If you are deep in debt and considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be experiencing fear or anxiety. You probably have dozens of questions about how bankruptcy will affect you and your family. Will I have to sell all of my stuff? Will my credit be ruined forever? Will people find out?
It may be difficult to believe, but filing for bankruptcy isn’t as scary as many people believe. Certainly, it is a difficult and a serious financial decision, but bankruptcy can also be the best financial decision. Read on for the Top 5 things to know about bankruptcy!
- You can file for bankruptcy and keep most or all of your belongings.
It is a myth that if you file for bankruptcy you have to sell your stuff or that someone is going to come and take all of your belongings. In fact, most people get to keep most or all of their belongings through bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy law provides for you to keep the property, assets, and other belongings valued up to a certain dollar amount through exemptions. Property that is protected in bankruptcy is known as “exempt property.” You get to keep the exempt property if its value does not exceed a certain dollar amount.
Each state either has their own exemption scheme, or they allow debtors to use the federal exemption scheme put forth in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Georgia law allows for exemption amounts for your house, automobile(s), household goods, retirement accounts, and many other belongings. Click here to view the full list of Georgia exemptions.
For more info, read our article What Property & Belongings Are Protected in Bankruptcy?
- You must disclose all of your assets, debts, income, and expenses.
Your bankruptcy petition must be truthful and accurate to the best of your knowledge and is signed under the penalty of perjury. Failure to disclose certain things in your bankruptcy petition may amount to Bankruptcy Fraud. The penalties for committing Bankruptcy Fraud are steep: tell the truth.
- Bankruptcy petitions are a matter of public record.
Bankruptcy petitions are filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and are public record. People who know how are able to access your paperwork. If you’re worried about people finding out, know that in general if you do not tell people about your bankruptcy, it is unlikely that they will find out about it. However, filing for bankruptcy will show up on your credit report and possibly on background checks run by future employers (depending on the employer and how deep the background check they run is).
- Your credit will recover over time.
Certainly, bankruptcy will negatively affect your credit score, but it will begin to recover after bankruptcy. For more information read our article How Long is Bankruptcy On My Credit Report?
- Bankruptcy can give you relief from the stress of debt.
Financial problems are stressful. Constantly worrying about mounting debt as well as keeping up with necessary living expenses can take its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Bankruptcy helps you gain your financial freedom by erasing debts. Further, when you’re no longer living under a massive amount of debt, you can really start anew. The monthly payments you were making toward credit cards or medical bills is now freed up. You can redirect that money to creating an emergency fund, building a retirement account, and making wise financial choices for your family’s future.
Come meet with us for a free consultation to learn about how bankruptcy can help you. You may be surprised to learn that many people who file for bankruptcy get to keep most or all of their belongings. You may also be surprised to learn that bankruptcy is not a courtroom battle.
Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we will make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing will affect 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.