Should I Continue Paying My Bills After Filing for Bankruptcy?
When you file for bankruptcy, you might be wondering: should I continue paying my bills once I file my bankruptcy petition? The answer to that question is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no” answer, and the answer will depend upon your particular circumstances, the types of bills you have, and the type of bankruptcy you are filing for. Before you file for personal bankruptcy, you should talk with a lawyer about your individual circumstances so that you have a clear understanding of what you will need to do (and what you will not need to do) after you file your bankruptcy petition. In the meantime, one of the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at our firm can provide you with general information about paying bills after you file for bankruptcy.
Make Payments on Secured Property You Want to Keep
Is there any secured property you want to keep for which you have ongoing payments to a creditor? You will want to continue making these payments.
Consider the Type of Bankruptcy You Are Filing
One thing to think about is the type of bankruptcy you are filing for in addition to the types of debts you currently have and make payments on.
In general, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, all debts that are eligible for discharge can be discharged at the end of your bankruptcy case, which usually takes around four to six months or so from the date of filing. Any debts you have that are not for necessities (which we will discuss momentarily) are debts that you may be able to stop paying because they will be discharged at the end of your bankruptcy case. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, your debts will be reorganized through a repayment plan that lasts anywhere from three years to five years. Accordingly, for non-necessity debts, you also may be able to stop making payments until your repayment plan is confirmed, but many of these debts will ultimately be repaid in part or in whole during the course of your repayment plan.
Determine Whether the Debts Are Dischargeable
Are the debts you are planning to stop paying dischargeable? Certain types of debts are considered non-dischargeable, or “exceptions to discharge,” under the US Bankruptcy Code. You will need to pay these regardless of your bankruptcy case. These types of debts include, for example, family support debt and certain types of tax debts.
Know If the Payments Are Going Toward Necessities and Living Expenses
Even if certain debts can be discharged at the end of your bankruptcy case, such as utility debt or rent debt, such debts will continue to accrue after your bankruptcy filing since you will still be living in your current home for the duration of your bankruptcy case, presumably. To be clear, the debts accrued after your date of filing for bankruptcy will not be part of your bankruptcy case, so you will need to pay these.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
Are you ready to file for bankruptcy, or do you have questions about how to move forward with a bankruptcy filing? An experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney at Kelley, Fulton, Kaplan & Eller can help you today.