Six Common Bankruptcy Myths

Jeena Jeehyun Cho

Written by

Bankruptcy Attorney

Contributor Level 9

Posted about 5 years ago. 5 helpful votes

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1

My employer will find out and fire me, or my potential future employer will not hire me because I filed for bankruptcy.

Discrimination solely because you filed for bankruptcy is prohibited under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

2

I have to be broke or behind on my bills to file bankruptcy.

No. Do not wait until you've drained out your savings, or 401(K), or borrowed more money from relatives and friends. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney right away if you do not see a way out of your current financial situation.

3

My credit is destroyed forever.

Bankruptcy is reported on your credit report for 10 years. This does not mean you cannot get credit for 10 years. Chances are you already have bad credit. People do rebuild their credit after bankruptcy and go on to buy homes and/or cars. Your credit score may actually increase after bankruptcy, especially since bankruptcy will have a positive effect on your debt-to-income ratio.

4

You can't go bankrupt anymore since the new law.

The 2005 Reform Act made it more difficult to file for bankruptcy, but it is still possible. Consult with a consumer bankruptcy to determine if you qualify.

5

I hear "you can't go bankruptcy on credit cards any more".

Not true. Credit cards are unsecured debts and will generally be discharged by bankruptcy. There are certain exceptions and it is strongly advised that you stop using your credit cards if you plan on filing for bankruptcy to avoid any claims of fraud.

6

There's a secret way to make your creditors accept a fraction of the debt.

It is true that oftentimes credit card companies will offer to settle on stale debts. However, creditors may (and often do) sue you. Unless you have a valid defense for the lawsuit, you will most likely lose the case. They can get a judgment against you and garnish your wages or put a lien on your property. Assuming they do settle, what the creditors and debt settlement companies don't tell you is this: the amount forgiven will be considered income to you and you will be taxed on the amount forgiven. It's better to owe your credit card money than the IRS because you can discharge the credit card debt in bankruptcy much more easily!

Additional Resources

JC Law Group

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