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Debunking Common Bankruptcy Myths

Get Answers From an Experienced York Bankruptcy Lawyer

The recent financial crisis has helped shed light on some of the myths regarding bankruptcy, but nearly all of the commonly believed untruths about bankruptcy are still around in some form. Sadly, most of these myths are negative and discourage people from considering bankruptcy even when it’s the best option for them.

At Dethlefs, Pykosh & Murphy Law, we are amazed at some of the misinformation that our clients often hear from the television, radio and internet — or even from family and friends. We thought this page would be a useful resource for you and help to eliminate some of negative myths about bankruptcy in Pennsylvania.


Some common myths our Harrisburg & York bankruptcy attorneys hear from our clients are addressed below. If you have questions or concerns, contact Dethlefs, Pykosh & Murphy Law immediately.

Myth: If I file for bankruptcy, I will lose everything I’ve worked for — my home, car, pension and retirement savings.

Truth: Most clients are able to keep what they currently own. When you file for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania, there are exemptions available to you to help you keep your home, automobile, pension, personal property and other assets.

Myth: I will never again get credit after bankruptcy.

Truth: Once you complete the bankruptcy and get your debt discharged, you can start rebuilding your credit. Credit options are available for those who have recently gone through bankruptcy. As long as you make responsible choices and timely payments after bankruptcy, you can even achieve a good credit standing just several years after your bankruptcy discharge.

Myth: Bankruptcy is only for deadbeats.

Truth: This myth couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in today’s economy. Donald Trump, Larry King and Ulysses S. Grant – the 25th U.S. President – all filed for bankruptcy. Milton Hershey used bankruptcy to rebound from several failed candy businesses before he achieved great success. Even the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, went bankrupt.

Myth: My friends and coworkers will know if I file for bankruptcy.

Truth: It is true that the bankruptcy filing is public information, but unless you are a celebrity or public figure your bankruptcy will likely go unnoticed. Approximately 1.5 million people have filed for bankruptcy each year during these rough economic times and Pennsylvania newspapers only publish business bankruptcies.

Myth: Once I file for bankruptcy, a government agent will come to my home and take inventory of everything.

Truth: This is simply not true. Nobody will come to your home and take inventory of your assets and personal effects.

Myth: I cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney.

Truth: A reputable bankruptcy lawyer offers flexible payments arrangements and can actually save you money in the long run. A more appropriate question is whether you can afford risking it by not hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Visit our page on the cost of a bankruptcy attorney for more information.