Bankruptcy was designed to give people a fresh start so don’t let myths about bankruptcy stop you from getting the help you need. Here are 5 beliefs that may be scaring you – and shouldn’t!
1. I Could Lose my Job. If you file bankruptcy in Glendale, Arizona or anywhere in Arizona, your employer is bound by the bankruptcy code. It says that no employer in the entire state can discriminate against you because you filed bankruptcy. You’ll find this true in many states so ask your divorce attorney if there is any risk – probably not!
2. They’ll Come to My House to Look at My Things. In general, this never happens. It would take a very special circumstance for the court not to accept your own accounting of your possessions. You are asked to make a list of them on your bankruptcy schedule. This is done under oath so the court will presume you are telling the truth.
3. I will Lose My Car and My House. Again, very, very doubtful. You are given exemptions for equity in your home and your car – two cars if you are married – and that equity should be enough to protect them. You will want to discuss this with your attorney, but you will most likely be able to save these important possessions – especially if you have kept the payments on them up-to-date during your financial difficulties.
4. I Won’t Owe Anything when the Bankruptcy is Over. If this is the real reason you’re filing bankruptcy – to be completely debt free – you need to talk to your bankruptcy attorney. Some debts cannot be cleared. Debts that are not forgiven include child support, student loans, criminal or civil penalties and some taxes. Bankruptcy should clear enough of your debt to give you a foundation to start building a new future, but it won’t clear each and every debt. Just as a myth shouldn’t keep you from filing, this myth shouldn’t encourage you to file if it’s not the best choice for you.
5. I Won’t ever be able to Get a Credit Card. Again, false. You may receive credit card offers as soon as the bankruptcy is discharged. Or, you may need to get a secured credit card while you’re rebuilding credit, but you will be able to establish credit again. And, you’ll be able to finance a car. That could happen sooner than you think because bankruptcy improves your debt to income ratio when it is complete.
One more myth is that bankruptcy is easy and you can do it yourself. Don’t try! Bankruptcy is complicated and having an experienced bankruptcy attorney at your side will not just make it easier – it could mean making sure that you keep everything you can keep and get rid of every debt that can be cleared. You want a lawyer who is expert in the laws of your State. You want one who will work with you by giving you a flat fee and, if needed, a payment plan. You can get that fresh start and build a financially secure future – don’t let a myth get in your way!