Kathleen Michon is an estate planning lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been affiliated with Nolo in various capacities for more than fifteen years, including five years as Nolo’s in-house bankruptcy, foreclosure, and debt editor. Kathleen’s previous legal experience also includes directing Public Counsel's Consumer Rights Project and representing inmates on death row. Kathleen received a B.A. from Yale University and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.
Articles By Kathleen Michon
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, will you be able to keep your savings, checking, or other bank accounts? The answer depends on what you mean by "keeping."
When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many debtors are able to keep most or all of their personal property. What you are allowed to keep depends on what property is deemed "exempt" by your state or the federal bankruptcy exemptions.
Getting student loans discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is very difficult. For the most part, you must show that repayment would cause you "undue hardship."
Your spouse’s personal liability for your business debts could also affect your decision about filing for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. For instance, if your spouse is liable for your business debts and has assets or income to lose, it might make sense for both of you to file for personal bankruptcy.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, exemptions determine what property you get to keep. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, exemptions help determine how much you must pay to certain creditors through your Chapter 13 repayment plan. All states have a set of exemptions that you may use. Some states allow to use a list of federal bankruptcy exemptions instead.
Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it's important to determine which of your unsecured debts will be classified as priority debts and which will be assigned to the nonpriority category.
Common ways an owner of a corporation or an LLC might become personally liable for the business’s debts. If you are personally liable for some or all of your business debts, you will have to file a personal bankruptcy, rather than a business bankruptcy, to rid yourself of these debts.
In bankruptcy, a preference payment occurs when you repay a creditor within a certain period of time before you file for bankruptcy. If you make a preference payment (also called a preferential transfer), your bankruptcy trustee may be able to get the money back from the person or business you paid – called “avoiding” the transfer.
A major concern for most homeowners who are contemplating bankruptcy is how bankruptcy will affect their mortgage. The good news is that your mortgage company cannot raise your interest rate or change other terms of your loan to punish you for filing bankruptcy. But there are several other things you should know about how fi
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, can you keep a credit card so you can use it afterward? While it generally is not a good idea to keep a credit card in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in most cases you can do it.