Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legal filing done when a person has too much debt and can't afford to pay off their creditors in a reasonable time period. Under bankruptcy protection, people that own money to creditors seek relief by filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Not all debt can be discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Student loans and income taxes owed to the government will still need to be paid, but all unsecured debt such as credit card debt will not have to be paid back.
Chapter 7 allows people to get back on their feet financially and protects consumers who have gone overboard with their spending habits in the past. People who file chapter 7 bankruptcy will see their credit score go down temporarily, as their creditors file claims with all the major credit bureaus.
At this time of year in particular, we often see a large number of Chapter 13 clients that are considering converting to a Chapter 7 case. At the start of the New Year, people often re-evaluate where they are financially, and with many people receiving their income tax refunds this can be a great time to make a new financial start with a Chapter 7 case. Switching to Chapter 7 Converting an existing Chapter 13 case to a Chapter 7 case is, in many ways, like filing a new Chapter 7 case from scratch. When you convert, you can include any…Read More
After sitting down with your bankruptcy attorney and discussing the pros and cons of filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you have decided that it is in your best interest to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You have given your attorneys all the information they need, and you have reviewed and signed your bankruptcy petition. What should you expect after that petition is filed? The Automatic Stay First, with the filing of your bankruptcy, the automatic stay comes into effect. The automatic stay has been discussed previously in this blog, but basically the automatic stay prevents creditors from…Read More
Before deciding if a debt can be discharged in a bankruptcy, it must be determined whether the debt is a type that can or cannot be discharged. This sounds simple enough but when it comes to divorce and whether or not a debt is a domestic support obligation, it can be much more complicated. As previously discussed in Cynthia Lawson’s blog post of 3/1/2013, there are two types of debts owed to an ex-spouse 1) a domestic support obligation which is defined in 11 U.S.C. §101(14A) and 2) a property settlement obligation. Domestic support obligations are not dischargeable in either…Read More
A common question that many of our clients ask as we go through the process of filing a Bankruptcy is “will my job find out?” The very short and sweet answer to the question of “will filing Bankruptcy affect my employment” is a resounding NO. This answer lies directly within the Bankruptcy Code at 11 U.S.C. §525 and reads as follows: Protection Against Discriminatory Treatment (a) Except as provided in the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930, the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, and section 1 of the Act entitled “An Act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal…Read More
Irony has a funny way of rearing its head. One of Kanye West’s most successful songs is called “Gold Digger”. The song details the lives of people that use other people just for their money. In a strange twist of fate, Kanye West now seems to be doing the very thing his song criticizes. News reports from this past weekend state that Kanye West owes nearly $53,000,000.00. In an effort to ease his financial problems, Kanye West reportedly reached out to Facebook creator and multi-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg for financial help. While the average individual does not have this much debt,…Read More
On the means test, only a small portion of your children’s tuition can be deducted from your income. Congress currently allows $156.25 per child as a deduction on the means test. Specifically, Bankruptcy Code § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(IV) states: “[T]he debtor’s monthly expenses may include the actual expenses for each dependent child less than 18 years of age, not to exceed $1,875 per year per child, to attend a private or public elementary or secondary school if the debtor provides documentation of such expenses and a detailed explanation of why such expenses are reasonable and necessary, and why such expenses are not…Read More
This is something that I explore with every potential client on their initial free consultation visit to my office. Everyone’s situation is different and there are many reasons why I might recommend a potential client file one chapter over another. For instance, if someone is trying to protect equity in an asset such as a home, car or cash, I may advise a chapter 13 bankruptcy. If a potential client is trying to save their home from foreclosure or their car from repossession I may also recommend chapter 13. On the other hand, there are various reasons why I may recommend…Read More
The current bankruptcy filing fee to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is $335.00. This fee may be a little out of reach for some individuals who are in financial distress and have to decide whether to use their money to pay their electricity bill or their phone bill. So what can these people do if they need to file for bankruptcy to get debt relief? There is some good news. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case you may be eligible for a fee waiver if your gross household income falls under 150% of the poverty guidelines for…Read More
If you are having financial difficulties and you are thinking that it might be time to consider filing a bankruptcy case, then it might just be time for you to do so. Do not make the mistake of thinking that filing a bankruptcy case on your own (or even with an attorney not familiar with bankruptcy law) is the way you should go. Perhaps the worst thing you can do in the face of financial difficulties is to go at it alone or with bad advice. This is the time to seek the advice of a competent and experienced attorney…Read More
If you make above the median income, the means test has to be completed to determine whether you qualify to file chapter 7 without a presumption of abuse. However, if you are a member of the National Guard or Reserves, you may be exempt from the means test and able to file chapter 7 regardless of your income, if you meet the following criteria: You are member of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard or Air National Guard. Performed the following service for at least 90 days: Active duty…Read More