As we recover from holiday spending and head into spring, for some it may feel like debt has taken over their lives and 2015 looks glum. Are you suffering in silence over money owed and don’t see a viable way out?

Bankruptcy may be a good option for you when all hope feels lost. If you’ve reached a point where you cannot pay all that you owe, bankruptcy can allow you to have a fresh statt. What does filing for bankruptcy entail? How much will it cost? What does that mean for the average person? Below are several of the frequently asked bankruptcy questions we get in Memphis.


Why does bankruptcy have such a negative connotation?

While bankruptcy often gets a bad label and is viewed as evidence of trouble with your personal finances, it’s often misunderstood. The process of bankruptcy is often very complicated and each case is different and dependent on each individual person. You can’t deem one case worse than another. Experts point to bankruptcy as a strike on your record, however it may be the best option when swimming in a sea of missed payments, debt collectors and wage garnishments.


Will I lose my property?

Depending on which chapter of bankruptcy you file, you may be able to keep your property. For more information, visit our Ins and Outs of Bankruptcy section.


Will I be completely debt-free after bankruptcy?

Essentially, yes! With the right counseling and a plan with actionable goals, you will come out of bankruptcy with a clean slate. In some instances the debt will be cleared while in others a debt repayment plan will be created to firmly remove all debts included in the plan. Once your payment plan in complete, you can enjoy the freedom of a debt-free life.


How will bankruptcy affect my credit?

A bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for several years. However, it’s important to not look at bankruptcy that way.

If you’re in debt and in the position of considering bankruptcy, then you’ve probably missed some important payments. And since on-time payments are one of the main ingredients in your credit score, then your score probably wasn’t very good before the bankruptcy.

What a bankruptcy can do is get rid of that debt that brought your credit score down and create a fresh start for you to re-establish and rebuild your credit to an A+ rating. I talk more about how you can do that later in this post.


Who tells my creditors I’ve filed for bankruptcy?

Once you’ve officially filed for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court notifies – by mail – the creditors you owe.


Can a creditor continue to harass me after I’ve filed?

Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, creditors – by law – must stop collection efforts against you. This is called an automatic stay. If the creditors contact you during this time, you should notify your attorney, who’ll likely renotify the creditor of your case.


Can I apply for credit once my bankruptcy is filed?

You are not prohibited from obtaining credit after filing bankruptcy. The decision to grant you credit is the responsibility of the creditor and can vary. Although creditors aren’t required to extend you credit, there are no laws in place that prevent you from seeking it or from them granting it.


Can I file bankruptcy without an attorney?

Although it’s possible to file bankruptcy without consulting an attorney, filing is a complicated process. Not understanding the ins and outs of bankruptcy can put you into a difficult position to lose your rights and properties if you’re not careful. With changes in the law, it’s important that you or your counsel understand all there is to know about your filing before the process begins.

However, consulting an attorney with experience in Bankruptcy Law allows you more comfort during the process, releasing unneeded stress from a tumultuous situation.


Will I have to go to court?

You’ll have to go to court once for your Meeting of Creditors. This is where your creditors can come and discuss any questions or disputes with your filing. If you have a good attorney, then most or all of these questions will be handled before the Meeting of Creditors and the process should be quick. A bankruptcy law firm Memphis, TN trusts, like the team at Darrell Castle & Associates, can help manage the best timing for your case.

Darrell Castle & Associates has been providing the Memphis community with unmatched quality since 1984. Our committment to working for you is at the helm of what we do. We respect your time and know how difficult bankruptcy can be emotionally. In addition to helping our clients get out of debt, we want to help you re-establish and rebuild your credit score. Our clients are provided with free access to our “7 Steps to a 720” program, which is full of lifesaving tips for remaining debt-free.

To schedule an appointment with on of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys, fill out the form on the right or call our Memphis office at (901) 327-2100.