Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions

The following information includes frequently asked bankruptcy questions. The answers stated are general in nature and are not intended to apply to every bankruptcy and/or debt consolidation situation. Each case is different and carries its own set of circumstances which must be taken into consideration by competent legal counsel. By contacting the Mobile, Alabama debt consolidation lawyers of Brenda Drendel Hetrick, PC, you can receive a personal consultation regarding your specific legal claim.

Will I be able to rent an apartment or house after I file for bankruptcy?

A landlord can legally refuse to rent you an apartment because of a prior bankruptcy in your credit report. However, if you are presently renting a home or an apartment, your present landlord will typically renew your lease without running an updated credit report, and will probably not know that you filed for bankruptcy. If you are applying for a new lease, you may encounter some difficulties that can be overcome. Offering to make a larger security deposit may be enough for a potential landlord to overcome his/her concerns.

Will bankruptcy stop a lawsuit against me?

If you are being sued, we strongly urge you to speak with the Alabama debt-relief lawyers of Brenda Drendel Hetrick, PC, about filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing will stop a lawsuit immediately and prevent your creditors from placing a lien against your house or garnishing your wages.

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

Bankruptcy can prevent a foreclosure of your house or a repossession of your car. An "automatic stay" arises by law the instant a bankruptcy is filed. The automatic stay stops the foreclosure process and prevents any collection actions, such as repossessions or garnishments. Bankruptcy may also allow you to consolidate your mortgage arrears or automobile balance, and make payments on those debts over time through a repayment plan designed by Brenda Drendel Hetrick, PC.

How do I rebuild my credit after filing for bankruptcy?

Although bankruptcy may be legally reported on your credit report for up to 10 years, you can begin to reestablish your credit immediately after your bankruptcy discharge. Lenders will consider many factors while determining whether to extend credit to you, but the most important of all factors they will consider is your debt-to-income ratio. Based on the credit scoring models currently used by the credit reporting agencies, a debtor's credit score often actually improves upon the filing of a bankruptcy because of the elimination of debt.

Who will know about my bankruptcy?

Parties that receive notice of a bankruptcy are your creditors, the Bankruptcy Court, the IRS and the Alabama Department of Revenue. Bankruptcy is a public record, so anyone who wants to try to find out about your bankruptcy could find out about it. Many people believe that notices of all bankruptcies are printed in the newspapers, but this is not true.

I only want to file bankruptcy on certain creditors, but not on others. Is this possible?

No. You are required by law to list all of your creditors, including friends and family members who have loaned you money. Intentional failure to list a debt is a serious matter and could result in a denial of your entire bankruptcy discharge. However, you are not prohibited from voluntarily paying selected debts after you file for bankruptcy. The Mobile, Alabama bankruptcy Attorneys of Brenda Drendel Hetrick, PC, can explain how you can legally repay any debt you want, after your bankruptcy is over, on a purely voluntary basis without a reaffirmation agreement.

What documents do I need to bring for my bankruptcy appointment?

In order to prepare consumer bankruptcy papers, a client must bring the following documents when meeting with their bankruptcy attorney:

  • A list of all creditors, including addresses, account / loan numbers, and the amounts and description of each debt.
  • For each secured debt, such as a car loan or home mortgage:
    • copy of the latest statement showing the balance due on the debt
    • copy of the DMV registration or recorded trust deed for each secured debt
  • Income tax returns for the last two years, including W-2, 1099, and K-1 information.
  • Copies of the last two pay stubs or copies of bank statements for the last 90 days showing the amount and frequency of the client's income.
  • A detailed list of the debtor's monthly living expenses; i.e., food, clothing, housing, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc.
  • If self-employed, copies of monthly profit-and-loss statements for the past six months.
  • Copies of any lawsuits or judgments, regardless of whether the client is a plaintiff or defendant.
  • Copies of any family trusts or prenuptial agreements.

Do I have to go to court?

You must attend a first meeting of creditors. This meeting is held in a hearing room used by the bankruptcy trustees, not in court. The trustee will ask you questions regarding your bankruptcy filing. If any of your creditors are present, they can also ask you questions. However, creditors rarely attend this hearing, and if they do, they rarely ask questions. Your attendance at this hearing is mandatory, and failure to appear can result in dismissal of your case.

Will bankruptcy get me out of child support or spousal support payments?

No. Under both old and new bankruptcy laws, child support payments and spousal support payments are not dischargeable in an Alabama bankruptcy proceeding.

If you or someone you know in Mobile, Prichard, Saraland, Daphne, or throughout the surrounding cities and counties of Southern Alabama needs debt legal consolidation counsel or the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, contact Brenda Drendel Hetrick, PC, today at 866-733-6001, or use the contact form provided on this site to schedule your free initial consultation.

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