Knoxville Bankruptcy FAQ

1) How often can you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?knoxville bankruptcy faq

Once every 8 years, but you can file a Chapter 13 more often.


2) How much does a Bankruptcy Cost?

At Bond, Botes & Lawson, PC we do not charge the same flat fee for every bankruptcy case.  We offer a free consultation where we discuss your situation and will quote you attorney fees to file your bankruptcy case.  Each person’s financial situation is different and we are not a one size fits all firm.  We will give you the individual attention you deserve at a fair price.


3) Can I keep my home if I file bankruptcy?

Yes.  If you are behind on your mortgage payments, you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy to catch up the payments and keep your home.  If you are not behind on your mortgage and you do not have a lot of equity, you can keep your home in a Chapter 7.


4) Can I get rid of a debt even if the creditor has already received a judgment in court against me?

Even if a creditor receives a judgment against you in court, you can still list the creditor in a bankruptcy and discharge the debt.


5) Can I keep my vehicle if I file a bankruptcy?

If you are behind on your vehicle payments, you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy to catch up the payments and keep your vehicle.  If you are not behind on your vehicle and you do not have a lot of equity, you can keep your home in a Chapter 7.


6) If my vehicle has been repossessed, can I get my vehicle back?

In Tennessee, if you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy before the repossessed car is sold by the creditor, Bond, Botes & Lawson, PC can get the vehicle returned.  You have about 10 days from the time the vehicle was repossessed to file the bankruptcy to stop the sale.  Please call immediately and tell my receptionist that your car was repossessed and I will work to get you an appointment as soon as possible.


7) Can bankruptcy stop a creditor from garnishing my wages?

Yes, both chapter 7 and 13 will stop a garnishment by a creditor as soon as the bankruptcy is filed.  Further, if your creditor has taken, involuntarily, through a garnishment more than $600 in the last 90 days, Bond, Botes & Lawson, PC may be able to get this returned from the creditor to you.


8 ) Can I discharge my student loans?

The short answer is probably not.  The Courts have ruled that only under the rarest of circumstances can student loans be discharged.  As part of our free consultation, we will evaluate your situation to determine if your student loans could be discharged. If your student loans can not be discharged then you can reorganize the debt with a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.


9) Will bankruptcy stop a foreclosure of my home?

Bond, Botes & Lawson can stop a foreclosure by filing a bankruptcy. Chapter 13 allows you to catch up payments on your home over time in order to save your home.


10) Can I file bankruptcy while I am modifying my home loan?

Yes, the Home Affordability Mortgage Program (HAMP) requires your mortgage company to still consider your modification application even if you have filed a bankruptcy or are in the process of filing a bankruptcy. However, you should be aware that a pending modification application with your mortgage creditor will NOT stop a foreclosure.


11) Can I go to jail for not paying my creditors?

The only debt you can go to jail for not paying is child support, alimony,  taxes or bad check to stores (not payday check advance companies).  You will not go to jail if you do not pay credit cards, medical bill, personal loans, home loans or vehicle loans.

In my years of representing clients, I have heard horror stories of creditors threatening to take children away, send people to jail, threaten to tell employers and family about the debt.  These are lies and are ugly scare tactics used by unethical collection agencies.  Further, they are all violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and are illegal.  If these are occurring, please call our office to discuss your legal rights so we can help you.


12) A creditor has told me that I cannot file bankruptcy on their debt. Is this true?

This is not true. You cannot sign away your federal right to file for bankruptcy protection, nor can you agree you will not file a bankruptcy on a debt at the time you are getting the debt.


13) Will I lose my household goods & furniture I pledged as collateral on a loan if I file bankruptcy?

When a bankruptcy is filed, the lien on necessary household goods and furniture that were pledged or listed can be avoided under the Bankruptcy Code.  This means you can keep your items of furniture and household goods and still discharge the debt.


14) How much debt do you have to owe to file bankruptcy?

There is no magic amount of debt.  The definition of bankruptcy is when you cannot afford to pay your monthly debt obligations if you are paying your living expenses.  If you are using credit cards or incurring debt while trying to pay debt, you might be bankrupt.   People with excellent credit on their credit report can still be bankrupt if they cannot afford to pay their monthly obligations without incurring new debt.