Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy
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FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BANKRUPTCY IN NEVADA
DO I REALLY NEED A BANKRUPTCY LAWYER OR OTHER LEGAL HELP?
Filing for bankruptcy is a very complicated process. The law varies depending on where a bankruptcy is filed and also depends on which type of bankruptcy is filed. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer knows the particulars of filing for bankruptcy. It’s doubly important to retain an attorney in your own state. Bankruptcy laws and exemptions vary widely from state to state. We can recommend which chapter of bankruptcy is right for you (7 or 13 for individuals), and can ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly so that all eligible debts are discharged.
WHAT IS CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?
CAN I FILE A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY MORE THAN ONCE?
WHAT DEBTS ARE NOT ELIMINATED BY A CHAPTER 7 LAS VEGAS NEVADA BANKRUPTCY?
- Student loans, except hardship cases
- Debts of most taxes owed
- Alimony, maintenance, and child support
- Debts of fines, penalties or criminal restitution
- Debts owed for personal injuries caused by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Debts not listed on the Bankruptcy Petition
WHAT IS THE "MEANS TEST" I KEEP HEARING ABOUT?
The Bankruptcy Reform And Consumer Protection Act of 2005, often referred to as the “new law”, requires that you take the “means test” to determine if you qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you must file a Chapter 13 instead.
To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your monthly income must be below the median income for your state. See just below for the median income in Nevada.
NEVADA STATE MEDIAN YEARLY INCOME
One individual in a family: $45,642 Two individuals: $57,860 Three: $65,032 Four: $67,997 Add $6,900 more per year for each individual in excess of 4
Your income is determined by averaging all of your NET income over the past six months. Even if you make zero dollars right now, the means test will show you as having some income because of this calculation. You must include ALL income in the calculation EXCEPT for social security income. If it turn out that your NET income is above that shown in the table above, you must file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of a Chapter 7 “Fresh Start” bankruptcy.
WHAT IS A CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY?
WHAT FORMS MAKE UP THE BANKRUPTCY PETITION?
- The Bankruptcy Petition
- The Statement of Financial Affairs
- The Statement of Intentions
- The Attorney Statement
- The Schedules (A-J) not all Schedules pertain to every case
- The Chapter 13 (repayment) Plan (when filing a Chapter 13)
What is the Bankruptcy Petition?
This is a basic form that states your name(s), address, phone number, date of birth, social security number, etc.
What is the Statement of Financial Affairs?
This is basically a history of your financial life for the bankruptcy Trustee.
What is the Statement of Intentions?
This is where you state your intention in filing your bankruptcy.
You have two options here:
1) Reaffirm the debt. This calls for you to promise the creditor of a particular debt (such as your car or house payment), that you will keep making payments during and after your bankruptcy.
2) Surrender the property. You will not have to make any more payments and will not owe anything more.
What is the Attorney Statement?
This statement is a short form that states the name of the attorney who files your bankruptcy on your behalf, as well as the amount you paid us for the service.
WHAT DOES "REAFFIRMING" A DEBT MEAN?
HOW DOES MY PROPERTY GET VALUED BY THE TRUSTEE?
WHAT ARE NEVADA CHAPTER 7 EXEMPTIONS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
DO I LIST AN OPEN PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM OR A LAWSUIT IN WHICH I MIGHT BE A BENEFICIARY?
CAN I INCLUDE BACK TAXES IN MY BANKRUPTCY?
WHAT ASSETS ARE USUALLY NOT PROTECTED?
- cash (above $10,000)
- money in bank accounts
- money in joint bank accounts even if the joint holder is not filing
- stocks that are not part of a 401k or qualified retirement plan
- bonds, certificates of deposits
- insurance policies with cash value
- artwork of any kind
- valuable collections
- boats and R.V’s
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T LIST ALL MY ASSETS?
MOST COMMONLY USED SCHEDULES (ADDITIONS TO THE BANKRUPTCY PETITION):
WHAT IS SCHEDULE A? Schedule A consists of the list of real property that you own such as a house, condominium, townhome, any raw land, and/or mobile home.
WHAT IS SCHEDULE B? Schedule B covers any tangible property other than real estate:
- bank accounts
- household goods:
- collections – baseball card collections, doll, stamps, art, etc.
- interests in insurance policies
- IRAS (exempt up to $500,000)
- ERISA (exempt up to $500,000)
- pension or profit sharing plans
- interests in corporation
- accounts receivables
- security deposits
- proceeds of a personal injury claim (whether or not you have received it)
WHAT IS SCHEDULE I? Schedule I is your current income from any sources including, wages, social security, pension, disability, roommate contribution, family support, alimony, child support, etc. In this section, you also give marital status information, list of dependents, and specific employment information.
WHAT IS SCHEDULE J? This is an itemization of your living expenses:
- mortgage or rent
- car payments
- insurance (car, home, health, disability, etc.)
- gasoline and maintenance
- laundry expenses
- charitable contributions
If you’re really not sure how much you spend on those items that are not fixed, write down everything you spend for a period of about two weeks and use that as a general guideline It would probably not be best to display very high amounts here. Be as accurate as possible, but be careful. Many people overdo this one because they’re ashamed that they have so little to spend on items like food for instance so they enter larger amounts only to be questioned about it later by the Bankruptcy Trustee. Fill it out with the thought in mind that you may have to provide some sort of proof on those expenses. You might want to collect receipts for all of these items for a while just to be on the safe side and to have it handy should the Trustee ask for them.
ADDITIONAL SCHEDULES (Not applicable to everyone)
WHAT IS SCHEDULE D? This schedule consists of the creditors who hold loans on the tangible property you own such as your home(s), car(s) and any other vehicle(s).
It is very important for you to keep paying on these debts if you plan to keep what’s attached to the loan(s), such as your car and home mortgage. Keep proof you made the payments just to be on the safe side, in case the lien holders (creditors) try to say you did not pay them.
WHAT IS SCHEDULE E? List of Priority Creditors. A priority creditor is one whom you must keep paying even after the bankruptcy. In other words, a debt that cannot be wiped out by the bankruptcy, such as:
- Federal taxes (subjective to your particular case)
- State taxes (subjective to your particular case)
- Student loans
- Alimony arrearages,
- Child support arrearages
WHAT IS SCHEDULE F? This is the list of your unsecured Creditors:
- credit cards
- personal loans
- bank loans
- payday loans
- medical bills
- cell phone bills, etc.
In order to be discharged in bankruptcy, a debt MUST be listed as part of your bankruptcy. If you fail to list a debt, that particular creditor has a right to keep pursuing you after the bankruptcy. Keep in mind that if a debt has been turned over to a collection agency and you only list the creditor who sent you to collections, that collection agency has a right to pursue you for the debt, even if the original creditor does not have that same right.
WHAT IS SCHEDULE G? This schedule lists all parties who may have co-signed on loans with you. Though your own obligation will be discharged in bankruptcy, you can expect the creditor to collect from your co-signer.
WHAT IS SCHEDULE H? This schedule covers any leases still in effect, such as a car lease, apartment, rent-to-own furniture, etc.
WHAT DOES THE MANDATORY CREDIT COUNSELING CONSISTS OF?
Credit counseling is a one-time session that is mandatory for everyone who files bankruptcy. At the end of the session, a certification will be provided to you. This will show that you have attended the mandatory consumer credit counseling session. We must file this certificate with the bankruptcy court. There are many ways to attend this session:
- in person
- by telephone
Only credit counseling agencies that the Office of the United States Trustee recognize are acceptable. We recommend a licensed and recognized credit counseling agency when you file using our services.
WHAT DOES THE MANDATORY FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COURSE CONSIST OF?
This is a mandatory course you must take after your bankruptcy has been filed and before your debts are discharged. It’s also known as the 50-30-20 MoneyPlan.
We suggest this course because it is approved by the bankruptcy court and it is inexpensive. We do NOT recommend it, mind you; choose it at your own risk: www.nationalpersonalfinance.com
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE BANKRUPTCY IS FILED?
WHAT IS THE 341 MEETING OF CREDITORS - WHAT HAPPENS THERE?
- The Trustee asks you to provide 2 pieces of identification. This can be: driver’s license OR Nevada picture identification card, social security identification (social security card, W-2 statement, or paycheck stub.
- You are then placed under oath by the Trustee
- The Trustee asks you any number of questions pertaining to your property and, or, your bankruptcy filing.
- You are dismissed from the hearing.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY DISCHARGE?
WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY FRAUD?
There are four primary types of bankruptcy fraud.
1) If you took out a loan and lied about your true income (e.g. you stated that you earn, say $100,000 per year, but really only earn $60,000) on the loan application and then listed this loan on your bankruptcy application, the creditor has the option to claim that because they relied on your lie, you should be responsible for the whole debt and not allowed to discharge this debt.
2) Cash advances of more than $750.00 within 70 days of filing unless you can prove that you had no intention to commit fraud by doing so.
3) Buying goods worth more than $500 within 90 days of filing your bankruptcy. This is a grey area because if a creditor can show that you meant to commit fraud even if you filed after the 90 day period, it could still be considered fraud. The best thing to do is to NOT buy anything of a higher value once you know you will be filing and wait as long as possible after a large purchase of a luxury good to file.
4) Money owed because of embezzlement are considered fraud. If you took the money an home association trusted you with, for instance, to buy yourself a boat or a car, or anything at all, expect to have to repay this one.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY BANKRUPTCY CASE IF I COMMIT FRAUD AND/OR "FORGET" TO LIST AN IMPORTANT ASSET?
I FILED BANKRUPTCY BEFORE. CAN I FILE AGAIN?
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON REASONS FOR DISMISSAL?
- Not showing up for the 341 Meeting. You stand a high risk of having the bankruptcy dismissed in this case. You may get one chance for re-scheduling, but that’s it. Don’t show up a second time? Automatic dismissal. So, make this meeting your highest priority!
- Refusing to turn over an asset not protected by exemption to the bankruptcy court. Be sure to list ALL assets and give them over the court when asked. Otherwise, expect your bankruptcy to be dismissed.
- Failure to produce documentation of any kind to the bankruptcy court. Any such requests must be honored immediately or risk dismissal.
They’re tough at bankruptcy court. Do what they say, or else expect dismissal.
CAN I BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY MY EMPLOYER IF I FILE BANKRUPTCY?
WILL FILING A BANKRUPTCY HURT MY ABILITY TO EVER HAVE CREDIT IN THE FUTURE?
Bankruptcy can stay on your record for up to 10 years.
In today’s economy, credit is affected by 3 things:
- your FICO score
- your total debt load
- your income.
Ironically filing bankruptcy is less harmful to your credit than being foreclosed upon or having a car repossessed. Your credit will be more difficult after bankruptcy but you will have no debt load. Creditors know that you cannot file again for 8 years so they are willing to lend to you at a little higher interest rate. If your unsecured debt total is more than your yearly income then you should consider filing. If not, then use a non-profit credit counseling service like Consumer Credit Counseling.
WHY FILE THROUGH US
- FREE credit reports for clients declaring bankruptcy in Nevada using our services!
- Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney with 20+ years of bankruptcy experience represents you
- You will not be turned over to a newbie after you retain the attorney with experience
- No confusing stacks of court forms for you to fill out. We do it for you!
- Full phone and email support during your bankruptcy. We still take your call after you pay us!
- Dedication to truly serving your needs with compassion and integrity, to the best of our ability and power and without judgment or criticism.
Call 702-680-1780, or Complete This Form for a Free Consultation with The Attorney at Our Office.
* Total attorney fees for a Chapter 7 are $999. The Bankruptcy Court Filing fee for a Chapter 7 (currently $335) is separate from the Nevada bankruptcy attorney fee. There is also a $50 fee for copies required by Bankruptcy Court. Total Nevada bankruptcy attorney cost for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $3999; 1,999 paid up front, balance paid in repayment plan. The bankruptcy attorney fee does not include the Bankruptcy Court Filing Fee for a Chapter 13 (currently $335) and $75 copy fee.