As a business owner, keeping informed about the finer points of employment law is important. If you're getting ready to hire your first employees, you need to be sure that you understand exactly what you can and cannot do. Don't risk getting yourself into legal trouble by asking the wrong question at the interview or making an off-hand comment that's considered legally unacceptable. I created this site to give you the basics of employment law expectations. I hope that the information here helps you to understand what you should and shouldn't do as you're interviewing and hiring your first staff members.
People meeting with bankruptcy attorneys often have many questions. If you're preparing to file for bankruptcy, you should hear the answers to some of the most common questions. These three concerns are often on people's minds.
Will You Lose All Your Belongings?
The answer depends on what type of bankruptcy is involved and also what sort of stuff you're worried about losing. If you're filing for Chapter 11 or 13 protection, you can restructure debts. Consequently, no physical assets will be at stake. A person or business filing for Chapter 7, on the other hand, will have to sell disposable assets to pay at least part of what they owe to their creditors.
Someone filing for Chapter 7, however, can usually ask the court to exempt some of their assets from sale. If you own your primary residence outright without any loans or lines of credit against it, you can usually seek an exemption. The same goes for having a reasonable vehicle, clothes, furniture, and other practical items. Your state may also have other allowable exemptions, but you should speak with bankruptcy attorneys before assuming you can claim those.
Does Bankruptcy Destroy Your Credit?
If the court grants a bankruptcy petition, that fact goes on the filer's credit record. However, if your situation is bad enough to justify filing, there's a good chance seeking relief will help your credit in the long run. If you take the opportunity to stabilize your finances, you can rebuild your credit. Pay your bills on time and check your credit report to make sure it accurately reflects the current situation.
Bankruptcy will eventually come off your credit report. Chapter 7 cases stay on credit records for 10 years after the filing date. Chapter 13 will come off your record after 7 years.
How Long Is the Process?
People are often surprised when bankruptcy attorneys tell them how quick the process is. Once you get a petition to the court, it will be a matter of weeks before the judge schedules hearings, appoints a trustee, and generally puts the process in motion. Unless there is a prolonged process of creditors challenging the filing, even the most complex cases will take a few months at most.
The time until the court discharges the debts will depend on the type of case you file. If the judge discharges your debts in Chapter 7, the process will be over once the court grants relief. Chapter 11 and 13 cases will lead to discharges within three to 5 years presuming the filer completes the restructured payment plan.