Bankruptcy is scary. It is a serious financial decision that comes with serious consequences. However, bankruptcy can be liberating. It is a legal right that can free a person of financial struggles and give them a fresh start, debt-free.
During the initial free consultation, clients often express fears about losing their belongings, fears about the bankruptcy process, and concerns about how they will pay for bankruptcy. After the first meeting, we work closely with our clients. It is in these later meetings that bankruptcy’s unspoken fears surface. While fears are not always expressly stated, there are common questions people ask that speak to the root of the fear.
Loss of Control
People filing for bankruptcy fear that they will lose control over their financial affairs and over their assets.
Filing for bankruptcy creates what is known as a bankruptcy estate, which is the debtor’s interest in his or her property at the time of filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustee assigned to administer the case is in control of the estate. On its face this is frightening, but as long as all assets are listed and exempt in the bankruptcy petition, there is no risk of assets being seized and sold.
As long as you disclose all of your assets prior to filing, you will know if you have assets that cannot be protected through bankruptcy. In most bankruptcy cases people get to keep all or most of their belongings.
Most people filing for bankruptcy fear people will find out about their bankruptcy. They fear they will be exposed as a financial failure. While bankruptcy filings are public record, generally speaking, if you do not tell someone you filed for bankruptcy, they will not know.
If you get hit with a wage garnishment prior to filing for bankruptcy, then your employer will have to be notified of your filing. Also, all of your creditors are notified of your bankruptcy. If you owe money to friends or family, you will have to list them in your bankruptcy and they will receive notification as well.
A bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for 7 to 10-years depending on which chapter you file. If a prospective employer runs a thorough background check on you, that includes a credit report, they will discover your bankruptcy.
Outside of these specific instances, people are unlikely to find out that you filed for bankruptcy.
The Bankruptcy Process
Even with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney by your side, the bankruptcy process may feel overwhelming or intimidating. People have a natural tendency to fear the unknown, and certainly, legal proceedings and the bankruptcy process are unknowns to many filers. This is why we strive to make sure our clients understand the bankruptcy process and what their responsibilities are throughout the process.
To help assuage your concerns, we have outlined the bankruptcy process here.
At the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with effect you and your family. We take the time to explain the bankruptcy process to our clients. We invite you to learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.