What Will Happen to my Assets?

  • My house is scheduled for foreclosure what should I do?
  • In a Chapter 7, will I lose my house or car?
  • My house and car payments are too much for me – can you help?
  • Can I walk away from my house or car through bankruptcy?
  • Are my retirement accounts and Social Security protected in bankruptcy?
  • Will filing bankruptcy stop garnishments?

Q: My house is scheduled for foreclosure – what should I do?

A: Bankruptcy will stop your foreclosure, but you need to set up a consultation immediately.  There is a significant amount of information needed before we file.  The earlier you contact us, the better.

Q: In a Chapter 7, will I lose my house or car?

A: We get asked this question more than most any other question.  If a debtor is current on loan payments and does not have a large amount of equity in these assets, it is highly unlikely he or she will lose a house or car.  To best protect you, these questions are best analyzed by an experienced attorney to best protect you.

Q: My house and car payments are too much for me – can you help?

A: In a Chapter 7, you cannot reduce payments on your car or home. You may be able to redeem resulting in lower future payments.  Redeeming a car means getting a high interest loan and purchasing the car for its present value from the lender.  Even though you may pay a higher interest rate your monthly payment may go down significantly.  You should discuss a redemption with an experienced attorney.

In a Chapter 13, you may be able “cramdown” and pay your lender the value of the car plus a portion of the amount owed greater than the value.  You must have purchased your car more than 910 days before filing to do a cramdown.  Unfortunately, you cannot reduce your loan amount or the interest rate on your home in a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7.

Q: Can I walk away from my house or car through bankruptcy?

A: Yes, in both a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 you can surrender your house or car to the lender and discharge your personal debt.  Because this step will affect your monthly income, it could impact how your bankruptcy proceeds.  Before making a decision this significant you should consult with an experienced attorney.

Q: Are my retirement accounts and Social Security protected in bankruptcy?

A: Bankruptcy protects almost all retirement accounts and Social Security from your creditors.  As an added bonus, Social Security is not counted toward the Means Test, which makes it easier for those receiving it to benefit from a Chapter 7.

Q: Will filing bankruptcy stop garnishments?

A: For those garnishments authorized by a court judgment, bankruptcy not only cuts them off but in some situations allows you to recover some of the money taken.  Bankruptcy will stop IRS and Comptroller of Maryland wage levies and garnishments.  Once we file, we stay on top of garnishments to make sure they are released as soon as possible.  The garnishment of obligations for child support and alimony are not stopped by bankruptcy.  In a Chapter 13, the amount of the domestic support obligation can be reduced, because the arrears (what you owe for past payments) can be put into the Plan.

To speak with an experienced, effective, and affordable bankruptcy lawyer, contact us and call today for a free consultation at 443-472-4101.