Generally, chapter 7 can be filed every 8 years. Your total bankruptcy history plays a part in what type of case you can file and when. The attorney will review your prior filings, if any, and advise you on when you can file bankruptcy.
Yes. Credit cards can be discharged by a bankruptcy, but only if they were not used within 90 days before the bankruptcy is filed. If you think you may need to file bankruptcy, you should stop charging on any credit cards immediately. The attorney will go over your charging history with you and determine when you can file bankruptcy to include your credit cards.
A Chapter 7 is the total liquidation bankruptcy where your non-exempt property is liquidated to pay money to your creditors. Most people do not lose any property when filing a Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 is the reorganization bankruptcy, which allows you to pay what you can afford towards your debt and discharge the unpaid portion. The attorney will help you decide which type is best for you.
It is an agreement between you and a creditor to keep paying on a debt in exchange for you being able to keep an item like a house or car. It is up to the creditor whether they want to do this. The creditor cannot be forced to allow you to reaffirm a debt. If the reaffirmation agreement is considered an undue hardship on you (you cannot afford the payment), it must be approved by a judge. Once you reaffirm a debt, you have only a short amount of time to change your mind or you are stuck with debt even if the item you kept is no longer useable. You should only reaffirm a debt if you have sufficient income to pay the debt. The attorney will review your budget with you to help decide whether signing a reaffirmation agreement is in your best interest.
Yes. You will attend what is called a First Meeting of Creditors approximately 4 to 6 weeks after your case is filed. A trustee is assigned to your case and it is their job to verify that all the information that is in your paperwork is truthful and complete. It is also an opportunity for your creditors to question you about the debt you owe, but very rarely do creditors actually appear at the meeting. The attorney will prepare you for the meeting and will attend it with you.
Most taxes; child support; alimony; most student loans; court fines and criminal restitution; and personal injury caused by operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The attorney will discuss your situation with you and tell you about any non-dischargeable debt you may have.