What are the common myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses who are unable to pay their debts to get relief from some or all of their obligations. Bankruptcy can help people who are facing financial hardship to get a fresh start and regain control of their finances. However, bankruptcy is not a simple or easy solution, and it comes with serious consequences and limitations. There are also many myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy that can prevent people from making informed decisions about their options. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: Bankruptcy will ruin your credit forever.

Many people fear that filing for bankruptcy will destroy their credit score and prevent them from ever getting credit again. While it is true that bankruptcy will have a negative impact on your credit report for up to 10 years, it does not mean that you will never be able to rebuild your credit or qualify for loans or credit cards in the future. In fact, many people who file for bankruptcy are able to improve their credit score within a few years by making timely payments, using secured credit cards, and avoiding new debt. Bankruptcy can also help you eliminate or reduce your debt burden, which can improve your debt-to-income ratio and make you more attractive to lenders.

Myth #2: Bankruptcy will wipe out all your debts.

Another common misconception about bankruptcy is that it will erase all your debts and leave you debt-free. While bankruptcy can discharge many types of unsecured debts, such as credit card bills, medical bills, personal loans, and utility bills, there are some debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. These include:

  • Child support and alimony
  • Student loans (unless you can prove undue hardship)
  • Tax debts (unless they meet specific criteria)
  • Criminal fines and restitution
  • Debts incurred by fraud or malicious acts

Additionally, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is a repayment plan that lasts for three to five years, you will still have to pay back some or all of your debts according to a court-approved plan. You will only receive a discharge after you complete your plan payments.

Myth #3: Bankruptcy is only for people who are irresponsible with money.

Many assume that bankruptcy is a sign of financial irresponsibility or failure and that only people who overspend or mismanage their money must file for bankruptcy. However, this is not true. Bankruptcy can happen to anyone who faces unexpected life events that cause financial hardship, such as:

  • Job loss or reduced income
  • Divorce or separation
  • Medical emergencies or illnesses
  • Natural disasters or accidents
  • Lawsuits or judgments

Bankruptcy is not a moral judgment or a personal flaw. It is a legal tool that can help people who are struggling with debt to get relief and protection from their creditors.

Myth #4: Bankruptcy is easy and cheap.

Some people may think that filing for bankruptcy is a quick and cheap way to get out of debt. However, this is not the case. Bankruptcy is a complex and costly process that involves many steps and requirements, such as:

  • Filing fees and court costs
  • Credit counselling and debtor education courses
  • Means test and eligibility criteria
  • Paperwork and documentation
  • Trustee appointments and creditor meetings
  • Asset liquidation and exemption laws
  • Repayment plans and confirmation hearings

Moreover, filing for bankruptcy can have long-term consequences on your financial situation, such as:

  • Losing some or all of your property
  • Having difficulty obtaining new credit or loans
  • Paying higher interest rates or fees
  • Facing tax implications or liabilities
  • Having limited access to certain jobs or benefits

Therefore, before you decide to file for bankruptcy, you should consult with a qualified Dallas Bankruptcy Attorney who can advise you on the pros and cons of bankruptcy, the different types of bankruptcy available, and the best course of action for your specific circumstances.

Published On: June 22, 2023