Bankruptcy law and the law in general is constantly changing. What stands today may not hold true tomorrow. To discern from all the confusion, let the Law Office of Christopher Carrozzella help with your legal matters.
These questions and answers are not intended as legal advice or as a statement of the law. Consult with an attorney beforehand as options will vary depending upon your personal circumstances.
This Faq Guide is by no means exhaustive. Please contact us for any other questions you may have about bankruptcy or general legal advice or fill out the form on our Questionnaire page and an attorney will get back in touch with you.
Q: What is bankruptcy?
A: Bankruptcy allows individuals or businesses, 'debtors' who owe others, 'creditors' more money than they're able to pay to either work out a plan to repay the money over time or completely eliminate most of the bills.
Q: Who can file bankruptcy?
A: With a few exceptions, any person or business owing money to a creditor can file a bankruptcy petition.
Q: How often can you file bankruptcy?
A: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed every 8 years from a previous chapter 7 filing or 6 years from a prior chapter 13 filing. Chapter 13 can be filed 4 years from a prior Chapter 7 filing or 2 years from a prior Chapter 13 filing. Filing bankruptcy can adversely affect your ability to obtain future credit, rent housing and even negatively impact a job application, so any decision to file must be carefully considered.
Q: Do you need to have a certain amount of debt to file?
A: No. However, some situations may not warrant filing for bankruptcy. If your financial situation is temporary, you may consider making arrangements with individual creditors for a change in payment amounts or a reduction in the total amount due. If an individual has little in the way of property or money, filing bankruptcy may not be necessary, as the creditor may not be able to collect the debt.
Q: What happens if one spouse files for bankruptcy and not the other?
A: If one spouse files and the other does not, the one who does not file could possibly be responsible for the debts. Check this out carefully before filing.
Q: If the principal signor on a loan filed bankruptcy, can the creditor come after the co-signor?
A: Yes. The lender can require the co-signor to make payments on a loan once the principal has declared bankruptcy. This fact makes it extremely important that those considering co-signing a loan for another person be ready and able to pay the loan if the principal signor defaults.
Q: Do I get to keep anything if I file for bankruptcy?
A: Exemptions allow an individual to 'exempt' certain kinds of property. State law defines what assets are considered "exempt," but typically include jewelry, vehicles, tools and equipment necessary to continnue working and a certain amount of equity in a home.
Q: What's the difference between secured and unsecured debt?
A: Secured debt is a creditor's claim that's secured by a lien of some type on your property, either by your agreement or involuntarily such as with a court judgment or taxes. A creditor can generally claim the property that secures the debt in the event of bankruptcy. Unsecured debt is not tied to any type of property, leaving the creditor without any claim to property.
Bankruptcy can seem confusing and intimidating to anyone not familiar with the terminology and nuances used in filings. Even other attorneys that practice in different fields of law often refer a client elsewhere because they don't want to enter into a realm that is mistakenly seen as dark shadow with negative connotations. Cutting through the fear and clutter is what bankruptcy attorney Chris Carrozzella does best and with his years of experience dealing in Connecticut Ch. 7 and Ch. 13 bankruptcy filings he is the one man who can help when you feel there is no hope left.
Unfortunately many people mistake bankruptcy for failure. This stigma can cause shame, humiliation and even fear which can prevent people who really need help from asking for it. But if you look back through history you'll find that many of the most successful people and businesses had to bite the bullet and file for bankruptcy at some point to re-structure their debt and get back on sound financial footing. Don't let the media and gossip steer you away from taking the necessary steps to ending debt. If you or someone you know in Connecticut is struggling to pay a mortgage, student loan or credit card balance contact bankruptcy attorney Chris Carrozzella today and see just how manageable your debt can be when you have the right legal guidance.
Links to Resources
State of CT Judicial Branch
New Haven County