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The Top 5 Surprises about Bankruptcy

Feb. 13, 2023

It’s my job as your St. Louis bankruptcy attorney to let you know about any surprises that you may not be aware of…so here goes!

Surprise #1: You Have One Court Hearing After Filing!

Don’t worry. This Court hearing is not as stressful as you may think.  It is called the Meeting of Creditors.  In the vast majority of cases, there are no creditors appearing at this hearing.  Also, since COVID-19, this hearing is completed over the phone.  No need to attend in person!

Surprise #2: It’s Not Going to Happen Overnight!

The process of Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally lasts approximately 90 days, and with Chapter 13 it can be 36 to 60 months. However, the moment you file your case is when the automatic stay is implemented.  This means the crediotrs have to stop contacting you!

Surprise #3: Yes…You Have to Pay Money to File for Bankruptcy!

“What?! I’m already in debt!” you may be thinking. “Why do I need to pay to go bankrupt??”

As a St. Louis bankruptcy lawyer who has heard just about everything under the sun when it comes to comments like the one above, I know firsthand that most folks don’t have a lump sum ready to file.  Thankfully, our office offers payment plans.  While we can’t file your case until it is paid in full, we can definitely do payments.

Surprise #4: Certain Debts Simply Can’t Be Eliminated!

I’ll go over these more with you during your initial consultation with me. But yes, there are some things that even filing Chapter 7 or 13 can’t erase. A few of these things are certain unpaid taxes, any unpaid alimony or child support, and often times many student loans.

Surprise #Five: You Often Do Not Lose Any Assets in a Bankruptcy!

Under Missouri Law, individuals are granted exemptions that allow property to be protected under certain dollar amounts.  It is important to talk to a St. Louis Bankruptcy Attorney to know what is and is not protected!