I have often heard from individual’s considering filing bankruptcy they do want to do this because they will never get credit again. That is not true. Most individuals who file bankruptcy can be educated how to reobtain their credit within 18 months of filing bankruptcy. Most bankruptcy attorneys will educate their clients after the filing of the bankruptcy what actions can be taken to reestablish or rebuild their credit. However, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, information about a bankruptcy filing can be maintained on a credit report for a period of 10 years from the date a bankruptcy is filed.
Good Faith Requirements
Individuals who are filing bankruptcy should file the bankruptcy in good faith. They should not immediately, before filing bankruptcy, obtain new credit. They should not transfer or conceal property or other assets. Individuals who commit bankruptcy fraud will be denied a discharge of their debts.
Can I file a bankruptcy by myself?
Individuals have the right to file a bankruptcy on their own in Federal Court. Bankruptcy is a complex area of the law. The large majority of lawyers do not practice law in the bankruptcy area. They elect to avoid this area because of the complications and idiosyncracies of filing in a federal bankruptcy court.
There are all types of federal and state exemptions which must be taken into consideration prior to filing a bankruptcy. Your assets have to be evaluated, financial obligations taken into consideration and a decision needs to be made whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the appropriate bankruptcy to file. An individual can file bankruptcy and still end up owing all of their debts if the appropriate legal action is not taken. It is strongly suggested you retain an attorney competent in the filing of bankruptcy cases and not try to engage in this activity on your own.
Finding a Bankruptcy Lawyer
There are a number of ways of finding a lawyer who practices law in the bankruptcy area. You can contact the local bar association in your county. You can go online and type in bankruptcy lawyer. Local bar associations maintain lawyer referral services with a list of attorneys that practice in the bankruptcy area.
Non-Lawyer Petition Preparers
There are those individuals who advertise as bankruptcy petition preparers. You should be careful. Bankruptcy petitions that are not properly prepared will be eventually rejected. Bankruptcy preparers are barred by law from providing any legal advice to individuals. They may not be in a position to answer legal questions or assist the debtors and/or Trustee in dealing with bankruptcy issues. They also cannot appear in court with the debtors. Appearing in Federal Bankruptcy Court without an experienced bankruptcy attorney can be a difficult and an unpleasant experience.
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has been practicing bankruptcy law for over 35 years. He is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. The law firm represents debtors in foreclosure defense and helps debtors file bankruptcy cases and obtain mortgage modifications. They can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or by e-mail at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.