Big Easy Law Group, LLC                                3939 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Suite 215                        Metairie, Louisiana 70002 
Phone: (504) 433-2867                                                       Fax:  866-596-2555                                                          office@bigeasybk.com

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much will it cost to file?
The filing costs for bankruptcies are set by law at $335 for a Chapter 7, and $310 for a Chapter 13. These costs do not include attorney's fees or credit counseling costs. 

2. What do I have to do before I can file?
You will have to take a credit counseling course before you file and again before your discharge is granted. There are also restrictions on filing depending on whether or not you have previously filed for bankruptcy.  Before you try to pursue a bankruptcy, you should consult with me to ensure you meet all guidelines and that your case is properly filed. 

3.  Will I get to keep my house and car?
In most cases, yes.  This all depends on the amount of equity you have in your house and car and the exemptions available to you by law.  To determine which exemptions apply and whether or not you qualify, you should come in for a free consultation. 

4. Will I have to go to court?
Thankfully, bankruptcy proceedings do not require your appearance in court... minus a few exceptions.  In most cases, you may only have to attend the creditor meeting, which is a short meeting with a trustee and your creditors, should they choose to attend. In a Chapter 13 proceeding, you may also have to attend a confirmation hearing at the conclusion of your case.  Your attorney will be able to let you know when you need to make an appearance, and where to go, when necessary.  

5. How long will it take before my debt is gone?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes about 120 days before all debts are discharged.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debts are repaid over the course of the repayment plan, which will be for up to 5 years based on your income.  To determine how long your repayment period will be, you should come in for your free consultation.

6. I filed a bankruptcy before... how long do I have to wait before I can file again?
In Louisiana, if you have had your debts discharged in a bankruptcy within the last eight years, you will not be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again.  You may be able to file a Chapter 13 case in certain circumstances. If you have filed for bankruptcy before and would like to know whether or not you qualify to file again, you should call me to discuss your filing timeline. 

7.  Will filing bankruptcy stop my foreclosure sale?
Bankruptcy laws hold a powerful device - the automatic stay! When you file for bankruptcy, all proceedings against you - including a foreclosure sale - will be automatically stayed, i.e. stopped, for the time being. In many cases, a stay can last until the end of your bankruptcy proceedings.  Other times, your creditor may have the court "lift the stay" which enables that creditor to continue with the sale prior to your bankruptcy discharge.  In short, filing for bankruptcy may help you to save your home or car just by filing.  To determine whether or not filing bankruptcy will help you, you should contact me right away if you are in danger of a foreclosure sale.  

8. My house is in foreclosure, is there anything I can do besides file for bankruptcy?
There is a lot you can do! First you need to decide if you want to keep your home or not.  Bankruptcy is always an option, but depending on your financial situation, a short-sale may also be something to consider. In some cases, a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a loan modification can also help you avoid foreclosure.  There are many ways to stop a foreclosure sale, but you have to start planning your course of action long before your foreclosure sale date is set.  Let me evaluate your situation and help you decide which course to take.  Consultations are available daily - just call 504-708-1328.  

9. Are there alternatives to filing bankruptcy?
Depending on your individual situation, you may benefit from credit counseling and/or credit repair.  I will happily evaluate your situation and help you decide which path is right for you.  

10. Where can I learn more about bankruptcy?
Because bankruptcy is regulated by the federal courts, there are a lot of online resources to help you better understand the bankruptcy process...

Some general information is available here:
http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy.aspx

Cases for the Greater New Orleans Area are filed in the Eastern District Court; this is their website: 
http://www.laeb.uscourts.gov/index.htm

There are also some useful videos posted by the federal courts about the process, the different chapters in bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy discharge.
A link to a list of all videos is here:
http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics.aspx