Will I have to go to court and stand in front of a judge?
Generally speaking, no you will not. For over 90% of my cases, the client only has to go to the meeting with the bankruptcy trustee, which is not held in a court room. It is held in a conference room.
Will my neighbors or employer find out?
The only people that definitely find out about your bankruptcy filing are your creditors, because they are sent notice by the court once you file. Unless you owe them money for some rare reason, your employer is not notified. Like a divorce, criminal, or civil case, the files are available to the public. However, it takes a determined individual to discover that someone has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Will I ever be able to get a car loan or other credit again?
The answer is yes. A bankruptcy filing is on your credit report for ten years. However, since bankruptcy wipes out most debts, credit card companies will send offers in some cases after a year. Car loans can be obtained in less than a year.
When do I need to file for bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure sale?
Although it may seem obvious, you must file before the sale. If you file after the sale is concluded, bankruptcy cannot prevent foreclosure. Although it is not the preferred timing, the bankruptcy can be filed as late as the morning of the foreclosure sale.
I will lose everything if I file for bankruptcy?
This is myth. The point of bankruptcy is to give a person burdened by debt a fresh start, not leave them penniless and homeless. The bankruptcy code and state law provide a set of exemptions that protect a certain amount of real estate and personal property from being lost in the bankruptcy process. Most people who file actually get to retain all of their property.
If my spouse files, do I have to file too?
No. If you do not have any debt or have manageable debt, then it may make sense for only your spouse to file.