Bankruptcy FAQ

Question: Will filing bankruptcy stop all collection activities against me?

Answer: Filing a bankruptcy petition stops most types of collection activities against you. It will stop a harassing collector calls, lawsuits, garnishments, foreclosures and other types of collection activities.

Question: Will filing bankruptcy stop a child support action or a criminal action?

Answer: Bankruptcy does not stop child support or criminal actions. There is a special exception for these types of actions as well as other special situations.

Question: Can I get rid of a student loan or tax liability through bankruptcy?

Answer: Generally speaking, you cannot discharge student loans or tax liabilities through bankruptcy. However, there are some rare exceptions.

Question: Can I keep my home if I file bankruptcy?

Answer: Oftentimes, people can keep their home if they file for bankruptcy. It depends upon the amount of equity in your home. For example, Colorado law provides that $75,000 in equity in your home is exempt (or $105,000 for older and disabled persons). Let me give an example to show how this works.

If your home's appraised value is:      $345,000.

If the loan amount on the home is:     $285,000.

Your equity in the home would be:      $ 60,000.

Therefore, in this example, under Colorado law, the $75,000 homestead exemption would allow you to keep your home in bankruptcy because your $60,000 in equity is less than the $75,000 exemption. (In a real world example, I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case in Colorado where the property was valued at $190,000 and the loan balance was $116,676. The homeowner got to stay in the home with $73,324 equity in it.)

In Wyoming the homestead exemption is $20,000 per person. Using this same example, only a portion of the equity in the home would be exempt under Wyoming law. The home would have to be sold and the proceeds, in excess of the homestead exemption, applied to the debts.

Question: Can I keep my retirement funds if I file for bankruptcy?

Answer: Yes, most people can keep their 401k, pension or retirement funds.

Question: Do I have to go to court?

Answer: You do not normally have to go to court in a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, you do have to attend the Section 341 creditor's meeting. This meeting is held by the trustee, not the judge. You have to be sworn in and answer the trustee's questions about your case. The questioning can last five to ten minutes. Occasionally, creditors will attend and ask questions also.

Question: How does the process work?

Answer: First, we will send you a questionnaire about your financial situation. You will fill it out and submit it to Harmony Law. We will meet with you to discuss your options and your best course of action. One of the initial questions is whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you choose to go forward with a chapter 7 bankruptcy, we will prepare and file the petition. We will then attend the section 341 meeting with you and help you navigate the legal process all the way through discharge.

Question: How do I get started?

Answer: You have three options:

Option 1: Fill out our online bankruptcy questionnaire.

Option 2: Contact Harmony Law through our website

Option 3: Contact Harmony Law by telephone at 970-488-1857.

Question: How much does it cost for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Answer: There are several costs involved:

  • Filing Fee: $335 paid to the Court (May be paid in installments if you are income eligible. On rare occasions may be waived.)
  • Pre-filing credit counseling course: varies $30-$60
  • Post-filing debtor education course: varies $30-$60
  • Attorney Fees: For a chapter 7 case, we will agree to a flat fee for your bankruptcy. The amount is set based upon your specific situation. We take into account your financial situation, the number of creditors you have and whether there are any complex or special issues in your case. The fee includes a full credit report. We accept payments from third parties for your bankruptcy.

Question: Can I pay for the filing fee or attorney fees using a credit card?

Answer: No. However, third parties may do so.

Question: What areas of the state do you take bankruptcy clients from?

Answer: Harmony Law takes clients from Southeast Wyoming, Northeast Colorado, the Front Range and the greater Denver area. Harmony Law will consider clients in other parts of Wyoming or Colorado, but there may be higher fees for those cases.

Member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates

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Harmony Law is one of the few law firms in Colorado and Wyoming that focuses on consumer law. Mr. Hutchins is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and state chair for Wyoming. If you have a consumer law issue, please feel free to call 970-488-1857 and speak with Mr. Hutchins.

Explore your Options

It is difficult to make important decisions without knowing all your options. Explore your options with Harmony Law and you will be better equipped to make the right decision in your legal affairs.

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