It is difficult to have a Frequently Asked Question section on a website because most cases have their own, unique, set of circumstances. Visitors of this website should not take any action or inaction based upon the answers provided herein. Visitors should not construe anything on this website to be legal advice. Legal advice only occurs during a face to face paid consultation with the Client.
An example of how each situation is unique goes like this:
Q: Can I keep my house if I file for bankruptcy?
But a zillion exceptions kick in:
Exception #1: Your house can only have a limited amount of equity, so if you’re over that equity amount, then “no” you can’t keep your house.
Exception #2: If you are behind in payments.
Exception #3: If your house has been foreclosed.
Exception #4: There are restrictions on transferring your house.
(there are many other exceptions)
So if your house was put in someone else’s name or even sold to someone, before the bankruptcy was filed, depending on the timing and the details of the transaction, the bankruptcy trustee could possibly take your house. So again, with certain circumstances, the answer to the question, “can I keep my house?” would be “no.” So as you can see, depending on the circumstances, there is exception-to-exception for every situation. No attorney can give definite answers unless they know the entire story and see all of the documentation. So in the below FAQs, don’t take anything as a definite answer unless you’ve had a face-to-face consultation with the attorney and the attorney knows your entire story.
Q: Do I get to keep my property if I file for bankruptcy?
A: 99.9% of people get to keep their property in bankruptcy. The less than one percent who don’t, already know they are giving up their property before their case is filed. If your property is valued beyond the limits allowed, you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy and not lose your property. We’ve never seen a bankruptcy trustee in a chapter 13 case take someone’s property.
Q: Can I discharge my taxes in bankruptcy?
A: In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, most of the time taxes are not dischargeable. There is several steps that need to be evaluated to determine whether taxes can be dischargeable. Beware of attorneys who simply ask, “are the taxes more than 3 years old.” There are many additional items that need to be analyzed to determine whether the taxes will be discharged. The rules are straightforward, either the taxes are, or aren’t, dischargeable……you can’t talk a judge into it and there is no fancy lawyering that get them discharged if the law says otherwise. In chapter 13, you can pay your taxes during the life of the chapter 13 Plan without penalties or interest accruing and the IRS/State must leave you alone while the Plan proceeds.
The bottom line is, no one can tell you 100% how your situation will work out unless they know your whole story and have reviewed your documents. If someone tells you 100% how your situation will work out through an email or over the phone, you shouldn’t rely on that information. You should have a sit down consultation, with all of your documents and telling the whole story about your assets and liabilities, with an attorney, before you make any decisions on how you want to proceed.