Date: February 16, 2011
Question: I am planning to file for bankruptcy. That means I get a fresh start and all my bills are gone once I file?
Filing for bankruptcy is the first step in a fresh start. Bankruptcy is like any legal case. You must complete all the required steps. You must continue to pay for secured property both during and after bankruptcy. Secured property such as homes, cars and sometimes jewelry or furniture that are bought on time must still be paid during bankruptcy if you want to keep them. Secured property debts must be paid, or the property given up in bankruptcy. Most tax bills, and most student loans, also survive bankruptcy. The primary bills that can normally be discharged in bankruptcy are non-secured bills and certain legal judgments. It is disingenuous to lead someone to believe their debt problems are over when they file for bankruptcy. The only debts removed by bankruptcy are those a bankruptcy court deems as discharged. Bankruptcy is not quick and it is not simple. You need to have a professional attorney guide you through the steps. Most people should not really believe that thousands of dollars in debts are going to disappear for a few hundred dollars paid to anyone. You should know filing bankruptcy alone cannot eliminate debt, but rather a discharge by a bankruptcy court can eliminate certain debt.