Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorneys Provide Answers to Your Bankruptcy Questions
This page has answers to frequently asked Reno Nevada bankruptcy questions. If you want to discuss your options, call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010. Someone is there to answer 24 hours a day. With one of our dedicated attorneys on your side, bankruptcy is still a viable option.
Table of Contents
- What type of bankruptcy can I file?
- What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
- What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
- What is included in my bankruptcy?
- Is Bankruptcy really a fresh start?
- What happens when I file bankruptcy?
- What property can I keep?
- What bills can I still pay?
- What documents do I need?
- Who can file bankruptcy?
- Can I file bankruptcy without my spouse?
- Why do I need an attorney?
- How do I pay an attorney if I do not have any money?
- What is a secured creditor?
- What is an usecured creditor?
- How does bankruptcy affect my credit report?
- Do I have to take classes?
- What is a discharge from bankruptcy?
- What is a “341 Meeting of the Creditors”?
- What do I do Now?
Reno Nevada Bankruptcy – Overview
In 2005 the Federal bankruptcy code was changed. The changes created a myth that “bankruptcy is dead”. However, the system is not impossible, just more complex. For example, you must take a credit counseling class prior to filing bankruptcy. You must also attend a financial management class afterward. The changes also increased the amount of documents to deal with.
The amount of income you earn in the six months prior to filing bankruptcy determines what type of case to file. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is more limited than before. However, you may still file a Chapter 13 if you do not meet the Chapter 7 requirements.
Bankruptcy is not dead, it is just more complex. The Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorneys at Justice Law Center stand ready to help you through every step.
Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010.
What type of bankruptcy can I file?
The type of bankruptcy you may file is based on your income and expenses and how they compare to the state average. It also depends on the size of your household and specific expenses. At the initial consultation with a Reno Nevada bankruptcy attorney, we will discuss your options.
In some cases, you will need to provide financial info before the attorney can determine the type of bankruptcy to file.
Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010.
Liquidation in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to you and your business. It requires the sale or liquidation of non-exempt property. The proceeds are paid on a pro rata basis to creditors.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally eliminates all unsecured debt, and unsecured creditors generally receive no payment. Secured creditors continue to be paid in full if you wish to keep the secured property (for example, a vehicle or a house). If not, you may return the property. The return of the property is considered full and final payment no matter how much is owed and how much the property is worth. Once returned, the secured creditor may take no further action for collection.
Want to discuss your options further? Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – Reorganization
Chapter 13 bankruptcy restructures debts. In this type of bankruptcy, you file a Plan to repay some or all debts over time (usually 60 months). The amount paid to creditors is determined by your income and expenses. When you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you make one set monthly payment to the Chapter 13 trustee. The trustee will distribute the payment to creditors. Once all the payments are made, you will be granted a discharge.
If you have more questions regarding Chapter 13, or any other aspect of bankruptcy, call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010.
What is included in my bankruptcy?
When filing bankruptcy, you must list all creditors and assets. When individuals do not, they are guilty of a federal crime. Make sure to tell the attorney everything so bankruptcy goes smoothly. If individuals withhold information, they will jeopardize their case and may lose property.
With good planning, you can keep your property and reorganize your financial affairs.
A Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney would be happy to discuss your situation. Call for a free consultation – (775) 333-1010.
A Way to a Fresh Start
Bankruptcy is a path to a fresh start. It is a federally governed path to obtain a clean slate. People file bankruptcy because they can no longer pay their debts. This happens after losing a job, being ill, or having a business fail. Sometimes people must file for bankruptcy when the economy changes and they can no longer pay their mortgages or sell their property. The U.S. Congress has recognized there needs to be a way to give folks in this position a “fresh start”. No one plans to file bankruptcy, but the option is available when necessary. There is no shame in using the laws designed to assist you in these unfortunate circumstances.
Are you in need of a fresh start? Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010 to discuss your options.
What happens when I file for bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy relief lets you breathe again. Foreclosure, lawsuits, calls from creditors, garnishments and other collection activity will end. Upon filing bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court imposes what is called an “automatic stay”. This prohibits creditors from taking further action against you without permission from the bankruptcy court. Creditors that violate the stay may be sanctioned.
At the time of filing bankruptcy, you will be appointed a “trustee”. The trustee administers the “bankruptcy estate”, which is all the property owned at the time of filing. The trustee requires documentation of your finances to verify statements regarding your financial affairs.
Continue the discussion with a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010.
What property can I keep?
“Exemptions” are the real and personal property you may keep in either type of bankruptcy. This is governed by Nevada state law. If you have not lived in Nevada for two years prior to filing for bankruptcy, the amounts and exemptions may be governed by another state. A Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney can advise you as to what exemptions are available in your case.
Generally for all states, homes, automobile, furnishings, clothing and tools of the trade up to a certain amount may be kept. In Nevada, you may exempt your home from bankruptcy if you have less than $550,000 equity in the property. This is as long as you remain current on your payments. In addition, you may keep $500,000 to $1,000,000 in traditional and Roth IRAs and $12,000 in home furnishings.
You may also exempt one vehicle if you have less than $15,000 in equity on it after paying any creditors. For married couples, each spouse is entitled to this same protection for each vehicle. This does not mean that individuals may not keep an additional vehicle, but they may have to compensate the bankruptcy trustee for keeping it.
Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation at (775) 333-1010.
What bills can I still pay?
After deciding to file bankruptcy, you may not purposely incur more debt. For example, you must not continue to use credit cards or take out new loans. You may also not treat any creditors preferentially. For example, you can not pay family members back for loans instead of paying credit card debt. All unsecured creditors must be treated equally. Continuing to pay for living expenses and insurance is always appropriate.
Have more questions? Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation at (775) 333-1010.
What documents do I need?
After your initial consultation with a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney, you will receive a comprehensive list of the documents needed to file your bankruptcy case. However, listed below are the main items needed to determine eligibility to file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy case:
- Tax returns for the past four years;
- Six months of pay stubs for you and your spouse
- Documentation of any additional income received from any source during the last 6 months.
Who can file bankruptcy?
You can file bankruptcy in Nevada if you have lived in the state for at least 91 days. If you have have not lived in Nevada for the two years prior to filing bankruptcy, you will need to use the exemptions for certain property from the state where you previously lived. Individuals who have lived in Nevada for two years prior may use exemptions allowed under Nevada state law.
For help with the process, call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010.
Can I file bankruptcy without my spouse?
In some cases, you may file bankruptcy without your spouse. However, this is generally unwise and will not fully resolve a couple’s financial issues. Nevada is a community property state, meaning either spouse can sign a contract while married. Both spouses are required to pay the debt regardless of who signed. If a spouse has operated a business as a sole proprietor (not a corporation or LLC), it is considered the business of both spouses. It does not matter if the other spouse had anything to do with it or not. If one spouse files for bankruptcy, creditors may still proceed against the non-filing spouse for collection of debt. In addition, the spouse filing for bankruptcy will have to declare all income (including that of the non-filing spouse) and might end up in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case when they might qualify for Chapter 7 if filing together.
If you have questions regarding this or any other bankruptcy topic, call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney at (775) 333-1010.
Why do I need an attorney?
Bankruptcy is complicated. Many document preparation services provide the documents needed, charging a fee to help fill out the forms. However, document preparers are not attorneys. They cannot provide any legal advice. Even telling whether or not to file a certain chapter bankruptcy is giving legal advice.
If you choose to represent yourself and/or use a document preparer, you are responsible for acting as an attorney. You must make sure all case filings are done right and on time. You will not be excused for mistakes because you did not “know”. The law requires those acting on their own behalf to know the law. If they do not, there is no “do-over”.
Many have their self-filed cases dismissed because they were not filed properly. Then they must hire an attorney to fix the problem. Ultimately, they end up paying more in fees and costs than if an attorney had been hired in the first place. In addition, because of a bankruptcy dismissal you may lose property that could have been saved. You also may not be able to file another bankruptcy case.
How do I pay an attorney if I do not have any money?
During your free initial consultation with a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney, we will determine if bankruptcy is right for you. Sometimes filing bankruptcy is not the answer. Sometimes the client needs to wait a period of time before filing bankruptcy. During that time, we will create a plan for you to pay your fees.
Our firm charges one comprehensive flat fee, determined by the complexity of your case. This includes the required credit counseling and financial management courses. It also includes the cost of obtaining your credit report and the fees charged by the bankruptcy court. In short, you pay one amount and do not have to worry about hidden charges. We do require the fee be paid in full prior to filing your case, as do all bankruptcy attorneys. We will allow you to make payments if that is convenient for you so long as the entire fee is paid prior to filing your case.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, there are additional attorney fees, but they are paid as part of the Chapter 13 Plan. Again, you only pay one fee. This includes the fees for classes, your credit report and the bankruptcy court’s filing fee.
Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney for a free initial consultation at (775) 333-1010.
What is a secured creditor?
A creditor is a “secured creditor” if you have a written voluntary lien that gives the creditor an interest in your property. For example, a finance company holding the title to a vehicle or a bank holding a Deed of Trust/Mortgage against a house would be a secured creditor. If you choose not to keep the property, then the secured creditor is given the property and the debt is considered paid in full.
For example, if your house has a mortgage on it and you do not wish to keep it, the property is returned to the mortgage holder. If the mortgage holder is not able to sell the property for the amount owed, then the mortgage holder may not sue for any remaining amount.
If you wish to keep secured property, you must continue to make payments on the debt until it is paid in full regardless of the bankruptcy. A secured creditor may request that the automatic stay be lifted/terminated so that the secured creditor may proceed with the sale of property (for example, to foreclose on a deed of trust/mortgage or repossess a vehicle). This can happen if you stop making payments on the debt.
Contact a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation, and we will discuss the best path forward. (775) 333-1010
What is an unsecured creditor?
Unsecured creditors have no security interest in your property. The most common type are credit card companies. Medical bills are also typically unsecured debt.
Let’s talk about your specific situation today. Call a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation – (775) 333-1010.
How does bankruptcy affect my credit report?
Bankruptcy will be on your credit report for 10 years after the discharge. However, if you need bankruptcy, chances are your credit is not good anyway. Bankruptcy provides a path to a clean slate and to re-establish credit. All creditors are aware of the bankruptcy code. Many extend credit to individuals that have filed bankruptcy. They know a person discharged from bankruptcy may not file a Chapter 7 case for 8 years and may only file a Chapter 13 (which would allow for the creditor to be potentially re-paid some amount) in certain other circumstances. Individuals on the other side of bankruptcy have less debt than those struggling to pay bills under high interest rates, late fees and over-limit fees.
What other questions do you have? Give a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney a call today at (775) 333-1010.
Do I have to take classes?
In order to file for bankruptcy and complete your case, there are two required classes. Both may be taken on the Internet or by phone. Each take about an hour. We will sign you up for both classes and provide the information needed to complete them.
The first is called “Credit Counseling”. It must be taken within 180 days (6 months) of filing your bankruptcy case. If you do not take the course within the time frame, your case will be dismissed.
The second class is called “Debt Management” or “Financial Management”. It can be taken any time after filing bankruptcy, but must be taken within 45 days after your 341 Meeting of Creditors. We recommend you complete this class prior to your Meeting of the Creditors so that there is no possibility of missing the deadline and having your case dismissed.
Go over your situation today with a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney during a free consultation. Call (775) 333-1010.
What is a discharge from bankruptcy?
A “discharge” from bankruptcy is a court order stating the debtor has met all of the requirements of the bankruptcy. All the debts subject to the bankruptcy are considered eliminated. Any debt that is discharged no longer need be paid and the creditor may never take any action for collection of a discharged debt.
In all bankruptcies some debt cannot be discharged, and you will continue to have to pay it. These debts include child support, alimony, criminal restitution and fines, student loans (depending on the type) and most taxes (sometimes can be discharged, but is rare). In addition, if a creditor believes the individual has committed fraud by transferring property prior to filing bankruptcy or hiding assets, the creditor may ask the bankruptcy court to make the creditor’s debt non-dischargeable. This means the individual must pay that debt no matter the outcome of the bankruptcy.
Our Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorneys are here to answer your bankruptcy questions and guide your through the process. Feel free to call (775) 333-1010 for a free consultation.
What is a “341 Meeting of the Creditors”?
The 341 Meeting of Creditors is a meeting between you (your spouse) and your trustee. Typically, no creditors attend. The trustee is the representative of the court assigned to your case. The trustee will have gone over your case prior and will have a list of questions for you to answer. These questions are not meant to scare or intimidate you. They are to verify you have reviewed all your schedules and filled them out completely and you understand what you are filing. Also, the trustee will verify your social security number and photo ID. Please bring your social security card. A certified statement from the local Social Security Administration is acceptable. Meetings of the Creditors generally last about 5 to 10 minutes. However, be prepared to be at the court for at least an hour. So long as you (and your spouse) have your social security card (or certified SSA statement) and photo ID, and you have provided the trustee with the requested documents, the Meeting of the Creditor should run smoothly.
Here are some sample questions similar to what is asked at the 341 Meeting of Creditors:
- Please state your name, address, and daytime telephone number for the record?
- Did you assist your attorney’s office in preparing your bankruptcy petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs and plan (if a chapter 13)?
- Did you have an opportunity to review those materials and make yourself personally familiar with them?
- Did you sign those materials and are the signatures your own?
- Was the information contained in those materials true and accurate to the best of your knowledge?
- Are there any errors or omissions that we should bring to the trustee’s attention?
- Are all of your assets and debts listed on the bankruptcy materials?
- Have you lived in Nevada for the better part of the two years prior to the filing of your bankruptcy petition?
- Other than this case, have you ever filed for bankruptcy before? When?
- To the best of your knowledge, are you a beneficiary under anybody’s will, trust, or other estate-planning device?
- Have you ever disclaimed an inheritance or other interest under anybody’s will, trust, or other estate-planning device?
- Do you own your home or do you rent?
For Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, you may also be asked:
- Are you current on your mortgage?
- Are you current on any other debts that are being paid outside of the plan?
- Are you current on your state and federal income-tax return filings?
- Are you self-employed or do you work for others?
- Have you made your first plan payment?
Where to Go for Your Meeting of the Creditors
In Reno Nevada, the 341 Meeting of the Creditors is held at the Bankruptcy Court – Clifton Young Federal Building located at 300 Booth St., Room 2110, Reno Nevada, Nevada 89509. An attorney will meet you at the Meeting room at the time of your Meeting.
What do I do now?
- Set a time to meet with a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney for your free consultation.
- Provide all of the documents needed to file your case. We will give you a list of needed documents. Once we have received them all, we can prepare your case.
- Once we have all documents, we will provide you with the info needed to complete the required credit counseling class.
- We will prepare documents called “Schedules” that detail your assets and debts. You will then meet with a Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney to review your case and make sure all of the Schedules are accurate.
- Once your case is filed with the bankruptcy court, you will be appointed a trustee and given a date for a “Creditor’s Meeting”. This meeting will be about 45 days after filing your bankruptcy. You must attend the meeting. It is scheduled for approximately an hour, but usually only takes 10 minutes depending on how many other meetings are scheduled at the same time. We will let you know where and when you will need to appear. An attorney will attend the meeting with you. You will need to show your government-issued photo ID (driver’s license or passport is fine) and your social security card (if you do not have one, you can provide an original pay stub). The trustee will ask you questions about your finances.
- After filing your bankruptcy, you will need to complete a debt management course.
- If you have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and there are no assets for the trustee to sell to pay your creditors, you will obtain a discharge from the bankruptcy court within 6 months.
- If you have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to make your Plan payments from the date you file until you have completed your Plan (typically 60 months).
- If you have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, another hearing will be set to confirm/approve your Plan. You need not attend this hearing. Once the Chapter 13 Plan is confirmed/approved, you will continue to make your Plan payments for its duration. After you have made all of your payments, you will be granted a discharge by the court.
We hope these answers have helped shed light on bankruptcy. Our Reno Nevada Bankruptcy Attorneys are here to help you. Call (775) 333-1010 for a free consultation.