But remember, any promise you make, any payment you make, extends the Statute of Limitations on the debt. As an example, NY has a 6 year Statute. So if several years have passed and you made no promise, no payments, then you make a payment, instead of having 4 years left on the statute for that debt, you now have the full 6 years again! With your debt and health situation, you really want to think hard about this before you take action, and get the advice of a competent attorney.
Employment is often reported on your credit report, either when you file for a new credit card, loan, etc.; if your employer does a background check; a landlord does a review, etc. So yes, they can find you if they want to, and if the Statute of Limitations in your state hasn’t run out.
Most court judgments would be erased in the bankruptcy. Judgment relating to fraud, criminal activity, and some student loans, business/payroll and tax related judgments may not be.
The best time is when a qualified attorney tells you it’s the only alternative.
It’s possible to keep a great deal of your personal assets in some states. Again, this is a legal question only an attorney in your state should answer. If the Court Appointed Trustee feels you are hiding something they may do an inspection. If a creditor has a lien against an asset and you didn’t list the asset, the creditor can ask for an inspection. It is in your best interests to be as honest and above board as you can and follow your attorney’s advice.
I can’t emphasize strongly enough that you need qualified legal help in your state. The information I posted is informational only and not legal advice. As you can see by my post, there are too many differences between states, and items particular to your personal financial situation, to take a “one size fits all” approach.