When you are faced with overwhelming debt that cannot be tamed with a debt reorganization plan, a good option may be to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is a complicated bankruptcy that requires the expertise of a knowledgeable Stockton Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, is a practical option for those who are having trouble paying bills, have credit card debt and are overwhelmed and tired of harassment by creditors. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help address and eliminate your unsecured debts ‐ debts not secured by any collateral or real property. Unsecured debts include:
- Credit card bills
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Overdraft charges or balances on closed accounts
Once you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Court trustee has the ability to sell or liquidate all of your non‐exempt assets for the benefit of your creditors. However, there are certain exemptions or limitations that will allow your San Joaquin County BK attorney to protect certain assets, such as:
- Clothes and personal effects
- Ordinary household goods, such as furniture and appliances
- Vehicle equity
- Retirement plans
- Insurance policies
- Tools of the trade
- Workers compensation and personal injury claim income
- Other assets
It should be noted that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will not discharge certain debts, including:
- Alimony and child support
- Certain taxes
- Certain educational loans
- Certain personal injury debts
- Certain criminal restitution debts
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process
Once you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you and your attorney will need to appear for a 341(a) Creditor’s Meeting at a specified date and time set by the Court. Your Stockton Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can attend the meeting with you to help you answer any questions that may arise. This meeting is generally scheduled within 30 to 45 days after filing.
The meeting is held in front of a trustee who will review the documents that you have filed. The trustee will then determine whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for consumers. Additionally, you also have to undergo a means test, which is a mathematical formula based on your income, total debts, and other factors. If you pass the means test, you can begin your Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. It can take any where from 3 to 4 months for you to receive a notice of discharge of the bankruptcy.
Call an Experienced San Joaquin County Bankruptcy Attorney
Have you already filed for bankruptcy or are planning to file for bankruptcy? If so, it may be in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you determine what is in your best interest.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Stockton bankruptcy attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323‐5558 or (559) 449‐1447, or complete our online form.