Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a section of the Federal Law created for the sole purpose of giving debt relief to individuals who need it. The United States Congress determined that many hard working people will run into financial difficulty throughout their life time so it created bankruptcy laws to protect them from their creditors. Congress understood that there will be many people who want to repay their creditors, but due to unforeseen circumstances such as job losses, health care costs, divorce, and a global economy in distress, and they simply cannot pay their creditors.
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may allow you to discharge all of your unsecured debts such as your credit cards, your unsecured lines of credit and loans, your medical bills, broken leases, etc. without having to repay anything to those creditors. Once you file, the creditors are subject to an automatic stay from the United States Bankruptcy Court--they must stop calling you, harassing you, writing you nasty letters, suing you, or, basically, doing anything about collecting that debt. Once you receive your discharge order from the Bankruptcy Court your debts are formally wiped away, this restraining order becomes permanent and your creditors are forever prohibited from contacting you.
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, sometimes referred to a "Complete Bankruptcy" is appropriate when an individual, sole-proprietor, partnership, LLC, and/or corporation can no longer pay debts or obligations.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is appropriate when the individual or business is unable to pay their or its debts.
After meeting with a qualified bankruptcy professional and it is determined that it is in the best interest to file a chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy starts when a document called a Petition is filed with the US Bankruptcy Court. Attached to the bankruptcy Petition are schedules and statements that set forth your assets and liabilities, income, monthly expenses and your financial affairs.
Once the Petition and Schedule are filed with the appropriate Bankruptcy Court, a Trustee is assigned to oversee your case. In addition, the bankruptcy court serves a document called a "Notice of filing" on all of your Creditors. This notice is mailed to you, your attorney, court appointed trustee and all of your creditor in approximately 7 days from the date your Petition and required related schedules are filed with the court.
This Notice is important because it tells you the date, time and location of your hearing. This notice also outlines certain important dates. The hearing is generally called a ("341" Meeting with the Creditors"). The hearing date for this meeting is set approximately 30 days from the date your chapter 7 petition was filed with the Court.
Must you appear at the Meeting? Yes. This meeting is mandatory. Your appearance at the meeting is required in order your to receive a Discharge of your Debts. A Discharge is a Court order that says you do not have to pay most of your debts. Some debts cannot be discharge in your bankruptcy.
How happens at this "341 Meeting"? At this meeting, you are examined under "Oath" by the court appointed trustee. The trustee is not a judge. However, he or she is not to be taken lightly. The trustee job is to review your petition and make sure that is accurate and that you all of the information provided is accurate and correct. Further, the trustee job is make sure that
What Debts are generally non-dischargeable- which means you will still owe the debt after your chapter 7 bankruptcy is closed or completed?
--- Most recent taxes
--- Child Support obligations
--- Most student loans
--- Court fines and criminal restitution
--- Personal injury caused by drunk driving or under the influence of drugs.
--- Debts by fraud or misrepresentation
You can only receive a Chapter 7 Discharge every 8 years.
No one can make you pay any debt that has been "Discharged" under Chapter 7. However, you can voluntarily pay any debt that you want to pay.
You will need an experienced bankruptcy attorney to fight for your rights when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys at the Brooks & Carpenter law firm are some of the most experienced attorneys you will find. We meet directly with clients and we prepare, file, all documents and personally represent you in all proceedings from beginning to the end.
Call now to schedule an appointment for a Free Consultation at Brooks & Carpenter.