Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy

Anyone who is considering bankruptcy or other debt relief options should not walk blindly into any legal process. You will likely have many questions regarding the topic of bankruptcy, such as its benefits and drawbacks.

At Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C., our Wheeling bankruptcy attorney can answer your questions and provide you with the guidance you need. Below, we have answered a number of frequently asked questions regarding bankruptcy and other debt relief matters. Call us for answers to questions about your specific case.

What are bankruptcy’s limitations on debts that can be eliminated?

Bankruptcy is not able to resolve every financial problem and is not right for everyone, although it is a great option for many people.

Generally, bankruptcy is not able to do the following:

  • Eliminate some rights of the creditor – secured creditors are ones who have taken a mortgage on property as collateral for the loan (car loans and home mortgages generally fall under this category)
  • Discharge some types of debts, such as child support, student loans, court restitution, and alimony
  • Protect cosigners on your debts
  • Discharge debts that arise after bankruptcy is filed

What are the main differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is classified as the liquidation form of bankruptcy. It allows filers to have their debts discharged straightaway. Normally, our clients do not lose any assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is the reorganization form of bankruptcy because it allows consumers to reorganize their debts into a manageable, court-approved payment plan. With a repayment plan, you can pay your debts off over time without having to liquidate your nonexempt assets.

What are “nonexempt” assets?

Nonexempt assets are those that are not included in your state’s exemption laws. West Virginia has specific exemption laws that allow you to keep a certain amount of your assets. The trustee can take property that is considered nonexempt and liquidate it to distribute the proceeds to your creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Can I choose which chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code to file under?

You can decide whether you want to file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code if you meet the eligibility requirements for both. Eligibility is determined by taking the means test. You may be ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but can likely file under Chapter 13. Individuals who have a choice often go with Chapter 7 so that they can discharge their debts faster. Filing under Chapter 13 offers many benefits also.

Can I own anything after I file for bankruptcy?

Yes, you can keep your exempt property and anything that you obtain after the bankruptcy has been filed. In addition, you can rebuild your credit and will be able to make large purchases. Bankruptcy, in the long run, can actually improve your credit. Several actions can be taken to rebuild your credit. One way to start re-establishing good credit is to use a secured credit card. Through discipline and wise financial choices, you will be able to have strong credit in a relatively short amount of time.


If you are in need of further information and answers to determine if the process of bankruptcy is right for you, we encourage you to consult our firm’s lawyer. After determining that bankruptcy is the appropriate debt relief route for you, you may still have questions. Regardless of your situation, we encourage you to take action to ensure that you are fully informed and confident in your decisions.

Contact our firm today for the legal guidance you need!

WV Bankruptcy Attorney


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