What happens when you file bankruptcy? 24 Answers as of April 03, 2013

I have a friend who did it and all her credit card debt was gone. She never had to repay it.

I have $17,690 in Visa, around $2k in Capital One and still owe $22k for my emergency surgery on my ankle (and the physical therapy afterwards). Will all this get wiped out if I decide to file for bankruptcy?

What are the pros and cons?

She said it's on her credit for 7 years but she didn't care because her credit report was bad already so it didn't really hurt her.

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Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Bankruptcy pros and cons are unique to any given situation. It's kinda like your favorite food. You may love it. Someone else may hate it. There is no one-size-fits-all bankruptcy. You should consult a bankruptcy attorney to see if it is a good solution for you.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 4/3/2013
Law Office of Christian F. Paul
Law Office of Christian F. Paul | Christian F. Paul
Bankruptcy may or may not be right for you. You can find out by making an appointment with a local bankruptcy attorney and taking with you whatever documents he or she requests. Many attorneys give a free consultation. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, you will in effect be asking the court to declare that your debts (or most of them) are discharged, meaning you won't have to pay them back. (You can pay them back if you want to and can afford to, but you won't be obligated to.) The bankruptcy will stay on your credit report a long time, but your credit score might actually improve, because the debts will drop to zero. In any event, credit card companies will start seeking your business, because you won't be able to file for bankruptcy again for years, so you will be a good risk. You'll need to be careful with your finances, and in fact will have to take two courses on managing your finances before you can get your discharge, so pay attention to what they teach you. Hope this helps. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2013
Gateway Legal Group | Christian J. Albut
You file bankruptcy on all the debt mentioned here. You would want to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy since all your dischargeable debt will be liquidated. Your credit score and report will be effected, however if you are already showing a low score, filing bankruptcy may assist you. It will be on your credit report for 7 years so keep that in mind. If you need your credit to purchase a home or car then you may want to wait to file bankruptcy since this is why you need a good credit score. If these do not matter to you, or you can wait to purchase these items, then filing may be a viable option for you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2013
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
Bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 3/25/2013
Stittleburg Law Office
Stittleburg Law Office | Bernd Stittleburg
In order to answer all your questions, you really need to speak to a bankruptcy attorney.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/25/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    You are asking a great deal. You basically have it correct and if you qualify based on income you could have the debt wiped out. This applies in NJ.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    To properly answer this question would take more space than this website allows. You need to understand that while perhaps your friend had the right criteria to file for bankruptcy, you may or you may not qualify to file bankruptcy. The repercussions to you may be different than the repercussions to your friend because you may own more things than she does which may or may not be protected from your creditors. There is nothing like consulting a bankruptcy attorney in person to get these answers behind closed doors and with complete confidentiality.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Law Office of Sean P Fleming
    Law Office of Sean P Fleming | Sean P Fleming
    Chapter 7 bankruptcy will wipe out all of the debts you mentioned. While a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report up to 7 years, you can have it removed at that point by writing to the 3 credit bureaus. Most people are able to improve their credit score within 18 months after a bankruptcy discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Troutman & Napier
    Troutman & Napier | Gregory A. Napier
    You've asked questions that I typically spend about an hour explaining the answers to. If you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then all that debt would be gone. If you have to do a Chapter 13, you may end up paying only pennies for every dollar of that debt over three to five years. The fact you filed a bankruptcy shows up on credit reports for 10 years, but it does not adversely affect your credit score for very long at all.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    That is the aim of filing for bankruptcy you get rid of all your deny.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Yes, all those debts that you listed would ordinarily be dischargeable in a bankruptcy case. What you don't say is important information related to the size of your household, your household income, what if any assets you own, etc. You would be well advised to consult with a bankruptcy attorney who can review your entire situation and offer you more complete advice about whether and which type of bankruptcy is an appropriate option for you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Your friend understood very well. She's right. She couldn't pay it, her credit was already gone, or soon to be gone, and I'd imagine the same is true for you. At that point, there aren't very many cons. In fact, believe it or not, it will actually help you rebuild your credit, because it gives you a point from which to start over. Otherwise, you'll sit there with bad credit indefinitely, and you won't be starting over - you'll be treading water.. Or sinking.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Your friend had the result most people have. You can expect the same, however you need to see local counsel because I do not know enough about your case to answer fully. It is quite likely one can rehabilitate their credit well before the 10 years the filing remains on your credit report. Start with a small secured card and use it wisely.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    All of the debt would be gone. The only con is the cost up front and your credit. It sounds like it would be in your best interest.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    If you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy it will eliminate (discharge) your personal obligation on unsecured debt such as credit cards and medical bills. You don't have to pay back any of your debt in a ch.7, unlike a ch. 13 bankruptcy in which you have to pay some, or all, or your debt back over a period of three to five years. There are only certain circumstances where you would need to file a ch. 13 such as paying back mortgage arrears in where you make too much money to qualify for a ch. 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to ten years but many people can rebuild their credit well before then by taking certain steps such as paying a car loan or obtaining an unsecured or secured credit card and paying it back every month.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Law Office of Todd Whiteley
    Law Office of Todd Whiteley | Todd Whiteley
    Each individual case gets results based on the particular facts and circumstances of the debtor. Nonetheless, a chapter 7 bankruptcy will usually discharge (never to repay) general unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills. Often, a debtor's poor credit score will improve within 6 months after bankruptcy discharge is obtained.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    It will all be wiped out and will not have to be repaid. You will get new credit cards immediately after discharge because you can not file again for 8 years. It is on your credit for 10 years, but as I said, you will get new credit asap so it does not hurt you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    If you qualify for a chapter 7 all the debt is wiped clean. However, if you make too much money you may be required to file a chapter 13 which requires a monthly payment, so a portion of your debt would be paid. Each case is fact specific. If you have a low credit score filing bankruptcy can actually help you recover and improve your credit score over time.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    When you file bankruptcy it remains on your credit report for 10 years. Most people are able to restore credit in one or two years, except for buying a house which takes three years. The kinds of debts you have are dischargeable in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    No lawyer can tell you what will happen in your particular bankruptcy without first learning all of the relevant facts related to your case. However, credit cards and medical bills are the types of debt that you can eliminate in a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be reported for ten years on your credit report, but you do not need to wait ten years to obtain more credit. If your credit is bad, bankruptcy can actually help it.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    Yes, in Chapter 7 bankruptcy you can generally discharge all unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills. I suggest you talk with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the details of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    Most likely yes.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 3/24/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    If you receive your discharge, which should not be a problem, your debt, including, the medical debt, will be discharged and you will not have to pay the debt.

    Please feel free to call me to discuss your situation in more depth.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/22/2013
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    The debt you are mentioning is all dischargeable (meaning you don't repay it after bankruptcy). Yes, your credit score will be affected, but only for a time.

    It stays on your record for 7-10 years. Cons are it can make it difficult to build up new credit, rent an apartment, and you may lose some of your assets.

    I suggest speaking with an attorney before you file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/22/2013
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