Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be able to keep my home? My car? My boat? My motorcycle?
The answer is "yes."
In most cases, people do not have much equity in their home, car, etc. Equity is the difference between
what you currently owe on something (i.e. $10,000 owed to local bank)
versus the current value of the asset (i.e. $12,000). Nebraska law provides exemptions to cover equity in your home and your vehicles and other personal property.
Click here to see the article I authored for The Nebraska Lawyer (Magazine for the Nebraska State Bar Association) for more details, or contact our office for a
Even if you have equity in assets not covered by the allowed exemptions, we have several options available to protect your assets so that you may keep them.
If you are not current on your payments for your home or vehicle, we have even more options to allow you to get current and avoid losing your home or car. If you are in foreclosure…but want to keep your home, call us!! We can help!!
What do I need to do in order to file bankruptcy?
You really only need to accomplish three things:
- Complete the bankruptcy questionnaire and meet with an attorney for review and advice;
- Complete the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course (available online 24/7, or via telephone by appointment); and,
- Pay the fee for filing bankruptcy.
How long does it take to go through bankruptcy?
Normally, approximately 90 days from filing the petition until final discharge. But in all reality, when we file your petition with the bankruptcy court (which can be within a few days of meeting with you) you obtain most of the benefits afforded by the bankruptcy code. Specifically,
creditors may not contact you in any way (mail, telephone, etc.), may not sue you, may not garnish your wages, may not initiate or complete foreclosure proceedings, and may not take any other action to collect on a debt. As soon as we file, you can begin to experience the freedom of being able to answer your phone and open your mailbox without the fear or harassing creditors.
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the process will be longer. In most cases, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will range from 36 to 60 months.
How much will it cost to file bankruptcy?
FIRST you need to understand that our goal is to help you get out of debt! We will do what is necessary to work with you to be able to afford the process. You must not let the cost of this process overwhelm you or keep you from making the right decision or delaying the decision to get out of debt. We not only do this to make a living, but because we sincerely believe this process is often a necessary step to getting back to a more stress free, enjoyable lifestyle.
The fee for a bankruptcy depends upon your individual circumstances, but the fee is traditionally $1,300 for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy ranges between $2,500 and $3,500 , however, only a portion of this fee is paid up front, with the remainder being paid through the bankruptcy plan. Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 Bankruptcies are quoted on an individual basis.
The filing fee is $299 for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and this fee
is included in the $1,300 fee. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is $274 and is not included in the fee, however, this does not affect the amount paid up front by the client.
What documents do I need to provide to my attorney?
We will need your previous year's tax return and your
wage receipts (pay stubs) for the past six months. You may also wish to bring your bills and invoices. This will assist us in identifying your creditors and how much is owed to each. Bringing us invoices and bills for each creditors tends to save both you and your attorney valuable time in the process.
Do I need to visit with the attorney in person for a consultation (I live out of town or cannot make an office appointment)?
While we strongly recommend this appointment, it is not necessary to get an evaluation of your situation. We want to accommodate you in every way necessary. We can schedule a telephone appointment or we can meet with you after hours and on weekends. We can also mail to you the necessary documents or you may even fill them out on your home computer if you have internet access. We can file bankruptcies statewide, and have filed bankruptcies in Nebraska cities from Lincoln to Scottsbluff! We have good relationships with trustees and will always ensure that you are well prepared.
What does it cost to discuss my options with an attorney?
We will meet with you in person or over the telephone at no cost to you!! During that consultation we will educate ourselves about your situation, advise you of all possible options and alternatives, and answer all of your questions. There is no obligation to retain our office or use our services. We take pride in the fact that most all potential clients who visit our office do retain us, but there is no obligation to do so. Finally, you may even learn that bankruptcy is not an option for you and that we can solve your problems without filing bankruptcy. Occasionally this is the case.
Why should we choose the Law Office of James C. Bocott, PC LLO?
Because we are good at what we do!
James Bocott attends at least one national bankruptcy seminar each year, and sometimes two, to stay on top of the latest trends, strategies and changes in the law. You will not find another law office in Western, Central, or perhaps even Eastern Nebraska that devotes the time and resources to staying on top of the bankruptcy practice. Bocott law office is a four year member of NACBA, the National Association for Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. James is also a
member of the Nebraska State Bar Association Section on Bankruptcy Practice.
We spend time with our clients. Few attorneys will spend an hour to two hours with a potential client to fully discuss the client's situation and options. We will. Experience tells us that the only way to provide competent and personal representation is to get to know you and your situation, educate you about your options and answer all of your questions.
We have valuable experience and one of the most experienced bankruptcy practices in Western and Central Nebraska. We file 70 to 100 bankruptcies per year.
Despite our high level of competence, expertise and personal attention, we are extremely competitive with our fees, if not one of the most reasonable firms in the State of Nebraska. Feel free to shop around…we know you will be pleased with our service, responsiveness and price!!
If you need more reasons, just refer to our testimonials. We do not just want to get you through a bankruptcy and earn a fee. Our goal at the Law Office of James C. Bocott, PC LLO is to free you from burdensome debt, get on stable ground financially, help you prosper financially, and form a
lifelong attorney/client relationship so whatever your legal needs –
you will be able to trust the Law Office of James C. Bocott.
Chapter 13 Trustee's Website