Chapter 7 is a type of bankruptcy relief offered to consumers. It wipes out your unsecured debts so that you can have a fresh start. These cases last approximately 4-5 months from the filing of the case. Once you receive a Chapter 7 discharge, you can not receive another bankruptcy discharge for 8 years.
Bankruptcy cases provide for liquidation meaning your properties that are non-exempt by the Bankruptcy Code may be sold after filing of the case. Exemptions are allowed so that Debtors can keep up to a certain worth of different categories of assets. A trustee is assigned when a bankruptcy case is filed. Once a bankruptcy case is filed, all assets of the debtor become the bankruptcy estate thus, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee takes the place of the debtor and has the power to liquidate or sell any assets of the debtor. It is important to consult an experienced lawyer that can analyze your assets and liabilities to make sure that the assets you wish to keep will not be liquidated once the bankruptcy case is filed.
You must show that there is “no assumption of abuse” under the means test, under Official Form 122A-1. Means test inputs the last 6 months of your household gross income to determine whether you are under the IRS household median for your household size. The median income is not often updated but can be found at the Department of Justice. If you are, then you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is the best option for you. If you are above the median income, then you must complete Official Form 122A-2. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney that can help you to navigate these forms.
There is a filing fee associated with filing the petition with the court. The table of FEES associated with cases filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia is a public resource. As for attorney fees, at Hong & Sessions Law, LLC, we offer a payment plan for our attorney fees that will meet your financial schedule. We want to help you get a clean start and will work with you through the entire process to help you through it.
Although it may seem simple to navigate and fill out the forms for a Chapter 7, remember, there are always exceptions that apply to your case that you may not know so it is important to seek the advice of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Once a bankruptcy case is filed, especially a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the filing is recorded on your credit report and it is very difficult for you to change your mind and get out of the case. Thus, you may have assets you wanted to keep forced into a sale. Be sure to consult an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to explore all of your options before submitting that filing.