Bankruptcy FAQ

Throughout our more than 28 years of experience, our Idaho bankruptcy attorneys have helped individuals and families successfully complete more than 5,000 bankruptcies. As each of these cases were unique, our legal team has been able to accumulate extensive insight and a type of legal versatility that makes us an attribute to anyone in need of experienced and supportive assistance during the bankruptcy process.

Given the confusion and intimidation clients tend to experience when first considering bankruptcy, our attorneys make it a priority to help you understand exactly where you stand and exactly how the process works. By sharing our knowledge with you and providing you with the information, skills and strategies you need, you can be better equipped to not only take on your bankruptcy process, but to also establish and maintain economic stability in the future. As part of our efforts to help local residents in need, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about bankruptcy.

What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal action that individuals, as well as businesses, can use as a means for obtaining much needed debt relief and a financial fresh start. There are numerous reasons why someone may choose to file bankruptcy, including job loss and illness, and various Chapters under which consumers can file their bankruptcy.

What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
There are a number of differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, known as straight bankruptcy, involves the liquidation of non-exempt assets to be used to pay creditors. Consumers must meet certain qualifying criteria in order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and obtain a discharge of their debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, involves the restructuring of debts into more manageable payment plans that last three or five years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also allow consumers to keep much of their property and assets.

What is a debt discharge?
A debt discharge releases consumers from the liability of having to pay their unsecured debts. This means that when your debts have been discharged, you will no longer be obligated to pay them and creditors and debt collectors will be prohibited from pursuing any debt collection activities against you.

Will all my debts be wiped out?
No. Generally, only certain unsecured debts are allowed to be discharged. These include credit card debt, medical bills, unsecured loans and others. The types of debts that typically cannot be discharged include student loans, child support and alimony, certain taxes, restitution and debts to government agencies for fines and penalties, among others.

What is the automatic stay?
When you file a formal bankruptcy petition, the court will issue an automatic stay that halts all collection activities against you. This means that you can be protected from the following while your bankruptcy is pending:

  • Wage garnishments
  • Foreclosure proceedings
  • Repossessions
  • Utility shutoffs
  • Lawsuits
  • Debt collection phone calls

The automatic stay will not stop criminal proceedings or actions for child support or spousal support. Our firm's attorneys can provide you with more information about the automatic stay and how it applies to your personal situation.

How will bankruptcy affect my credit?
While bankruptcy will impact your credit, the effects are not permanent. Generally, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your credit for ten years and a Chapter 13 for seven years. After your bankruptcy has been completed you can begin rebuilding your credit using responsible financial behaviors and planning. In many cases, consumers find that they can rebuild their credit significantly and maintain credit scores much higher than they had before their bankruptcy.

Can bankruptcy help me keep my home?
Yes. Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that can be used during foreclosure defense. From the immediate foreclosure protection afforded by the automatic stay to the feasible payment plans of Chapter 13, bankruptcy provides several options you can use to protect your home.

Contact Our Firm for More Answers

These questions and answers were included in order to provide you with a solid foundation to begin learning about bankruptcy and to help you explore your available debt relief options. Should you choose to work with Avery Law, our Idaho bankruptcy lawyers will fully evaluate your current financial situation and walk you through the legal actions you can take to meet your needs and goals. If you have any additional questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team, contact Avery Law today at our offices in Boise, Idaho Falls, Pocatello or Twin Falls.