you will be protected by exemption laws.
Unfortunately, this is completely untrue. Debts are categorized into two separate categories - secured and unsecured. Secured debts include things like debts accrued from court-ordered payments (ex: child support or personal injury lawsuits). These types of debts cannot be discharged, regardless of the type of bankruptcy that you file. You may, however, be able to have your unsecured debts discharged. This will include things like credit card debt. The best way to know for sure is to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Marietta bankruptcy attorney.
It is true that bankruptcy is a public process. This, however, does not necessarily mean that it will become public knowledge. In some places, lower publications will run a list of all of the recent bankruptcy filings, but as so many people are filing, very few find the room to publish all of the names. It is even fewer people who will take the time to read through these massive lists. Therefore, chances are that unless you are a famous or public figure, no one will know about you filing for bankruptcy except those you tell.
One of the things that keep most people from filing is the idea that only financially irresponsible people ever file for bankruptcy. This is a dangerous belief. The truth is that filing for bankruptcy is a viable solution for getting control of their finances. In fact, some incredibly successful people have had to file before - including Walt Disney, Henry Ford, and Donald Trump to name a few. Don't let embarrassment keep you from seeking the help you need. Bankruptcy is a financial tool and it should be used as such.
You are absolutely allowed to file for bankruptcy separately from your spouse. This, however, does not mean that you should. If you file, you will be protected under bankruptcy law, but if your spouse chooses to not file, they will not be. This means that your spouse could be held accountable for the debts and could still be contacted by creditors who are attempting to collect. This, therefore, is something that you need to discuss with your spouse to determine the best course of action for you and them.