Pre-Filing Questions

Questions commonly asked about filing a bankruptcy petition and process leading up to filing.

What's the Purpose of Collecting AKAs, FAKA, DBA, etc?

One item of information gathered during the process of preparing a bankruptcy case are alias and alternative names for the individual debtor. Alternative names (AKA, also known as and FAKA, formerly also known as) might include maiden names, middle names used as first names, or other "aliases". Business names (DBA, doing business as and FDBA formerly doing business as) are the trade names a sole proprietor uses, in contrast to the names of organized business entities such as LLCs and corporations. If an sole proprietorship has a tax id, an EIN, that number is also included.

What does it mean if I am above median income?

Above median income status influences the rules for chapter 7 eligibility, the chapter 13 plan length, and the rules for determining if income would require a payment in chapter 13 to general unsecured creditors.

How does changed income affect bankruptcy?

An answer to the question of how changes in income impact bankruptcy first requires some background.

How long will I be in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The function of chapter 13 bankruptcy is paying certain debts over time. Examples include catching up a mortgage, paying off a car loan, and taking care of back taxes. But over how much time exactly?

The short answer for most cases is between 3 years and 5 years.

What is are tax returns used for in bankruptcy?

Our office, as with most bankruptcy attorneys, requests that bankruptcy debtor clients provide copies of recent tax returns. These returns primarily serve two purposes: (1) assist in preparation of the bankruptcy petition's schedules and statements and (2) comply with documentation requirements.

Can I file bankruptcy in NC if I recently moved here?

It is not uncommon for people to consider bankruptcy after moving into a new state. The move is often a period of starting over, with a new job, new home, and more. Getting relief from past debts might enable getting a clean break from old financial circumstances and start building a new financial life.

What is Bankruptcy Exemption Planning?

Each individual who files bankruptcy is entitled to a set of property exemptions, a series of statutory allowances for property that can be protected from creditors. The most important time for the application of these allowances is the moment the bankruptcy petition is filed. As a consequence, that means that choices and actions of the bankruptcy debtor in the period of time immediately before filing can change the extent of protection available for his or her property.

Can I file bankruptcy while self-employed?

Bankruptcy is available to self-employed persons. For the most part, the bankruptcy process is the same as it is for someone who works as an employee. However, some of the general requirements of bankruptcy have particular relevance in the self employment context.

Who qualifies for the North Carolina exemptions in bankruptcy?

The content on this site discusses the North Carolina exemptions at length. The vast majority of bankruptcy cases filed in North Carolina claim exemptions under North Carolina state law.

Can I file bankruptcy online?

While internet technology has greatly changed the practice of bankruptcy, it is generally not possible to do a start-to-finish online bankruptcy filing. Among other reasons, a paper copy of the bankruptcy petition will be have to signed. While requirements may vary per-district, attorneys generally must retain a paper copy of the petition with original signatures even when electronically filing a bankruptcy. Individuals filing without assistance of an attorney must ordinarily file the bankruptcy petition and schedules with the court in paper format.


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