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Chapter 7: Frequently Asked Questions

Chapter 7 Frequently Asked QuestionsWHAT IS BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE?

A bankruptcy discharge will release the debtor from the obligation to pay certain debts.

WHAT DEBTS ARE NOT DISCHARGEABLE IN A BANKRUPTCY?

There are several debts that are non-dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding. Generally, debts obtained by fraud, debts obtained without an intent to repay, debts of luxury goods, debts owed for certain taxes, and debts owed for child support are not dischargeable. A complete list of non-dischargeable debts is located under Federal Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a).

WHAT IS EXEMPT PROPERTY?

Exempt property is property that the debtor may keep after filing for federal bankruptcy relief.

WHAT EXEMPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE IN CALIFORNIA?

There are two sets of exemptions that are available to debtors who have resided in California continuously for the past 2 years. A debtor can only use one set of exemptions and may not mix and match them. It is important to ensure that the correct set of exemptions are used in order to maximize the debtor’s exempt property. How long do I have to wait to file bankruptcy if I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy before? Currently, a chapter 7 debtor who previously received a discharged must wait 8 years before attempting to receive a new discharge in a Chapter 7 case. This period is calculated from the time of filing the previous case and the filing of the new case.

HOW LONG DOES BANKRUPTCY REMAIN ON MY CREDIT REPORT?

Bankruptcy will remain on an individual’s credit report for ten years.

WHERE SHOULD I FILE MY BANKRUPTCY CASE?

Bankruptcy must be filed in the federal district court where the debtor has resided for the greater part of the past 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY CHAPTER 7 CASE IS FILED?

After a chapter 7 bankruptcy case has been filed, a trustee is appointed. The trustee’s job is to liquidate all nonexempt assets. An individual will also receive a court date, referred to as the 341 debtor/creditor meeting. On this date, the trustee will ask the debtor questions under oath regarding his bankruptcy under oath. In order to attend the 341 debtor/creditor meeting an individual must have their driver’s license and a social security card for identification purposes.

DO I NEED TO PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION TO THE TRUSTEE ONCE MY CASE IS FILED?

The Bankruptcy Cod e requires debtors to provide the trustee with the most recent copy of tax returns and also pay stubs for the 60 days prior to filing bankruptcy.

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