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Dispelling Bankruptcy Myths

Oregon Fresh Start Jan. 15, 2022

Gavel on Bankruptcy Law BooksMany people have concerns about filing for bankruptcy when seeking debt relief. The decision to file for bankruptcy must indeed be made with careful consideration. However, many of those concerns are based on myths and misconceptions surrounding bankruptcy law. Many creditors promote some of the myths and misconceptions in an attempt to discourage debtors from seeking bankruptcy and discharging debts.

Many debtors are blinded by the bankruptcy myths and do not realize that filing for bankruptcy can be a fresh start. If you want to wipe out certain obligations and get a fresh financial start, I am here to help. As the founding attorney at Oregon Fresh Start, I assist clients with filing for bankruptcy throughout Bend & Hermiston, Oregon. I also serve clients in Portland and Eugene.

7 Common Bankruptcy Myths Dispelled

If you are crushed by debt and facing financial struggles, you must consider bankruptcy as a solution. However, since there are so many myths surrounding the bankruptcy process, you are probably concerned about whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the right option for you. Below, I am going to dispel some of the most common (and harmful) myths surrounding bankruptcy law:

  • Myth # 1: “Filing for bankruptcy will ruin my credit forever.” In reality, seeking debt relief through bankruptcy can actually improve your credit over time because it eliminates your debts. While your credit score will typically take a hit immediately after filing for bankruptcy, you can rebuild your credit through hard work and discipline.

  • Myth # 2: “I will lose all of my possessions.” A bankruptcy filing will not cause you to lose all of your possessions and assets despite what you might have heard. Almost all assets and possessions are exempt from bankruptcy. Debtors can keep any exempt property. Common examples of exempt property include but are not limited to household appliances, furniture, clothing, household goods, jewelry, and automobiles, up to a certain limit.

  • Myth # 3: “I cannot file separately if I am married.” If you are married, there is no requirement for you to file jointly with your spouse. Although filing jointly has many benefits, I have handled many cases where only one spouse wants to file for bankruptcy. If you are not sure whether or not you should file for bankruptcy separately or jointly, consider speaking with an attorney to assess your situation.

  • Myth # 4: “It is difficult to qualify for bankruptcy.” In reality, it is quite the opposite. While you need to meet certain requirements to file for bankruptcy, I will use my skills and 42 years of experience with bankruptcy law to help you navigate the process and assist you every step of the way.

  • Myth # 5: “You can only file once.” Not true. There are no limits on the number of times you can file for bankruptcy in a lifetime. In fact, it is not uncommon for debtors to find themselves needing to file for bankruptcy again. You can file for bankruptcy as many times as you need as long as the required amount of time has passed between the filings. For example, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a second time if the prior filing was at least eight years ago. If it has been less than 8 years, we can discuss filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy. Explore your options by speaking with me if you are struggling with debt (again) after filing for bankruptcy.

  • Myth # 6: “Filing for bankruptcy will not stop creditor harassment.” Creditors are legally required to stop collection actions and harassing debtors. But it is not uncommon for creditors to ignore the law and continue bothering debtors with threatening phone calls and letters even after filing for bankruptcy. If this happens, you should contact me to help you sue the creditor for violating the law.

  • Myth # 7: “I will not be able to buy a property after a bankruptcy.” Filing for bankruptcy or getting your debts discharged does not prohibit you from buying or owning property. Thus, you can purchase and possess any property you can afford. However, if you want to get a mortgage, you might have to wait a certain amount of time - usually 2 years. This is known as the waiting period.

Get the Guidance You Need From an Experienced Attorney

As an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Bend & Hermiston, Oregon, I have helped thousands of hard-working people who were drowning in debt and thought there was no end to financial struggles. Despite all the myths surrounding the bankruptcy process, filing for bankruptcy is often the only solution to your financial problems.

At Oregon Fresh Start, I am dedicated to helping people resolve problems with debt and get lives back on track. With decades of experience and more than 11,000 bankruptcy cases filed in Oregon, I have the necessary expertise and resources to help you get relief from overwhelming debt. I am also prepared to help you understand what is fact and what is fiction to ensure that you fully understand your rights and options. Feel free to call me to get a free financial review. I proudly serve clients in Bend & Hermiston, Portland, and Eugene, Oregon.