Chapter 5When should I file bankruptcy?
Chapter 6What do I lose if I file bankruptcy?
Chapter 8What can bankruptcy do for you?
Chapter 9What Does Bankruptcy Cost?
Chapter 18What About My Car in Bankruptcy?
Chapter 19What Happens to My House in Bankruptcy?
Chapter 20When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?
Chapter 23When do I stop paying my creditors?
Chapter 24Gas, cable, electric and phone bill
Chapter 26What Bankruptcy won't solve
Chapter 27Chapter 13 Debt repayment Plans
Chapter 28Will I be able to get credit again?
Chapter 29Bill Consolidation Loans
Chapter 30Bill Consolidation Scams
Chapter 31Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies
Chapter 32Student Loans
Chapter 33Can I get rid of Taxes
Chapter 34NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets
Chapter 35Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares
Chapter 36Business Bankruptcy
Chapter 37Professional Persons
Chapter 38Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?
Your employer probably doesn't care. A lot of bosses send their employees to Geraci Law and some even pay for their bankruptcy cases! Ask your human relations department or boss if they can give you a nice fat bonus, or help you pay for a Chapter 7 or 13! Or who they recommend: chances are they will say “go to Geraci Law, a lot of our folks go there!”
We represent police, FBI, sheriff's deputies, and people who need to get their debt cleared up so they can get security clearance. Most employers recognize that their employees are better off filing Chapter 7 or 13 and getting control over their debt.
Of course, nobody wants their friends, co-workers, or neighbors knowing their financial business. I have found that people will discuss their love life, their personal habits, and gossip about just about anything, but they will not discuss their personal finances with each other. Even within families, money is something that people are very secretive about.
Realize that your problems are probably shared by your co-workers. Ask them if they know a good bankruptcy lawyer! You'll be surprised at how many have already filed!
In Chapter 13 cases, employers have to know so they can deduct your Chapter 13 payment from your paycheck and send it to your Trustee to distribute among your creditors. However, if your employer is small, or you have some reason for secrecy, you can pay direct without a payroll deduction.
If you work with other people, you probably don't really know what they are getting paid, or what their rent is, or what they spend their paychecks on. But, you can figure that everyone is making the average for their job, and has about the same bills and problems that you have, and that some of your co-workers have already filed some type of bankruptcy. But they like to keep it a secret. And you can, too.
I have had people who work at the same place meet in my office, not knowing that the other one was a client of mine. They have been working side by side, leave work with some excuse, and then meet each other in the same bankruptcy lawyer's office! It is only then that they will admit that they have the same problems. But if you want to keep your business a secret, chances are that neither your employer nor your co-workers will ever find out. But, it certainly is not the end of the world if someone does know that you filed a bankruptcy.
Some employers will refer their employees to bankruptcy lawyers when creditors start bugging them at work, so that the employees can get rid of their financial problems and concentrate on the job.
If you are really worried about whether or not your employer will "find out", you could always go to personnel and ask, hypothetically, if filing any kind of bankruptcy would have any effect on your job. I recommend that anyone dealing with financial matters discuss it with their employer if they think the employer would care. Then you will know before you even see a bankruptcy attorney, and will feel more comfortable.
I had one case recently where a clerical worker was waiting around after her first meeting of creditors in a Chapter 7. When one of my associates asked her why she didn't leave, she said that she just saw her supervisor in his own first meeting of creditors, and was waiting to get a ride back to work!
So, don't worry about who "knows" if you file a bankruptcy case. It is not as big a deal as it used to be.
If your creditors are calling you at work, your employer may be very happy to know that you have gotten them off your back by filing a bankruptcy. The filing of a bankruptcy case automatically stops all creditor action, and then no one is going to call you on the job, bug your employer, send out wage assignments or file lawsuits or send the sheriff out to deliver lawsuit papers to you on your job.
Geraci Law represents a lot of employees of big banks, including some who have charge cards issued by the bank they work for. It used to be common in the employment manual for these banks to see a statement to the effect that filing a bankruptcy by an employee was cause for dismissal. This is not true today, and in fact, that is illegal. I have never seen an instance of an employer harassing an employee because they filed a bankruptcy, even if the employee owed money to a bank they worked for. Of course, if you work for a small company and borrowed a thousand from your boss last week, I would not suggest that your boss would be happy if you did not pay it back
Problem: Tanya Wilson works for a bank. She was divorced last year, and has run up $8000 on credit cards, and now someone stole her car, and she had no insurance, and still has to pay the car loan. Collectors are starting to call her at work, and the finance company has sent her a notice of wage assignment. She is worried that her supervisor will think that she is unreliable. She is also worried because she has her checking account at the bank, and has $1800 on a MasterCard at the bank.
The Geraci Law Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: If she files for bankruptcy, the creditors cannot ever contact her again. No one can contact her job, and the supervisor will not know she has money problems. Best of all, after she discharges her debt, she won't have any money problems, because she just got a raise and can pay her regular living expenses and start fresh by saving money in her savings account.
However, since she owes money to the bank she works at, she wonders if she should pay it back. Generally, we find that a decision to lend money by a credit card company is not based upon the employee working for the bank, but is made on the same basis as is used to give credit cards to the public.
Just because you work for the bank doesn't mean your employment is affected if you file a bankruptcy. It has been my experience that nothing happens to the employee in this situation, simply because the credit card division does not report bankruptcies to the personnel department. That would be a violation of Federal Bankruptcy law, which prohibits discrimination in employment because a person filed a bankruptcy.
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