Chapter 7 helps those of modest means who, after paying their monthly living expenses, have no money left to repay debts. We know that you did not start out looking forward to the day that you would be forced into filing bankruptcy. No one plans for a layoff, illness, divorce, or the other usual causes of financial distress. You want help, not a handout or a free pass. If you are struggling to make ends meet, feel overwhelmed by creditors or the looming possibility of foreclosure, we can help you seek the fresh start you need to achieve financial independence.
The benefits include:
All dischargeable unsecured debts are discharged.
Your creditors must stop all lawsuits or harassment actions.
Wage garnishment is halted.
You may keep exempt property. This includes, within limits, clothes, wedding rings, furniture, appliances, a modest car and tools of your trade including books.
Homeowners may retain their home equity up to a certain amount.
You may keep your car or home if you can keep up the payments.
What is the Chapter 7 Process?
There are generally 6 steps when it comes to filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
1. Provide your attorney with all requested information and documents.
2. File for your bankruptcy forms with the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Doing this will trigger an automatic stay, which will notify your creditors to cease any collection against you.
3. Within 30 to 45 days after the filing, attend the meeting of creditors. This is where the bankruptcy trustee will interview you about your petition and the creditors may ask some questions, however, it is rare for them to appear. This meeting is typically very short and lasts 5 minutes. Due to Covid-19 court changes, these meetings are held telephonically or via Zoom so that you don’t even have to appear in person!
4. You must attend a mandatory budget counseling no later than 60 days after the creditors' meeting. When completed, you will receive a certificate. Send a copy to the bankruptcy court to let them know this was completed.
5. 60 to 75 days after the creditors' meeting, the bankruptcy court will send you a letter notifying you that your debts have been discharged. The trustee will then arrange with you to liquidate your nonexempt property.