Let’s Shoot Down Some Common Bankruptcy Myths
Where do Bankruptcy Myths Come From?
Over the last 10 years of working as an Orlando bankruptcy lawyer one thing has remained stubbornly consistent, that is, the myths that clients bring to my office regarding filing for bankruptcy. These myths have several different sources. Usually, a client has heard horror stories, whether real or imagined, from friends, family members, or co-workers.
Another great source for misinformation are your creditors. Many creditors famously advised their customers that filing bankruptcy was no longer an option after the law change in 2005. I have a couple of thousand clients who have filed bankruptcy since 2005 that would disagree.
Friends and family members almost always mean well, but are almost always wrong when it comes to giving bankruptcy advice. This is because bankruptcy, like any other area of law, is very fact-specific. While it’s easy for a friend to tell you the result your friend received by filing bankruptcy, unless your facts are exactly the same as your friend’s you’re not going to get the same result.
In fact, you would hire an experienced Orlando bankruptcy lawyer to apply the law to your specific set of facts to achieve the result that is best for you. 407-898-8225
So, let’s but some myths, shall we…
- Bankruptcy is no longer an option for me – A common myth since Bankruptcy laws changed in 2005, this is prevalent and also incorrect. The numbers are in and they show that the changes in the Bankruptcy law enacted in 2005 had little effect on a person’s ability to discharge their debt in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Take a look for yourself here.
- Bankruptcy is only available once in a lifetime - Nope. True, you don’t want to file bankruptcy more than once in your life if you can help it. The fact is, though, that you can’t always plan on a medical emergency that might run you hundreds of thousands of dollars and happen at any time. You can receive a Discharge from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every 8 years, while you can file Chapter 13 a number of times.
- Your will lose your home, car, everything if you file bankruptcy – When you file file bankruptcy you are afforded certain exemptions that can be claimed to protect your assets. These exemptions include protections for vehicles, equity in your primary home, personal property exemptions, 401(k), IRA, 403(b), and 457 retirement investments, and many, many more. One of my primary jobs as your Orlando bankruptcy lawyer is to evaluate your case and apply the exemptions available to you to protect your assets.
- I Have To Close My Bank Account - No, not really. There may be an instance where you should close your bank account, but this is not a requirement and not always necessary. Most of my clients continue to have access to their bank account and debit cards all the way through the bankruptcy process.
- I Won’t Have Credit for 7 Years After I File Bankruptcy – Probably one of my favorites. This is also not true. You will see for yourself, about 4 months after you file your Chapter 7 case, that credit card companies will flood your mailbox with plenty of opportunities to get back into debt. Think about it, from their perspective, your debt free now, and a perfect customer. You’re 18 again in the eyes of a creditor!
Beware of Advice You Receive From Your Creditors
Your creditors are NOT your friends. When you fall behind on payments, though, your first thought may be to give your creditor a call and “work something out”. Seems natural. The problem is, your creditor has a vested interest in you paying up. The advice you receive from your creditor will be tailored to achieve that goal, to make you pay. Even if you legally don’t have to, or shouldn’t pay.
When you’re ready to find out exactly what your rights are regarding the collection of a debt, and have me bust some bankruptcy myths of your own, I hope you contact me, an experienced Orlando bankruptcy lawyer, to help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to filing bankruptcy.