Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Facts: How Does it Work?
You may finally have the chance to get rid of those sleepless nights, stop the creditors from calling, and get your peace of mind back.
We have a network of bankruptcy attorneys to assist you with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Is Chapter 7 Right for You?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right choice for you if:
- You have low or no income
- You are behind on your bills
- You have little or no money remaining after paying necessary living expenses each month
- You rent or have little equity in your home
- You have very few or no assets besides your furniture, clothing and other necessities
- You haven’t filed in the past eight years (you can only file once in eight years)
Chapter 7 is designed to give you a “fresh start” in your financial future. However, before you can “re-write” your financial history, you must pass a means test in order to be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Are You Eligible to File Bankruptcy Under Chapter 7 Code?
The means test is a two-part test designed to compare your household income to the median income of a family of your size in your state.
If you fall below the average median income of a family your size in your state, you pass the means test.
However, you if “fail” the first part of the test, the second phase of the test is implemented.
The second part of the test involves calculating your disposable income and your unsecured debts.
If the calculation yields a number less than $6,000 for the next five years ($100 per month), you qualify to file under Chapter 7.
If you find that your disposable income over the next five years will exceed $10,000, you will only be eligible to file under Chapter 7 if you can prove you have special circumstances.
A local lawyer can explain this process to you in more detail and answer any questions you might have.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires that prior to filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, you must receive a briefing from a certified credit counseling agency.
Failure to obtain this briefing before filing can cause your case to be dismissed.
The agency will educate you on financial management and how to do a budget analysis, and will provide you with possible alternatives to bankruptcy.
Your bankruptcy attorney can refer you to a certified credit counseling agency.
Debts Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Eliminate
If a debt is unsecured, meaning that there is no collateral backing it up, it can normally be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Examples of unsecured debt include:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Many forms of personal loans
- Judgments resulting from automobile accidents
- Shortages on repossessed automobiles
- Some older tax debts
- Some personal loans
- Payday loans
Debts Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cannot Eliminate
Bankruptcy cannot erase all financial troubles.
In most cases, you will still be liable for non-dischargeable debts like child support, some taxes and most student loans.
Ask a bankruptcy lawyer if your debts can be erased through a Chapter 7 filing.
The Final Step in Chapter 7
Before you receive the Chapter 7 discharge, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires that you complete a course about personal financial management.
Your bankruptcy lawyer can refer you to the appropriate class.
Talk to a Local Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
Making the choice to file bankruptcy is something that should not be taken lightly.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide you with the protection you need against creditor harassment.
Get started today by speaking with a sponsoring bankruptcy lawyer. Use our secure online bankruptcy evaluation form, and we’ll connect you with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.