Bankruptcy Myths

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You won’t be able to keep anything you own

False. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the law allows people who file for bankruptcy to keep most if not all of their personal property. The Bankruptcy law recognizes that keeping personal property is essential for people to get a “fresh start” after bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, people lose nothing they want to keep as long as they are making their court approved Chapter 13 Bankruptcy payments pursuant to their Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today for more information about keeping personal property.

You will not be able to get credit again

False. You can establish good credit again, even after a bankruptcy. At first, you may experience higher interest rates and larger down payments needed on anything you lease or buy, but by keeping your income steady and by paying your bills on time, you can establish good credit again. In fact, sometimes it works better for a person to file for bankruptcy instead of trying to make it through a financial situation without it.

Filing for bankruptcy will hurt your credit for 10 years

False. Although the bankruptcy filing does remain on your credit report for 10 years, your credit can be quickly re-established after the filing of bankruptcy. How? All the overdue bills you already had showing on your credit prior to the bankruptcy will be discharged. As more time goes by, your score will go up, especially if you carefully and responsibly re-establish your credit.

You can erase all of your debts by filing for bankruptcy

This myth would be nice if true, however, this is not the case. Most debts can be discharged, including credit card debt, unsecured personal loans, medical bills and others. However, child support, alimony, most taxes and most student loans cannot be discharged.

If you are married, you and your spouse must file for bankruptcy

False. It is not required by law that you both file for bankruptcy. It is important for your attorney to evaluate your specific situation and determine whether you, or you and your spouse, should file for bankruptcy.

You can only file for bankruptcy once

False. After 8 years you can file for a Chapter 7 once again. Chapter 13 requires a 2 year wait after a prior Chapter 13 filing in which a discharge was granted.

You can’t file bankruptcy if you have a job

False. The new “means test” makes it more stringent to qualify for Chapter 7, but if you were filing for Chapter 13, you need a job to fund your Chapter 13 plan.

It is difficult to file for bankruptcy

False. It may be a difficult decision for you to go through with a bankruptcy to solve your debt situation, but once you have decided , an experience attorney can help you walk through the system very smoothly.


Stewart H. Lim emphasizes his practices in the fields of Bankruptcy and Personal Injury.