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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process designed to eliminate most or all debt and give you a fresh start financially. There are many different types of bankruptcy -- such as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 -- and each addresses different situations. An attorney can help you determine the type for which you qualify and would best meet your goals.

About 90% of consumers that have unsecured debt file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, sometimes called reorganization, is used in more limited circumstances such as if you have significant secured assets, like a home or car, for which you are behind in payment or if your income level is too high to qualify for Chapter 7.

How Much Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy does not need to be out of your financial reach. At Consumer Law KC, LLC, I offer affordable rates. Even better, I don't require you to pay your entire fee before we file your case. That means that you can STOP garnishment and creditor harassment even before you've paid your entire fee.

It is important to note that while some firms quote a lower price upfront, they often fail to disclose all the fees they will add later. At my office, you know exactly what you're going to pay from the beginning.

Can I Use My Tax Refund Money to File for Bankruptcy?

Yes. Tax refunds can be spent on legal and filing fees for bankruptcy.

Do You Offer Flexible Payment Options?

Yes. I work with clients to create flexible payment arrangements, including payment plans.

Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?

The vast majority of people qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. During your free initial consultation, I will gather information about your financial situation, including your assets, debts and information about your creditors. If you make more money than most people, I can help you understand your options during your free initial consultation.

What Debts Are Dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Almost all debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, there are four major exceptions: taxes, child support and spousal support/alimony, student loans and court fines.

When Can I Qualify for Credit Again?

After your debts are discharged, it will take about four to six months to begin rebuilding your credit again. Generally, it will take longer than four to six months before you qualify to buy a house or car. Rebuilding credit is a gradual process, with most individuals rebuilding at a rate of about 15 points per month.

I'm Considering Bankruptcy, What Do I Do Next?

If you are thinking about bankruptcy, call Todd at (816) 434-7300 for a free initial consultation, or email me at I can quickly and easily explain what your next steps will be.

How Long Does the Process Take?

From filing to discharge, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases usually take about 90 days. However, as soon as we file, you will begin receiving the benefits of bankruptcy. All creditor collection activity, including harassing calls and letters, garnishment and lawsuits, must stop and any creditor contact must be directed to your attorney.

Do I Have to Go to Court?

The only appearance you need to make at court is at the trustee's meeting, also called the "meeting of creditors." This meeting is at the courthouse in an informal setting (it's not in a courtroom and there is no judge or jury), and I will be there with you. Other than that meeting, most clients do not need to make another appearance.

Why Can't I Do this Myself?

Bankruptcy is a complicated area of law. I have helped many clients through the bankruptcy process. I know what questions to ask, and I am able to anticipate concerns and identify issues you may not be aware of.

My experience lets me inform you about the pros and cons so you can make the best decisions for your situation. To schedule your free consultation with a committed and experienced bankruptcy lawyer, e-mail me at or call (816) 434-7300.

Get a Fresh Start - Contact an Experienced Kansas City Bankruptcy Lawyer.

Many people misunderstand or have misconceptions about bankruptcy. Sometimes, the toughest part of filing for bankruptcy is overcoming the stigma or guilt that some people associate with it. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world. Bankruptcy is your legal right to debt relief. It is designed to give people who face overwhelming consumer debt relief from their debt and the harassment of creditors.

Contact Attorney Todd Abplanalp



Consumer Law KC, LLC Law Office of Todd S. Abplanalp 1308 NE Windsor Drive Lee’s Summit, MO 64086

P: 816.434.7300

F: 816.875.2388


*All emails are confidential and go directly to the attorney ONLY.

We are an experienced law firm focusing on bankruptcy matters for regular people.

Content copyright 2014. Consumer Law KC, LLC, Law Office of Todd S. Abplanalp. All rights reserved.