FAQ

    • What debts will be discharged?
      Depending on which chapter have filed, your debts may be able to be discharged either automatically or in the future. Non-secured debts like credit card, medical, or specific loan types may be able to be discharged.
    • Will my credit score be damaged?
      If you’re looking into filing for bankruptcy, your credit score is likely already damaged. However, in most cases, your credit score will improve after filing. Your score may be lowered initially, and your credit report may reflect the bankruptcy case for a few years. You can begin to rebuild your credit almost immediately after filing though. Our attorneys can help you gain a better understanding of your current credit situation.
    • Will creditor harassment stop of I file for bankruptcy?
      Absolutely. Filing for bankruptcy will stop creditors and collectors from being able to attempt collection. Automatic stay is established on all your accounts once you file, this means that creditors and collectors must cease all collection attempts.
    • Will I lose my home or car?
      Not in every case. Many times, bankruptcy has saved homes from going into foreclosure. Chapter 13 provides more protection from foreclosure than many other options, but Chapter 7 can potentially save you from losing your car and your home.
    • Will filing for bankruptcy cost me my job?
      Not even close. The Federal Bankruptcy Code states that “no private employer may terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, an individual who is or has been a debtor under this title.”
    • Should I use a credit repair company?
      Speaking with one of our bankruptcy attorneys first is always recommended. Bankruptcy may be the best option for you in your situation.
    • What are my ‘non-bankruptcy’ options?
      There are many options outside of filing for bankruptcy to resolve debt. These options include debt consolidation, negotiating debt, and finding relief under state and federal consumer protection statutes. Each of these options have their pros and cons. During your free consultation we carefully consider your situation to make sure that there are non-bankruptcy options that will better address your situation.
    • Are there things I should avoid doing before filing for bankruptcy?
      If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the first thing you should do is stop using your credit cards, don’t repay debts to family or friends, don’t transfer assets out of your name and don’t file on your own. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, because bankruptcy attorneys can help guide you and show you how to avoid mistakes that many people make before they file.
    • What are the different types of bankruptcy?
      There are two very common types of bankruptcy that individuals file, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is commonly known as the “fresh start” chapter, because that’s its main purpose – to provide people with a fresh start. This is the most common type of bankruptcy that is filed. It gets rid of most, if not all, of the filer’s unsecured debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an option that creates a 3 to 5-year repayment plan that is commonly filed when an individual doesn’t qualify for Chapter 7. It would benefit you greatly to consult with an experienced attorney to decide whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Once we meet, we can explain all of your options to you, because everyone’s situations are different.
    • What debts can’t be discharged?
      Secured debts cannot be discharged by filing bankruptcy. These debts include child or spousal support, some student loans, most taxes, and federal loans.
    • Should my spouse file with me?
      In many cases, filing together would make the most sense and provide you with the best outcome. You can file separately though. Laws differ by state, so it is best to discuss your options with your attorney though to be certain which option will provide the best outcome.
    • What is the most common myth about bankruptcy?
      The most widely held misconception of bankruptcy is that you are in a situation where you are losing everything. This is absolutely not the case. During the majority of our clients' bankruptcy proceedings, they are able to keep all they own. Be wary of making choices based on vast quantities of disinformation about bankruptcy available on the internet these days – it can be very risky. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn the truth of it all. If you work with a bankruptcy expert, the process can be much easier than you think.
    • Will filing for bankruptcy protection help me?
      It certainly would. The first thing filing will do is it will put a halt to all borrower collection activities. It would put an end to incoming phone calls, ongoing litigation, pay garnishments, and even bank taxes. Most, if not all, debts can be discharged in Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy will give you time to consolidate your debts and repay any dollar you owe.
    • Who can file for bankruptcy?
      According to the United States Bankruptcy Code, just about anyone can file. It is still important to hire an attorney, because they will know what the exceptions are, and which chapter you may be limited to file under.
    • How do I choose a bankruptcy lawyer?
      You want to make sure that you choose the right lawyer when it comes to resolving financial debts. The bankruptcy process is complex, and you will want an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy. Someone who is experienced in the laws and procedures. We are board certified bankruptcy specialists and we have successfully represented thousands of individuals and companies in bankruptcy.
    • Who will know if I file?
      Most of the time, it will only be your creditors and whoever you decide to tell that will know that you filed for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a matter of public record, but the amount of people filing is large. This means that if someone isn’t looking specifically for you, then they likely won’t know that you’ve filed.
    • Work with an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer in Oakland
      You should never try to face the bankruptcy courts alone. The federal and state laws regarding bankruptcy can be confusing, and it is always important that you first speak with an attorney about your situation. At The Bankruptcy Law Firm, we can address your situation and work with you to develop a personalized strategy to help you meet your financial goals.
    • Isn't bankruptcy bad?
      No! Bankruptcy is a great financial tool to use in the right circumstances! There once was a time when bankruptcy had a negative stigma and debtors’ names were printed in local newspapers, but this is not the case anymore. Bankruptcy can actually greatly benefit an individual and provide much-needed relief from debts, collection attempts, and foreclosure.
    • How do I know if bankruptcy is right for me?
      If you are burdened by debt that is quickly adding up, bankruptcy may be a good option for you. Most individuals who file are no longer able to make even minimal payments against their debt and are in desperate need of assistance. An attorney from our team can help determine if you are eligible. There are a variety of debt-related solutions available, some of which require bankruptcy and others which do not. If you're unsure whether or not bankruptcy is right for you, we can explore at all of your options with you. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with a free in-depth consultation with one of our experienced attorneys who has supported thousands of people much like you. You have nothing to lose by scheduling your consultation to find out if it’s the right option for you.
    • What cannot be discharged by bankruptcy?
      A few types of debts cannot be discharged by filing for bankruptcy. These are called secured debts and include court-ordered restitution, child or spousal support, student loans, and federal loans.
    • What debts will be discharged?
      Debts can be discharged when you file for bankruptcy and depending on the chapter you filed under, your debts will either be automatically discharged or discharged later down the road. Non-secured debts such as credit card debt, medical debt, and certain types of loans may be discharged.
    • How do I know which chapter to file under?
      Consumers have a few different options when it comes to filing for bankruptcy. When you work with our firm, we will help you determine your eligibility to file for Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy using a bankruptcy means test.
    • Should I work with a credit repair company?
      It is recommended that you first speak with an attorney about your financial situation before working with a credit repair company. Credit repair companies are notorious for being fraudulent, and scams abound in this industry. Bankruptcy may be a better option for you.
    • What will happen to my credit?
      Depending on the chapter that you file under, your credit score will reflect the bankruptcy for a few years. After you file though, you can begin to rebuild your credit almost immediately. An attorney from our team can help you understand your specific credit situation.
    • Can bankruptcy stop creditor harassment?
      Yes! If you are constantly being pestered by creditors and collectors looking to obtain money from you, filing for bankruptcy can stop them. When you file, an automatic stay will be placed on your accounts, which means that all collection attempts will be forced to cease.
    • Will I lose my home or car?

      Not necessarily, and in fact, bankruptcy may be able to save your home from foreclosureChapter 13 bankruptcy may provide a bit more protection from foreclosure than other options, but under some Chapter 7 circumstances, you can save your home or car as well.

    • Does my spouse have to file with me?
      No. If you and your spouse wish to file for bankruptcy separately, you may; however, there are some situations in which joint filing may yield better results than single-filing status. You and your attorney can discuss your options.
    • Who can file for bankruptcy?
      Under the United States Bankruptcy Code, almost anyone can file for bankruptcy. There are a few exceptions, and your specific case may limit you to a specific chapter you can file under. That is why it is important to speak with an attorney.