Frequently Asked Questions

1) What does it cost to file bankruptcy?

The filing fees for a chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy’s are $306 and $281 respectively. Kepple Law Group LLC offers chapter 7 bankruptcy’s starting at $500 attorney’s fees and offer free, no obligation consultations which are used as a fact gathering meetings with the client to determine the amount of attorney’s fees required for the given bankruptcy. The amount of attorney’s fees vary depending on the complexity of the bankruptcy.

2) Will I lose my car if I file bankruptcy?

An individual filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection can keep their automobile as long as they are current on the payments when filing and stay current throughout the bankruptcy. An individual filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection can save their automobile by curing arrearages on the automobile in the chapter 13 plan while also staying current on the monthly payment outside the plan.

3) Can I file bankruptcy on my student loans?

With rare exceptions, an individual cannot file bankruptcy on student loans.

4) How long does the bankruptcy process take to complete?

A simple, no asset chapter 7 bankruptcy takes between four (4) and six (6) months to complete. This time period can be lengthened in the cases of a complex chapter 7. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is either three (3) or five (5) years depending on whether the individual filing is above or below the state median income level for a household of similar size.

5) Can I save my house in bankruptcy if I’m facing foreclosure?

An individual can save a home from foreclosure by filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under a chapter 13, one can cure mortgage arrears in the chapter 13 plan while continuing to pay the regular mortgage payment in a timely fashion outside of the chapter 13 plan.

6) What is a chapter 7 bankruptcy?

A chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy. To file a chapter 7, an individual must be below the state median income level for a household of similar size. The trustee will liquidate all nonexempt property of the individual filing to pay creditors and all dischargeable debt wiped out.

7) Can I give my nonexempt property to a relative?

Giving nonexempt property to a relative to avoid losing it in the bankruptcy is considered a fraudulent conveyance under the bankruptcy code. The Bankruptcy Code at §548 defines fraudulent conveyances to mean not only transfers intended to delay or defraud creditors but ones made for inadequate consideration by an insolvent debtor. The Bankruptcy Code limits the trustee to avoidance of fraudulent conveyances to those made within two years before bankruptcy. However, most states have fraudulent conveyance provisions, often the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyances Act, which allow a longer reach back, often four or five years.

8) Will I be required to attend court if I file bankruptcy?

Every debtor, regardless of the chapter, must make one appearance in the case, though it is not really in “court” since the judge is not present. The court schedules a meeting of creditors in each case, usually about 30 days after the filing. The meeting is nick-named the “341 meeting” after the section of the bankruptcy code that requires it. The trustee assigned to the case presides and asks questions about the contents of the bankruptcy schedules. The debtor must appear at the meeting and answer questions under oath about his assets and liabilities.In cases where there are assets with value in excess of the available exemptions, the trustee tries to gather information to aid in his liquidation of those assets for payment to creditors. He may ask for the business records or other documents concerning the assets or the debtor’s financial history. The 341 meeting is not a test or an inquisition. Neither the trustee nor the creditors can take any action at the meeting that decides any question central to the case. It is a fact finding meeting. Of course, if new or troubling facts come out at the meeting, the trustee or a creditor can file a motion or an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court for the judge’s consideration. Most 341 meetings are short, sweet, and uneventful. The debtor does not have to justify filing bankruptcy. No rights are won or lost at the 341 meeting. Creditors do not have to attend the 341 meeting to file a claim or object to discharge.