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Bankruptcy Basics: File for Just One Debt?

By Christopher Lee July 4, 2012 | Posted in

debtWe answer a lot of questions about filing for bankruptcy, but one of the “bankruptcy basics” we are most frequently asked is this: Can I file for just one kind of debt (e.g. medical, credit card, etc.)?  The answer is, no.

Go Big or Go Home

When you’re filing for bankruptcy, you’re declaring your debt to be out of control, to big to handle, irrecoverable.  Saying you have money to pay $3,000 worth of medical bills, but “can’t pay” $500 worth of credit card debt doesn’t fly in the court system.

The courts treat all of your creditors as equals.  So, when you file for bankruptcy, you file on everything.  This is one of the most essential bankruptcy basics to understand before going in headfirst.  There is no picking and choosing.

When you file Chapter 7, for example, your non-exempt assets may be turned over to the courts, and they are sold in order to pay off your creditors.  Everyone who you owe may get a slice of the pie.  You aren’t allowed any say in who gets how much.  No favoring a personal loan to your brother over credit card debt to a major company.

So, if you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy on only one debt, then bankruptcy might not be for you.  Try to figure out a way to make that payment work!  But, if a single debt is just too overwhelming (oftentimes medical debt is the culprit), then filing for bankruptcy might be the greatest thing you can do for yourself!


Which of the following has happened to you RECENTLY?(select all that apply)

  • Creditor Harassment
  • Disability or Illness
  • Divorce
  • Foreclosure
  • Lawsuits of Judgments
  • License Suspension
  • Loss of Income
  • Loss of Job
  • Repossession
  • None of the above
  • Other

 Est. Total Debt


What to do now? : Simply add up ALL of your total debt from the items on the left( estimated is fine) and enter the total in this box. Then click NEXT.


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Everybody I have encountered and meet with at Lee Law Firm has been positive and encouraging. And that is exactly what I needed because nobody looks forward to going through bankruptcy. The staff was honest about my situation and put my mind at ease about the process, and for the first time in months I was able to relax and focus…

on getting out of my financial situation with hope of starting over. I would recommend Lee Law firm of friends and family because I feel like they have my best interest at heart.

-- Brad H  

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