Kansas City Attorney Telling the Truth About Bankruptcy

My name is Doug Breyfogle. As a bankruptcy attorney, a big part of my job is to help dispel the myths about bankruptcy. Aside from attorneys, few people have direct experience with bankruptcy, and those who do are often reluctant to share their experience.

Whether you live in Missouri or Kansas, I can help you understand your real rights and real options under bankruptcy law. Contact me today to schedule a free, informative and completely confidential consultation.

Ten Myths About Bankruptcy

Myth #1: Bankruptcy reform made it almost impossible to qualify for bankruptcy.

Many people believe that the new bankruptcy laws make it difficult or impossible to pass the ‘means test’ required to qualify for bankruptcy. This is simply not the case.

Myth #2: Bankruptcy is public record. If I file, my friends, family and co-workers will all know.

Just because it is public record does not mean that anyone has to know. Creditors are expressly forbidden from publishing lists of debtors who default on loans or who file for bankruptcy. While a bankruptcy will show up on a credit check, you don’t have to worry about members of your church or the community at large finding out.

Myth #3: I can’t afford bankruptcy.

Hiring a lawyer to file for bankruptcy does have a price. Deciding to do so should be based on a calm and rational evaluation of your finances and the potential benefits that legal representation can bring you. You can count on me to give you the real answers and real information you need to make an informed decision. I won’t try to convince you to hire me unless it is in your best interests, and your initial informative consultation will be free.

Myth #4: Bankruptcy will get rid of all my debts.

Some people assume that bankruptcy is like a magic wand that will make all your debts disappear. The truth is that there are a few debts — student loans and child support arrears, for example — that are not typically dischargeable in bankruptcy. Most people, even some lawyers, think that tax debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. It can. When you call my office in Kansas City at 816-285-6900 for a free consultation, I can help you get a better idea of which of your debts can and cannot be dealt with through bankruptcy.

Myth #5: It’s morally wrong to file for bankruptcy.

Many people facing bankruptcy feel a strong sense of failure and embarrassment. The banks and even the media would like you to feel it is your fault. The truth is that my clients are good people who want to pay their debts. They have often found themselves drowning in debt due to no fault of their own. You have a legal right to seek real debt relief under the Bankruptcy Code. My best advice is to hold off on any moral judgment until you have all the information.

Myth #6: I’ll never get another mortgage if I file for bankruptcy.

This is simply not true. In over 15 years of helping people get out of unmanageable debt, many of my clients have been able to start over on firmer financial footing than before. Many of my clients who have successfully completed bankruptcy are now homeowners.

Myth #7: I’ll be arrested if I don’t pay my debt.

Some debt collectors and creditors may imply (or even state outright) that you will go to jail if you don’t pay. Not only are they wrong, but they may be breaking federal law by saying these things. If any representative of a bank or collection agency has threatened you with arrest, contact me immediately. Your rights may have been violated.

Myth #8: My credit will be ruined for 10 years after a bankruptcy.

Many of my clients credit scores actually improved shortly following a bankruptcy. A substantial decrease or elimination of outstanding debt can raise your score more than a bankruptcy lowers it. Fear of potential damage to your credit rating should not deter you from filing bankruptcy if it is the right option for you.

Myth #9: I will lose my house and my car if I file for bankruptcy.

In fact, filing for bankruptcy may be the best way to keep your important property and assets. Immediately upon filing, all collection actions must stop. That includes foreclosure and repossession.

Myth #10: I’m in this alone.

Although it is possible to complete the bankruptcy on your own, it is not advisable. It is akin to diagnosing and treating your medical symptoms with online information. Perhaps a bankruptcy is not appropriate for your circumstance. Further, the paperwork is complex and mistakes may be costly. It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney well versed in bankruptcy law who will help you navigate through this process. By partnering with an experienced attorney, you will lessen the headache, confusion and the possibility of a costly error and you will be on your way to ending a stressful chapter in your life and making a fresh start.

Contact Me Today for a Free Consultation

For honest and straightforward answers to your questions about bankruptcy in Kansas or Missouri, please call my Kansas City office at 913-742-8700. You can also contact me by e-mail now for answers to your important questions or to schedule an appointment.