Bankruptcy question deserves an answer

Bankruptcy question

Would you like to ask a bankruptcy question? Here are some of the most common questions and answers.

Ask a bankruptcy question: Do I have to be unemployed to file bankruptcy?

No. In fact, most people who file bankruptcy are employed. They just don’t make enough money. The court needs to be convinced that you can’t afford basic living expenses and debt payments.

Ask a bankruptcy question: Can I file bankruptcy if my income is above average?

Yes you can. We are able to successfully file bankruptcy for most people. Even when they have above average income. However, you will have to pass a means test. The bankruptcy means test compares your average monthly income with certain kinds of living expenses. The test then determines if you can afford to pay back some or all of your debts. Your best chance of passing the means test is to be represented by Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers who are Certified Specialists.  Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers who are Certified Specialists will have a deeper understanding of the means test, and how to pass it. “Another key part of the legal specialization program is consumer protection, allowing consumers to find lawyers who have been vetted.”

 Ask a bankruptcy question: Will bankruptcy cancel medical bills?

Yes, it does. Bankruptcy will cancel most kinds of debt, including medical bills.

Ask a bankruptcy question:  Can I keep the debts I still want to pay?

Maybe. The bankruptcy law says that after bankruptcy you can pay back any debts that you want to pay. For example, your house and your car. You still have to pay those if you want to keep them. If you owe money on a credit card, you can pay it if you want to. But there is a big catch. You won’t get your credit back from the credit card company. If you have a car loan that you want to keep, you will probably be asked to reaffirm the loan. A reaffirmation takes that debt out of the bankruptcy. The court does not want you to reaffirm debts for things that are unnecessary. A car that gets you to work is a necessity. A credit card is not a necessity.

Ask a bankruptcy question: How can I keep a credit card?

You won’t be allowed to reaffirm a credit card debt. But you will probably be allowed to keep a credit card that had no balance owing when you filed bankruptcy.

Ask a bankruptcy question: Why should I have a lawyer handle my bankruptcy?

Ask a bankruptcy questionIf you don’t have a bankruptcy lawyer, you will still be held to the same standard as a lawyer is held to. That means you can’t claim your inexperience as an excuse if you mess up. You should have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to represent you. Here are examples of problems we often see in cases where a person does not have a bankruptcy law expert to represent them:

  • lost assets that might have been protected;
  • failed to discharge taxes that might have been dischargeable;
  • had their bankruptcy denied;
  • filed under the wrong chapter;
  • lost their home because they got the wrong instructions.

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Leon Bayer and Jeffrey Wishman are Los Angeles Bankruptcy attorneys. They have been practicing bankruptcy lawyers in Los Angeles for 37 years and are Certified Bankruptcy Specialists by the State Bar of California. These are lawyers who bring experience, skill and creativity to the highly complex area of bankruptcy law. At this Los Angeles law firm, the your initial consultation with an expert is free. Mr. Bayer is a coauthor of Nolo's The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You?, authors the “Ask Leon” series on Nolo’s Bankruptcy, Debt & Foreclosure blog, and writes on bankruptcy topics for Nolo’s website. In addition, Mr. Bayer devotes a significant number of hours to volunteer legal services. The State Bar of California has commended Mr. Bayer for this work every year since 2004.