Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is commonly known as a liquidating bankruptcy, personal bankruptcy, straight bankruptcy, or just bankruptcy. Chapter 7 wipes out many of your debts instantly and allows you to keep limited amounts of your property.

In most cases, it stops garnishments, lawsuits, and harassment permanently. It also stops repossessions and foreclosures temporarily, but in many cases, not permanently. Chapter 7 is a good solution for medical bills, credit card debts, some old taxes, and many other unsecured debts.

Chapter 7 usually takes three to five months from the date of filing to the final discharge. You can file only once in eight years.

At filing, the individual provides a list of all assets and obligations. A bankruptcy trustee goes over the list and decides whether to sell any unprotected assets to pay outstanding debts. Creditors can object on several grounds, including sudden disappearance of assets and lies in the bankruptcy filing.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debts & Filing

If you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will present a list of all assets and obligations to the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee decides whether to sell any unprotected assets to pay debts. But Chapter 7 won’t make all debts go away.

You will still have to repay:

  • Most student loans
  • Child support
  • Criminal fines, fees, and restitution
  • Alimony
  • Any debts incurred through fraud
  • Debts on assets that you plan to keep (like a home or a car).

Qualifying for Bankruptcy

Often, the first question asked by a person contacting our office is “Do I qualify for bankruptcy?” Qualifications for bankruptcy vary by individual and situation, but generally, you qualify for bankruptcy if your budget does not have cover reasonable living expenses and payments to your creditors. Living expenses and required payments must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but if you find yourself struggling to pay bills each month, you may qualify for bankruptcy.

When Ted Machi & Associates, P.C. evaluates your financial situation, we will not only evaluate your eligibility for bankruptcy. We will help you determine if it is wise or prudent to seek the protection of filing bankruptcy. Consider using our online bankruptcy evaluation. It is free and an attorney will be able to review your situation.

Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcies remain on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.  Although this is a long time, you should consider how your current report looks. If your credit report is full of late and missing payments and overextended debts, a bankruptcy may not make much difference on your report.

Many people get credit cards, car loans, and buy houses after their bankruptcy. Discuss how your situation may be affected when you meet with your attorney.

Relief from Creditor Harassment

One of the worst things about being in debt is the harassing telephone calls and threatening notices. These can come at the worst times. Creditors call you at work and may try to talk with your employer.

Once the bankruptcy documents are filed, the court will order an automatic stay. This means that all creditors must stop contacting you pending the resolution of your case. This is a federal law. If a creditor continues to call you or contact your employer, the court may impose fines, punitive damages and even jail time because of the court order violation.

What About Credit After Bankruptcy?

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in DFW Texas

To obtain relief from creditor harassment, you must actually file for bankruptcy. Telling a creditor you are going to do it is not enough. Creditors know this, and will not stop bothering you until they receive the order from the court. They know that once you file for bankruptcy protection, they will probably be unable to collect all of the debt.

A ringing phone can become a significant source of stress while you’re having financial problems. One call after another from creditors only adds to your stress. Their harassing collection tactics do little to resolve your financial problems. They have a right to call you, but they must abide by collection laws.