How soon I stop the creditors stop calling?

As soon as a creditor or bill collector becomes aware of a filing for bankruptcy protection, it must immediately stop all collection efforts. The court mails a notice to all the creditors listed in your bankruptcy schedules. This usually takes one to two weeks. Creditors will also stop calling if you tell them that you filed the bankruptcy petition. Give them the case number for your case. In some cases, you or your attorney should contact the creditor immediately upon filing the bankruptcy petition, especially if a law suit is pending. If a creditor continues to try to collect, the court can take action against them.

Will bill collectors stop calling?

Yes. The court issues an order (called an "automatic stay") which stops bill collectors from taking any action to collect debts. Bankruptcy will temporarily stop virtually all actions that a creditor can take against you. Your creditors must work through the bankruptcy court process. So debt collection lawsuits, utility shutoffs, foreclosures and repossessions will be stopped (sometimes only temporarily).

Can I stop foreclosure on my home or other actions by creditors?

Yes, it will stop the sale date if it is pending, but it may be temporary. When you file your petition an automatic stay goes into effect stopping all collections efforts. The automatic stay will prevent your creditors from taking further collection actions until your creditors file a motion to lift the automatic stay. If the court grants their motion they may begins efforts to collect again.

Can my employer fire me for filing bankruptcy?

No. The Bankruptcy Code prohibits discrimination against you because you filed a bankruptcy petition.

Will I have to go to court?

You will have to attend a hearing with a bankruptcy trustee. This hearing is called the Meeting of Creditors. The trustee is not a judge, but a person appointed by the United States Trustee to oversee bankruptcy cases. The trustee may ask you questions (under oath) about your assets, debts and other matters. Creditors may also be present to ask you questions. Usually creditors do not attend these meetings if it is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you normally do not need to return to court.

Do I have to list all of my assets?

YES. If you hide assets from the court you can be charged with a felony and fined up to $5,000, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.

Must I turn over property in a bankruptcy?

There are exemptions. If you have property that is not covered by the exemptions, you will probably have to turn it over to the Trustee, or file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and pay for it under the plan. Some debts may be "secured" - usually a house or car or mobile home. A secured debt is a debt where you have promised property as collateral. You may give the property back or reaffirm the debt to keep the property and keep making the payments.