Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Here to Help You Rebuild Your Life
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Get Relief from Debt Through Liquidation
Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates unsecured debts while allowing debtors to typically protect all of their property through state law exemptions. Chapter 7 can also help debtors stop harassment from creditors and wage garnishments through the automatic stay.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation bankruptcy, allows qualifying debtors to discharge the majority of their unsecured debts, such as:
- Credit card balances
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Certain taxes
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start for Financial Freedom
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” is a legal process designed to provide individuals and businesses with a fresh financial start by eliminating most of their unsecured debts. This form of bankruptcy involves the liquidation of non-exempt assets to repay creditors and offers several benefits for those seeking relief from overwhelming debt.
One significant advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is its relatively quick and straightforward process. Typically, Chapter 7 cases can be resolved within a few months, allowing individuals to move forward with their lives and rebuild their financial stability promptly. In contrast, Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a more extended repayment plan spanning three to five years, which may be challenging for some debtors to sustain.
Another notable benefit of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the discharge of unsecured debts. Debts such as credit card bills, medical expenses, personal loans, and certain tax obligations can be completely eliminated, providing individuals with a clean slate and the opportunity to rebuild their credit. Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a more comprehensive discharge of debts compared to Chapter 13, which typically requires debtors to repay a portion of their debts through a repayment plan.
Moreover, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows debtors to exempt certain assets from liquidation, protecting essential possessions such as a primary residence, vehicle, household items, and retirement savings. While the specific exemption rules may vary depending on the state, individuals can often retain essential assets under Chapter 7, providing a measure of financial stability during and after the bankruptcy process.
In summary, Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a swift and effective solution for individuals seeking a fresh financial start. Its benefits include a relatively quick resolution, the complete discharge of unsecured debts, and the ability to protect essential assets. If you are burdened by overwhelming debt, consulting with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can help determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right path towards regaining control of your financial future.
How to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
It is important to know that there is no minimum amount of debt needed to qualify for Chapter 7. In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 filing, you must first pass a Means Test. If you are earning less monthly than the median income for your state and household size, you will automatically pass the Means Test. Otherwise, the test will examine your financial records to determine if you have disposable income after deducting allowable expenses for your family size.
Some necessary expenses that can help you pass the means test include:
- Court-ordered payments
- Child care
If you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy through the Means Test, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can still be an option.
Preparing for The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process
If you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can expect to go through the following steps of the process:
- Obtain an initial comprehensive consultation
- Retain an attorney
- Pay attorney’s fees
- Complete the pre-filing credit counseling course, which is required by law and available online
- Attorney completes preparation of bankruptcy petition
- The attorney reviews bankruptcy petition with client
- Client signs the bankruptcy petition and the petition is filed with the court
- Complete mandatory post-filing debtor education course, which is required by law and available online
- Attend 341(a) trustee’s meeting with an attorney present
- Await discharge from the bankruptcy court
Processing Time for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In California
In California, it may take anywhere from four to six months to complete a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. There may be some instances where it may take longer because of many factors such as: the need for more information or documents, a bankruptcy-related lawsuit, or a trustee may sell the debtor’s property.
Reaffirming Debts & Keeping Your Car in California
Debtors with car loans can keep their cars even though they have filed for bankruptcy by reaffirming the contracts. This process means that the car loan survives the bankruptcy; however, certain circumstances may change this result. It is always important that you speak with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer regarding your specific situation.
Debts that Are Not Dischargeable
Certain debts, such as domestic support obligations, most student loans, recent income taxes, malicious personal injury lawsuits, and fraudulently incurred debts, are not dischargeable. Of course, each individual’s situation may vary, and the circumstances surrounding your debts are unique to you, which is why it is always important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.