Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy gives debtors a fresh start. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a straight bankruptcy. It is the most common type of bankruptcy filed. Approximately 75% of bankruptcy filings in Southern California Central District are chapter 7’s. Usually the process lasts about 4 months after which debtors are granted the discharge that wipes out all their unsecured debt.
Basic information about what you get to keep in a chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Filing chapter 7 bankruptcy does not mean you are not allowed to keep anything. The law allows you to keep certain exempt assets. In most cases, debtors will get to keep all of their assets if proper planning is used to protect the assets prior to and during the filing of the bankruptcy petition. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can make sure you will get to keep your house and car. If you are not sure what assets will be protected and what assets are at risk, feel free to call us. We welcome the opportunity to explain how we can protect your assets so that you know what is chapter 7 and what can chapter 7 bankruptcy do for you. Caution, Chapter 7 can not be canceled. If you file bankruptcy and your assets are not protected, the trustee will liquidate unprotected assets to pay your creditors. Do not guess!
Who is Eligible to file Chapter 7 Bankrutcy?
The chapter 7 means test determines whether you qualify to file for chapter 7. Chapter 7 is the preferred bankruptcy option. But to be able to file, you must pass the means test. Otherwise your bankruptcy options are limited to chapter 13. An experienced Los Angeles Bankruptcy attorney will be able to qualify you. We practice only in bankruptcy law only. We know how to use every deduction and expense to qualify for chapter 7. You can find out more about the means test with a complete video explanation here.
What is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process like?
The chapter 7 bankruptcy process begin with the filing of the bankruptcy petition and ends with obtaining the chapter 7 discharge. The process takes about 4 months to complete, but what is important in bankruptcy is the filing date. Upon filing of bankruptcy, an automatic stay is created that prevents creditors from contacting you or trying to collect debt from you. You are also required to take 2 classes to successfully file and complete your bankruptcy. Once you sign up with us, we will provide you all information you need to complete these classes. We make bankruptcy hassle free. To begin the process, you should consult with a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney who can advise you if bankruptcy will protect all your assets and if you can pass the means test. Below are the stages of the chapter 7 bankruptcy that a typical debtor will go through.
Chapter 7 Petition.
Chapter 7 petition required that you list all assets, all debts, all income and all expenses. There is not such thing as I do not want to list something in the bankruptcy petition. All financial matters must be stated even non dischargeable debt must be listed in the bankruptcy petition.
Chapter 7 Filing.
Once the chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, the bankruptcy court will send notice to all your creditors. This triggers what is called the automatic stay. The bankruptcy stay stops creditor from collection attempts. All creditors must seek the bankruptcy court’s approval before they can continue.
Chapter 7 meeting of creditors.
The creditors meeting is usually conducted within 30 – 45 days after the filing of the petition. The meeting of the creditors is the first time that you, as the debtor, will be questioned by the trustee about your debts income, expenses and financial history. The meeting of the creditors is mandatory and the debtor must attend.
The Chapter 7 Trustee.
When a chapter 7 petition is filed, all assets becomes the property of the estate. The chapter 7 trustee must administer the case and liquidate the debtor’s nonexempt assets. If all the debtor’s assets are exempt or subject to valid liens, the trustee will normally file a “no asset” report with the court, and there will be no distribution to unsecured creditors.
The Chapter 7 Discharge
the chapter 7 discharge wipes out personal liability for most debts and stops creditors from further collection. The chapter 7 discharge is subject to many exceptions. You should consult an attorney to insure that all debts you seek to discharge, will be discharged.
What are the typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fees?
Chapter 7 attorney fees vary from $800.00 to $3,000.00. The fee is based on the amount of unsecured debt and number of creditors. Your income level and qualification to pass the means test. Types and amount of assets involved are also a factor. All legal issues that may effect the attorney fees will be determined during the free consultation. In most cases, attorney fees will be between $1500 to $2000. You are encouraged to contact us and we will quote all fees upfront so that you know exactly what chapter 7 bankruptcy will cost you.
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