San Francisco Bankruptcy: More Myths!

MYTH: I don't want to include certain creditors in my filing because it's important to me to pay them back someday and if the debt is discharged, I can't ever repay them.
FACT: Although you're no longer obligated to repay them, but you always have that opportunity. If your conscience won't let you sleep nights because you didn't pay your debts, there's nothing in the bankruptcy code that prevents you from doing that once you're back on your feet. But, bankruptcy is an all-or-nothing deal; so, you have to include all your creditors in the petition.

MYTH: Filing for bankruptcy will improve my credit rating because all those debts will be gone.
FACT: That sounds like an ad for a bankruptcy lawyer vying for clients. Filing for bankruptcy is the worst 'negative' you can have on your credit report. Unlike other negatives which stay on your report for seven years, bankruptcy can be there for 10 years.

MYTH: You can only file for bankruptcy once.
FACT: You can file for bankruptcy more than once, but the bankruptcy law that went into effect in October 2005 lengthened the required wait between filings. You can only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years. You have to wait two years to repeat a Chapter 13 filing and four years between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 case.  Of course, that doesn't make it a good idea.  "Multiple bankruptcies are really bad," Rosenberg says. "Many people get into the habit of, once they've done it, it becomes a way of life. This is not good for your karma." Or your credit rating.
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