Vance P. Truman, Attorney at Law
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Do co-signers have to pay after bankruptcy?

Your child wanted to buy a car and couldn't get approved alone. You decided to co-sign, saying you'd share the car. The total payment was $500 per month, and you both paid $250 of that. If your child then goes bankrupt, do you still have to pay for the debt, or is it all cleared since it was the same auto loan?

Common bankruptcy myths

Many people are under the impression that filing for bankruptcy can cause them to lose their homes and cars. These individuals may already be drowning in debt and struggling to make payments to keep their homes out of foreclosure and their vehicles out of repo status. Bankruptcy can help those who are having trouble with debt to overcome their financial issues and save their property, in some cases.

To identify a debt collection scam, ask for your own information

The phone rings, and you don't have the number saved. You pick it up anyway, even though you think it's a telemarketer, but you're surprised to find out they're not trying to sell you anything. They do want your money, though. The person claims to be with a collections agency, trying to collect on what you owe.

Why do people get stuck in debt?

Getting out of debt sounds simple: Spend less money and pay off what you owe. Unfortunately, it's not always that simple, especially when dealing with significant levels of debt -- like medical debt that you may never earn enough to pay off. For more common, everyday debt, these are a few reasons people may not be able to shake it:

Disclose all assets or put exempt property at risk

Filing for bankruptcy is an option when your debt seems out of control. Usually, it is a great way to protect some of your assets, especially those that are used in the production of income. But what happens if you forgot to mention that $150,000 you received when you sold your home? Or the cash you have sitting in the offshore account?

What can you do when your student debt is too much to handle?

If you are buried under a lot of student debt, it is easy to think that a bankruptcy might be your way out of it. However, it is important to understand that bankruptcy filings can't fix everything. And in this case, bankruptcies are nearly impossible to utilize as a way to address your student debt. There have to be extreme circumstances for a student loan to be forgiven, and they usually involve the death of the debtor or a disability that dramatically affects their ability to work.

What is an automatic stay and how does it apply to bankruptcy?

Dealing with creditors is something that no one wants to think about. Just the thought sends shivers down the spines of millions of Americans. The ceaseless phone calls; the endless letters; and the constant dread that you live with that at any given moment, you may be dealing with severe legal action or punitive financial consequences.

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