Articles Posted in St. Louis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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It depends on two main things: 1) which chapter of bankruptcy you file; and 2) whether or not the debt in question was jointly held between you and your ex-spouse.

Debt that you incurred jointly with your spouse while you were married (like a credit card or loan) can almost never be discharged in a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy. So for instance, if the family court judge in your divorce proceeding ordered that you pay unsecured debts that were in both your names (again, like credit card debt), then those debts cannot be knocked out in a Missouri Chapter 7.

The policy behind this decision is in place so as to insure that people do not get out of such debts so easily. You can still file a Chapter 7 if you wish (so long as you qualify for one otherwise), but those debts will not be removed.

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It’s actually rare that you would have to pay back every single one of your debts in a St. Louis bankruptcy. But then it depends very much on which chapter of bankruptcy you file.

In a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all of your unsecured debts (such as credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc) are discharged. When debts are “discharged,” they are literally knocked out forever. They will no longer exist. The creditors can no longer demand payment from you, and you are no longer under any obligation to pay. If on the other hand you have secured debts that you wish to retain (such as a house or car), then the opportunity to do so is available. So long as there is not a great deal of equity in the asset, then keeping a house or car in a Missouri Chapter 7 is possible.

The other main type of filing is a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is described as a repayment plan over the course of three to five years during which certain debts are paid back. These certain debts would include arrearage on a mortgage (i.e. what you have fallen behind on your house payments), car or truck loans (usually at a much lower interest rate), tax debt (income, personal property, sales, and real estate taxes), and back child support and/or maintenance.

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This is a possibility, but it is dependent upon the timing of when you filed your case, and which type of bankruptcy you filed.

There are two main types of consumer bankruptcies that an individual (or married couple) may file. And I will discuss each, and describe how a potential tax refund is affected by them. The first kind is the most common, which is a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Missouri Chapter 7, the court requires that you disclose all of your assets. And when the court requires you make it aware of all of your assets, it truly means that you disclose everything. This means all of your pots, pans, vehicles, furniture, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, retirement plans… literally everything.

Included in this list would be any anticipated funds or unliquidated funds that you might receive in the future. This would include things like money from a workman’s compensation claim, personal injury suit, medical malpractice suit, or an FDPCA claim. But it would also entail things like a potential tax refund.

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There really isn’t any timeframe for filing bankruptcy, although there a few particular situations that would probably require you to move more quickly towards filing a petition. But in general, there are no time limits for filing a St. Louis bankruptcy.

Some individuals will begin to look at the possibility of filing a Missouri bankruptcy well before they fall behind on their unsecured debts (things like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc). They can “see the writing on the wall,” and recognize where they are likely to end up in the future (assuming things continue as they are). This type of situation typically involves a job loss, cut hours at work, an increase in monthly expenses, or some combination of all three.

On the other hand, there are those people who will wait a very long time before considering a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Not until the debts get turned over to a collection agency, and the phone calls start increasing every day, and the stress level goes through the roof. Only then will they pull the trigger, and start the process towards regaining control of their lives.

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Yes, indeed it does. The number of people in your household when you file a St. Louis bankruptcy can actually determine a great deal about which chapter of bankruptcy you can file.

Filing a bankruptcy petition is a process that involves disclosing a great deal of information about your situation to the court. Included in this list are things like your household goods and furnishings, information about any financial accounts you may have, any real estate in which you have an ownership interest, cars that you might own, and lawsuits or administrative proceedings in which you may be taking part.

In addition to this important information, you will also need to make it clear how many people live in your home with you. This piece of information can be terribly important, because it could mean the difference between whether you file a St. Louis Chapter 7 or a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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A collection agency can legally call you, but only in certain situations (and only a certain number of times). For instance, a debt collector cannot legally call you on your cell phone, and it cannot call you more than once in one day. If any of these situations exist, you should know and understand what your rights are.

When a collection agency buys up an old debt, and it starts its collection activity (phone calls, letters, etc), it immediately becomes subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This federal law is very specific as to what constitutes a violation of your consumer rights, and the penalties therefor. The rules that are laid out within the act are clear and concise. But this does not stop most collectors from violating its provision.

For example, it is imperative that the debt collector identify itself as a collector each time it communicates with you. This could be when they call you, or when they send some sort of written communication. The easiest (and most common) way to make such an identification is to simply state the following: “This is an attempt to collect on a debt. This communication is from a debt collection agency.” So long as this kind of disclosure is made, then the collector has made you privy to its intent (i.e. to collect on a past due bill from you).

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No, the Bankruptcy Trustee (who is an officer of the court) will not necessarily take all of your money from your accounts. This scenario would only play out if you had a great deal of money in an account on the date of filing a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But there are certainly ways of avoiding such an outcome.

When you file a St. Louis bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court will require that you disclose all of your assets, belongings, and property (both real and personal). Disclosing your assets does not mean that you lose them (in other words, just because the court asks you to draw up a list of everything that you own that does not mean it is going to turn around and take those items from you). Included on this list of assets are your bank accounts (checking, savings, money market, etc).

In the case of a Missouri Chapter 7, if in fact you have a substantial amount in your bank accounts, the Trustee may demand that you turn this over. The Trustee would then use those funds to pay towards the unsecured creditors (credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc) that are subject to discharge. But this is only if in fact your accounts have substantial amounts on the date of filing.

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No, it is not necessary that you file jointly with your spouse if you decide to do a St. Louis bankruptcy. You and your spouse would of course have that option, but it is not mandatory that you file together.

The filing of a Missouri bankruptcy is a very personal decision that is sometimes very difficult to make. A number of considerations are taken into account, not the least of which having to do with the total amount of debt that you are currently carrying. In some situations, a married couple will have debt that is separate. In other words, debt that the other person is not legally obligated on.

A good example is credit card debt. Frequently, a spouse will have lines of credit, but the debt is only in the husband or wife’s name (and therefore, there is no joint ownership of the debt in question). This means that the creditor can only seek payment from the party with whom it actually has a contract. This would also be the case for medical bills. If medical services are incurred by an individual, the hospital or doctor may not seek payment from the patient’s spouse.

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No, filing a St. Louis bankruptcy does not mean that you will automatically lose everything you own (including the shirt off your back). But there are many precautions that need to be in place first. Because in certain situations, it is in fact possible to lose something you wish to keep (but a good attorney can make sure that that does not happen).

When you file a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is necessary to disclose (i.e. make the court aware of) all of your real and personal property. This would include things like real estate, rental properties, time shares, and farmland. Also things like books, clothes, furniture, appliances, and sporting equipment need to be listed. And even items like bank accounts, money market accounts, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, any outstanding accounts receivable, or pending lawsuits in which you may receive money. But please keep in mind, just because you have a duty to make the court aware of all the things own (or have an ownership interest in), this does not mean that you will have to give any of these items up.

This is because for each piece of property you own, there is usually a state exemption that corresponds to the item. For instance, your household good and furniture (which would include pots, pans, appliances, beds, dressers, etc.) are exempted up to $3,000 in value. That may not seem like a lot, but the value that is used is not actual value, but “garage sale” value. Garage sale value is much less than actual or resale value. Once you apply a garage sale value to the household goods, most people find that the $3,000 exemption is more than enough to cover their things.

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The answer to this question is completely dependent upon your particular set of circumstances. There are several common scenarios under which someone would file a St. Louis bankruptcy (and there are a great many facts common to each bankruptcy petition that is filed). But in the end, it comes down to what you believe is best for you and your family.

Since at least 2008, the United States economy has undergone drastic changes. These changes have resulted in a level of upheaval that many Americans have never experienced before. One the consequences of this change has been widespread job loss (or severe cutbacks in hours and days worked). As household income drops, the necessity to take out lines of credit increases. The choice to create new debt (especially of the unsecured variety, like credit cards) is not something that people put at the top of their wish list. But sometimes, it is necessary in order to put food on the table.

Eventually, it can become apparent that living in such a way is not sustainable. The lines of credit dry up, monthly payments get missed, and the creditors start calling. At this point, the amount of stress that you had felt because of the job loss is now compounded by harassing calls and threatening letters. Families have been torn apart by this cycle, and many a marriage has split as a direct result.

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