Do I Have To File On Everything In Bankruptcy?

10 Apr Do I Have To File On Everything In Bankruptcy?

Most people who file bankruptcy want to get rid of some of their debts, but not necessarily all of them. For example, many people want to keep a favorite credit card but get rid of the high interest cards. Or, they want to keep paying on their car or their house. In general, a bankruptcy petition must include all of your debts and all of your assets. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop paying on everything.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most of your unsecured debts will go away with very limited exceptions. All of your secured debts (like the car or the House) remain if you keep making your payments. (Under some circumstances you may have to sign an agreement to keep the car.) In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the same generally applies, though you may have to make some payments on the unsecured debts.
After a bankruptcy is over, however, there’s no reason why you can’t pay someone back. Hopefully the bankruptcy has given you a fresh start and without the burden of the credit cards (and their ridiculous interest rates) you’ll be able to re-pay that loan from Mom and Dad.

Simply put, the bankruptcy may make it so you don’t have to pay your debts; but it doesn’t ever mean that you can’t pay them. Sometimes it is wiser not to pay; but there are times where you may want to.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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