Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Eliminates Most or All Debt for Overwhelmed North Texas Consumers Like You
Do you have more debt than you know how to repay? Do collectors hassle you daily?
Debt can quickly and easily become overwhelming through absolutely no fault of your own. A spouse with a severe medical problem that stumps doctors can easily rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
You might lose your job when you already have financial struggles. Or maybe everything goes wrong, and you and your spouse lose your job.
There’s a million reasons you can suddenly find yourself in more debt than you can ever repay.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Also Removes Most or All of Your Debt
Chapter 7 is the most common way to obtain a “fresh start” in your financial life. It does not require you to repay certain creditors. To qualify for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, you must be an individual, a married couple, a partnership, or a corporation or other business entity.
The goal of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to completely eliminate certain unsecured debts such as:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Business debt
- Certain Tax penalties
- Certain Unpaid taxes
- Several others
You won’t have to repay these discharged debts. However, this does not remove your obligation to pay the following debts:
- Liens on real or personal property
- Domestic support obligations (alimony/child support)
- Certain taxes
- Most student loans
Do You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Individual Chapter 7 debtors must pass a “Means Test” before a petition can be filed. The “Means Test” determines if your income qualifies you for a Chapter 7 case. If it does not, you may qualify to file a Chapter 11 or 13, which require partial repayment based on your ability to pay. My office will conduct a “Means Test” at our first meeting. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy begins with the filing of a petition, Schedules of Assets and Liabilities, Schedule of Current Income and Expenses, Statement of Financial Affairs, and Schedule of Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the proper venue.
What Happens to Your Existing Property?
Most of it will likely be protected from forced sale by your creditors. You will file a Schedule of Exemptions. This covers property you are allowed to protect from creditors. It usually includes your homestead, household goods, retirement accounts, cars, etc. Not all property is exempt, but our goal is to protect as much of your property as law allows. You’re also required to take a credit counseling course before a case can be filed. And you have to take a second course before a discharge can be granted. This can be done in person, online or over the telephone. Once a case is filed, a trustee is appointed and a creditor meeting is scheduled. Debtors are required to attend this meeting. This gives any creditor that has questions about the bankruptcy filing an opportunity to ask questions. It is also an opportunity for the court-appointed trustee to ask questions. Relax, you’ll be fully briefed before attending this meeting, and your attorney will join the meeting with you.