An Overview of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you are interested in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you want to ensure that you know the details and understand all of your options. For example, many people are interested in Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it is possible for a bankruptcy trustee to use your assets to cancel out many—and in some cases all—of your debts. Depending on how comfortable you are with this, it may be a fantastic option, especially if you are hoping to wipe your debts clean. When you file for bankruptcy, it is important that you have a bankruptcy attorney by your side to help you file, determine which forms need to be filled out and where to submit them, how the bankruptcy process works, and what you can expect the outcome to be in terms of your debt and what will happen to your property.

How long does it take to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Some people believe that once you file for bankruptcy, things happen fairly quickly, but it is important to aware of a more realistic timeline. For example, it typically costs a few hundred dollars to file (for administrative fees), and the entire bankruptcy process will likely take anywhere from four to six months. A bankruptcy court will also require you to complete credit counseling, and your attorney can point you in the direction of a United States Trustee approved agency for this.

The Forms for Bankruptcy

When it comes to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are many different forms you must file as well as a petition. You can file these with your local bankruptcy court. Be prepared to answer questions that describe:

  • What your current debt is.
  • What your income is as well as your monthly living expenses.
  • What property you own.
  • The property you believe you are legally allowed to keep—exempt property—when you file specifically for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These might be items of clothes, equity in your home, or a car.
  • Property that you gave away or sold in the last two years.

What is an automatic stay?

When you and your attorney file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will immediately put into action what is called an “automatic stay.” This is extremely beneficial because it deters many creditors from harassing you to pay what you owe them. This can ensure you have some money in the bank and that they do not try to take your property or even cut off certain utility services. It is possible for creditors to overturn this automatic stay, so speak with your attorney if you have any questions about this.

Does Chapter 7 wipe out all of my debt?

When you have completed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, many of your debts will be discharged. Some of the exceptions are:

  • Child support
  • Student loans
  • Any other debts that a bankruptcy court declares as non-dischargeable.

For more information on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, please reach out to an attorney today.

Source: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Tampa, FL, Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L.

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