There are actually several types of bankruptcies, each with their pluses and minuses. Individual consumers are primarily eligible to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and occasionally for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There is also another option called Chapter 12 bankruptcy, but it is rare in Los Angeles. It’s appropriate for farmers and fishermen.
Part of my job is determining whether a person qualifies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The first thing you need to do is come to my office for a meeting. We offer free in-person consultation, and we also offer free phone consultations. Deciding which type of bankruptcy is right for you is really determined on a case-by-case basis.
For many people, a major concern when filing for bankruptcy is wondering whether friends, family or co-workers will find out. Most people are concerned about that, but the situation is a bit complicated.
Bankruptcy is a matter of public record, which means it goes onto your credit report. It can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. Now, your friends will not be checking your credit report. So, unless you tell your friends you’ve filed for bankruptcy, they almost certainly will not know about it.
Once you file for bankruptcy you have an automatic stay. The automatic stay stops all legal action against you and your property. At that point, what I tell all my clients to do is — Answer the phone.
Creditors often contact people without knowing they are in bankruptcy. It’s best to take action to let them know the situation — that is actually the best way to end the calls.