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Bankruptcy (What To Expect)
by John M. Roberts

Question: I don't know anyone who has filed for bankruptcy. Who and where are the people who file?

Answer: More than likely, you probably know someone who has filed for bankruptcy at some point in their life. It may be a neighbor, a friend, or maybe your own mother and father. They just don't talk about it.

Question: Is bankruptcy such a bad thing?

Answer: Filing for bankruptcy could actually be a good thing for most people who file. But over the years, the people who filed for bankruptcy were looked down upon so if a person had to file, he often felt ostacized by his friends and family and the general public.

Question: What about today? Are people still ostracized for filing for bankruptcy protection?

Answer: Although most people still keep their bankruptcy filing to themselves, it is not nearly as unsettling as it used to be. Filing for bankruptcy today is a more common practice and it is not looked upon as such a bad thing.

Question: Is it as scary as just the word "bankruptcy" makes you feel?

Answer: Just thinking about having to go through the process is scary enough but it really isn't all that bad. There are some pitfalls involved but most people get through it okay.

Question: If I file for bankruptcy, will my name be put in the newspapers?

Answer: It is likely that your name will be put in a newspaper that is circulated close to where you filed the bankruptcy petition.

Question: Would I have to appear in court?

Answer: You and your attorney will have to appear in court because you will be required to file forms listing all your debts, your income, your assets, and any recent purchases you have made.

Question: Once the bankruptcy is filed, what happens with my creditors?

Answer: Within a specified period of time, you and your attorney will be required to go to a meeting with your trustee and your creditors. At that time, your creditors will be notified as to what recourse they have.

Question: Will my creditors be able to contact me afterwards?

Answer: Your creditors, the ones listed in your bankruptcy petition, are considered notified by the courts and they should not contact you afterwards. If they do, you should call your attorney immediately so he can inform the court trustee.

Question: How many people actually file for bankruptcy?

Answer: Over a 1.5 million people file for bankruptcy in this country each year and many of them have filed one or more times in the past.

Question: You always hear about large corporations filing for bankruptcy protection. Why do they have to file?

Answer: Large corporations accumalate debt and need debt relief or restructuring just like the average person who files. Many well known companies, as well as some that are not so well known, operate at a loss and in time, they need to reorganize themselves if they are to remain in business.

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