Questions about how to get your fresh start?
Q: What property can I keep?
A: In Kansas, the following is exempt, regardless of which chapter you file:
- The home you live in
- One car per debtor up to $20,000 in value
- Ordinary household goods
- Your clothes
- Jewelry up to $1,000 in value
- Most retirement assets
- Trade tools up to $7,500 in value
Q: What property can the trustee take?
A: In Kansas, the following property may be taken by your bankruptcy trustee:
- Additional cars beyond the one exempt car per debtor
- Stocks and bonds not held in retirement accounts
- Boats, RVs, 4-wheelers, etc.
- This is not an exhaustive list. Consult an attorney for details on your specific situation
- The trustee will not take the above property in every situation and an attorney can help you through the process of pre-bankruptcy planning, so you can keep the property you want to keep.
Q: What debt will bankruptcy not get rid of?
A: Most taxes, most student loans, alimony and child support, criminal fines and debts not listed in your bankruptcy. There are exceptions for taxes and student loans.
Q: Can I have money in my bank account when I file bankruptcy?
A: No. You should have a minimal amount of money in your account on the day of filing. An attorney can advise you of what it's OK to spend money on before filing, so you don't leave money in your account.
Q: Can I use my credit cards before filing bankruptcy?
A: No. If you're considering filing bankruptcy you should stop using your credit cards immediately.
Q: Can I use my bank account before filing bankruptcy?
A: Yes, but you will want to stop writing checks several weeks before filing. Money left in your account on the day you file to cover outstanding checks can be taken by your trustee.
Q: Can I use my bank account after filing?
A: Yes, you can use your account as you normally would.
Q: Can I file bankruptcy without my spouse?
A: Yes, but any debt that your spouse is also liable for will still have to be paid by your spouse. In Kansas, medical debts incurred while married are automatically also owed by your spouse, even if your spouse did not sign for the debt.
Q: Will I have to go to court? What is the 341 meeting of creditors?
A: In most cases you will not have to go to court. You will have to attend the 341 meeting of creditors, but it's not a court hearing, and creditors do not show up most of the time. At the 341 meeting, the trustee asks you questions about your case. Debtors from other cases will also be in the same room.
Q: When will my case be over?
A: Most chapter 7 cases last 4-6 months. Chapter 13 cases must last between 3 to 5 years.