The Complete Book on Bankruptcy

By respected consumer bankruptcy attorney

Peter Francis Geraci J.D.

Chapter 1
How to have a Stress-Free Bankruptcy

Chapter 2
What is Bankruptcy

Chapter 3
What causes people to need Banruptcy Relief

Chapter 4
What is the procedure?

Chapter 5
When you should consider Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 plans?

Chapter 6
What can Bankruptcy do for you?

Chapter 7
Common Misunderstandings about Bankruptcy

Chapter 8
Is Bankruptcy Bad?

Chapter 9
What does Bankruptcy cost?

Chapter 10
Can I file without my spouse?

Chapter 11
Does my Employer know if I file Bankruptcy?

Chapter 12
Do I lose anything?

Chapter 13
Does Bankruptcy "Ruin my Credit"

Chapter 14
Can I keep bills off my bankruptcy

Chapter 15
Bills or property in someone else's name or posession

Chapter 16
What about the Credit Union?

Chapter 17
Co-Signers

Chapter 18
What about my car?

Chapter 19
What about my House?

Chapter 20
When do creditors stop bothering me?

Chapter 21
What are Cross-collateralization Agreements?

Chapter 22
Joint Accounts with Parents

Chapter 23
When do I stop paying creditors?

Chapter 24
Gas, Electric & Phone Bills

Chapter 25
Bankruptcy & Divorce, Alimony & Child Support

Chapter 26
What Bankruptcy won't solve

Chapter 27
Chapter 13 Debt repyament Plans

Chapter 28
Will I be able to get credit again?

Chapter 29
Bill Consolidation Loans

Chapter 30
Bill Consolidation

Chapter 31
Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies

Chapter 32
Student Loans

Chapter 33
Can I get rid of Taxes

Chapter 34
NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets

Chapter 35
Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares

Chapter 36
Business Bankruptcy

Chapter 37
Professional Persons

Chapter 38
Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?

Chapter 39
About Geraci Law LLC and Peter Francis Geraci

Chapter 40
Who is the best Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

Chapter 41
What if I need a Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

CHAPTER #14 CAN I KEEP BILLS OFF MY BANKRUPTCY

No, you must list all debts, and all assets. If you leave a debt off, you will have to pay it. If you do it deliberately, you will be guilty of perjury. Same with property or any interest in any kind of asset. List everything, or lose it and risk getting indicted.

All creditors that are owed money must be listed on the bankruptcy petition. If you have a car loan, and you want to keep the car, the car lender must be notified, and an agreement must be made that the debt will survive the bankruptcy. This must be signed by your attorney and the creditor, and yourself. If you lie on your petition, and don't list the car loan, you are committing perjury and that is a crime. Also, if the car lender finds out about it later, they may be able to repossess the car just because you didn't tell them about the bankruptcy.

You needn't list current expenses such as your rent and utilities. Of course, if you are being evicted or are seriously behind in your utilities, they should be listed as creditors. Then, your utility bill can be put to zero, and you can get utility service started again. If you want to get out of your lease, you can do it by filing a bankruptcy. The landlord must be listed for informational purposes.

Some people like to keep a charge card just for identification, to cash checks, or to use when traveling. You cannot fail to list a credit card unless you have no balance due. If the card has a 0 balance, then the issuer is not a creditor, and need not be listed. You will have to disclose on your bankruptcy petition that you have paid creditors who are not listed as creditors, if you have paid off a balance within the last year.

Even if a card has a 0 balance, creditors check your social security number and can cancel the card. American Express, J.C. Penney and many others do it all the time.

List all debts, even if you are going to pay some of them. It is very easy to send money to a listed creditor, and agree that their debt will survive the bankruptcy, if you want. It is a very bad practice to lie on a bankruptcy petition and fail to disclose debts or assets.

So, although every creditor must be listed and notified, you can pay the ones you want, after a Chapter 7 proceeding, and get rid of the others. In a Chapter 13, everyone you owe must be paid through the Chapter 13 plan, unless you have Court permission otherwise.

Problem: Bob owes his grandmother $5,000, and wants to pay her. He doesn't want her to know about the bankruptcy, and his other $10,000 in bills. He also wants to keep his 88 Chevy, on which his payment is $342 per month, since it is up to date, and worth more than he owes on it. He is afraid that if he tells grandma he's filing bankruptcy, she won't give him any more money, and he doesn't want to lose his car.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: Both grandma and the car finance company must be listed as creditors in a bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13, they both will be paid by the Chapter 13 trustee. In a Chapter 7, Bob will get rid of all his debt except the car, since he wants to keep paying on it. The car finance company has to know about the bankruptcy, and Bob must sign documents that say the debt on the car will not be discharged. In a Chapter 7, grandma's debt is discharged, but Bob is free to pay her if he wants. Grandma has to know about it, and Bob should tell her. She probably knows he's in financial trouble anyway, and will appreciate his honesty.