Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When you're facing overwhelming debt, bankruptcy may seem like the answer. But bankruptcy law can be very confusing. When you have questions, the attorneys at O'Connor First have answers. Our lawyers have helped individuals and businesses across Upstate New York resolve their most difficult debt challenges, and now we want to help you.

These are just some of the answers to the bankruptcy FAQs we hear most often. If you have more specific questions about your unique situation, don't hesitate to reach out to our Albany office to schedule a consultation. Call 518-465-0400 or send us an email to get started.

What's the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy, and discharges most of your debts entirely. You may, however, have to forfeit many of your assets when you declare this form of bankruptcy. Chapter 13, on the other hand, allows you to keep all your hard-earned assets, and reorganizes your debt into a more manageable payment plan, so you can catch up on payments and get back on your feet. Learn more about which may be best for you.

Can I keep my house and car when I declare bankruptcy?

You certainly can if you declare Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And you likely can if you declare Chapter 7. By working with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, you can learn more about how you can keep your home and your vehicle after declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Will bankruptcy discharge all my debts?

Not necessarily. Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges many common debts entirely - including credit card debts and medical debts. But some forms of debt are non-dischargeable under Chapter 7. This includes tax debt and student loan debt, among others.

Will bankruptcy ruin my credit?

Bankruptcy will lower your credit score, but potentially not as much as if you continue to miss payments and fall behind on your debt. A bankruptcy usually results in a drop in your score, depending on a variety of factors. It is also erased from your credit report entirely after seven to ten years.

If you do not declare bankruptcy and continue to miss payments, your score could suffer even more. A missed payment also lasts on your credit report for seven years, but this resets with every payment you miss. Declaring bankruptcy may be better for your credit than not, depending on your unique financial situation.

How do I stop creditors from calling me at all hours of the day?

When you declare bankruptcy, it puts an automatic stay on all your accounts and prevents creditors from harassing you for collection. If you continue to receive harassing communications from creditors, you can even take legal action against them, as they are violating the law. Reach out to our firm to learn more.

We are a federally designated debt relief agency proudly helping people file debt reorganization plans and bankruptcy for over 35 years.