Frequently Asked Questions
What is bankruptcy?
When you can no longer keep up with, or have fallen behind on, paying back debts, you have the right to file for bankruptcy protection. This legal proceeding is handled in federal court and allows you to discharge debts, prevent foreclosure or repossession, and reorganize to catch up on debts that cannot be discharged. Bankruptcy also stops creditor actions such as wage garnishment or collection harassment.
Will I have to give up my home?
In Kansas, a homestead exemption protects your home from foreclosure when filing for bankruptcy. This exemption also protects up to one acre of land within city limits and 160 acres outside of city limits. A homestead exemption does not discharge your mortgage, however, and you must continue to make payments. Chapter 13 bankruptcy specifically allows you to make a plan to catch up on your mortgage.
What will happen to my personal property?
Kansas has various exemptions to protect your property when you file for bankruptcy. For instance, household goods and furnishings that are considered reasonable and necessary are protected. Each debtor is allowed one vehicle worth up to $20,000. Jewelry worth up to $1,000 per debtor is protected. Retirement accounts are generally protected, as well as many other categories of property. For more information about protected property, call our Overland Park bankruptcy attorney at (913) 225-8240 for a free, confidential consultation.
How can I afford an attorney if I can't pay my debt?
A skilled bankruptcy attorney is invaluable during bankruptcy proceedings, advising you and advocating on your behalf to secure your financial fresh start. Just because you are eligible for bankruptcy does not mean you have no income. At Wellman Law, LLC, we offer payment plans to settle your Chapter 7 fees. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the most common option for consumers, allows you to pay your legal fees through the reorganization plan.
What is the difference between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7? Which is right for me?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a payment plan tailored to the individual debtor. Contrary to popular belief, these plans typically do not pay off all of someone's debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not involve a plan. If you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will receive a discharge of debt approximately 90 days after filing. Under either chapter, an “automatic stay” goes into effect as soon as your case is filed to prevent virtually all creditor contact and collection efforts, and an Order of Discharge is entered at the conclusion of the case to discharge most debts. Some debts cannot be discharged, including child support, recent taxes, and debts obtained by fraud.
To determine which chapter is the best choice for you, we urge you to call us at (913) 225-8240 for a free, confidential consultation. Every situation is different, and our experienced Overland Park bankruptcy lawyer is here to advise you.
Will filing for bankruptcy wipe out all my debts?
Filing for bankruptcy will stop creditor actions such as harassing calls and wage garnishment and can discharge many of your debts. In Kansas, there are some debts that cannot be discharged, such as those related to family support, those stemming from a personal injury or death caused by driving while intoxicated, fines and penalties for breaking the law, and recent income tax debts. Wellman Law, LLC can help you understand which debts you may still be responsible for after filing. Call us today at (913) 225-8240 for a confidential consultation at no charge.
Does filing bankruptcy ruin my credit?
Credit can be rebuilt after a bankruptcy filing, and getting your finances back on track often helps improve creditworthiness in the long run. Everyone’s credit situation is unique. Bankruptcy can sometimes be a better alternative than struggling for years with unresolved debt problems. Consult with our Overland Park bankruptcy attorney to determine whether filing could help you get a fresh start.
Can I discharge my student loans?
In Kansas, student loans are considered non-dischargeable debts unless repaying them would cause you undue hardship. Recent cases suggest that the likelihood of obtaining a discharge of student loans is better now than it has been in the past.
Are tax debts dischargeable?
Generally, older taxes can be discharged, but more recent taxes are a priority debt that can be paid through a Chapter 13 plan, or dealt with directly following a Chapter 7 filing.
At Wellman Law, LLC, our Overland Park bankruptcy attorney is available to answer your questions during a free and confidential consultation—call (913) 225-8240 to schedule.