North Carolina Bankruptcy Laws | Raleigh Bankruptcy Lawyers

Bankruptcy Law FAQ

  1. Will I lose my property?

    It depends. Most cases filed under Chapter 7 do not include any assets that are non-exempt and therefore, available for liquidation by the Trustee for the benefit of creditors. If the debtor has property that exceeds his or her exemption limits, the Trustee has the right to sell those items.

    There are ways to protect property that would be available for sale in Chapter 7. One option is to instead file Chapter 13, which generally allows the debtor to keep all of his or her property. It may also be possible to negotiate a deal with the Trustee for the non-exempt property. There are also certain legal pre-bankruptcy planning techniques that can be utilized. However, before selling or otherwise disposing of property, you should consult with an attorney.

  2. How much will it cost for me to file bankruptcy?

    It depends upon the type of case and the complexity of the case. In Chapter 7, Levy Law Offices handles these on a flat fee basis that is usually in the range of $1000.00 to $1800.00 plus court costs of $299.00, credit counseling fee of $34.00, financial management course fee ($8.00 for individual or $16.00 for married couple), credit reports ($30.00 for individual or $50.00 for married couple) and tax transcripts ($29.00). The entire amount must be paid before the case can be filed, but it does not all have to be paid in a single installment. There are certain services, which if required, are not covered by the base fee and are explained in a consultation and in a fee agreement.  The bankruptcy attorney is required to disclosed the amount of the attorney fee in every case.  The Bankuptcy      Court reviews the fee to ensure that the fee is reasonable and fair under the circumstances of the case.

    In Chapter 13, the base fee may be up to $3000.00 plus $274.00 court costs, credit counseling fee of $34.00, credit reports ($30.00 for individual or $50.00 for married couple) and tax transcripts ($29.00). The costs plus a portion of the base fee must be paid before the case can be filed. The up front attorney fee that must be paid to file a Chpater 13 case usually ranges from $0.00 to $600.00.  The costs (none of which is kept by the attorney) must be paid up front also.  Levy Law Offices tries to keep the up front-attorney fee as low as possible and considers the circumstances of the case in determining how much must be paid up front, and how much of the attorney fee is paid through the plan as a part of your monthly Chapter 13 plan payments.  The client is usually required to pay a larger portion of the base fee prior to the filing of the case for second cases ("refiled case") and emergency cases.The remainder of the base fee is paid through the Chapter 13 plan. There are certain services, which if required, are not covered by the base fee and are explained in a consultation and in a fee agreement.  The bankruptcy attorney is required to disclosed the amount of the attorney fee in every case.  The Bankuptcy      Court reviews the fee to ensure that the fee is reasonable and fair under the circumstances of the case.

         
  3. What rights do my creditors have?

    All of your creditors must be notified if you file bankruptcy, including those that you wish to pay and those whose debts are nondischargeable. Creditors have a right to ask you questions in court at the § 341 Meeting, and if they desire, they can request a more extensive examination in a setting similar to a deposition in an Examination conducted pursuant to Rule 2004 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. Creditors may also object to the Debtor's discharge or request that a particular debt be excepted from discharge. This usually occurs only if a creditor believes there are grounds to oppose the debtor's discharge.

  4. What are creditors not allowed to do?

    Creditors are prohibited from contacting the debtor once the debtor has filed bankruptcy and the creditor is on notice that the case has been filed. After that time, the creditor may be subject to sanctions.

    Once you have retained this firm's services for a bankruptcy filing through the payment of an initial retainer, you should inform any creditor and collection agencies who calls to contact this firm.

  5. What must be disclosed on my bankruptcy petition and schedules?

    Everything. A debtor may not selectively choose which creditors to list or which property to list on his or her bankruptcy petition and schedules. The information that must be disclosed is necessary to allow the Trustee and the court to determine if an individual qualifies for bankruptcy relief and each question has a specific purpose. For that reason, in addition to the initial consultation, clients of this firm have a second detailed meeting to again analyze their financial situation before a case is filed.

  6. Which bills should I pay after I decide to file for bankruptcy?

    Only those bills that the attorney advises you to pay. Please ask about specific bills during a consultation.

  7. Which creditors must be listed?

    Any creditor to whom money or other liability is owed. This may include family members or friends.

  8. How do I compile a list of creditors?

    Review your personal records and order a credit report.

  9. If a debt has been charged off, is it still owed?

    Yes. If a debt has been charged off, it means that the creditor is no longer actively trying to collect the money. The debt must still be listed on the bankruptcy schedules.

  10. What debts are nondischargeable?

    Examples are debts relating to spousal support, child support, student loans, and certain taxes. Debts obtained by means of fraud are also not discharged. Certain recently incurred debts may also be excluded from discharge.

    Some debts are automatically nondischargeable while in other situations, the creditor must file an adversary proceeding to have the debt determined nondischargeable.

  11. Should I sign a Reaffirmation Agreement?

    Talk to your Attorney. When you sign a reaffirmation agreement, you are agreeing to repay that debt, even if it was included in your bankruptcy. If you sign a reaffirmation agreement and you do not pay under its terms, the creditor may pursue legal action to collect the debt. These need to be handled on a case by case basis.

  12. How long does a bankruptcy filing stay on my credit report?

    A Chapter 7 filing remains on a credit report for 10 years. A Chapter 13 filing remains on a credit report for 7 years. A bankruptcy filing will remain on a credit report even if the debtor does not receive a discharge.

In Chapter 13 cases, Levy Law Offices tries to keep the up front attorney fee as low as possible and considers the circumstances of the case in determining how much must be paid up front, and how much of the attorney fee is paid through the plan as a part of your monthly Chapter 13 plan payments.

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Levy Law Offices

140-B Wind Chime Court
Raleigh, NC 27615

Hours:
M-Th: 9a-6p, F: 9a-5p, Sat: 9a-1p

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