You probably have asked yourself many times, “What did I do to get here?” Your creditors are calling and calling. The thought of all your debt is so overwhelming that it’s affecting your sleep, your relationships, and maybe even your physical well-being. You’re not alone. All sorts of people have had to endure financial stress at some point in their lives. Many circumstances including divorce, job loss, poor health resulting in large medical bills, or injury and disability can lead to an unmanageable financial situation. Fortunately Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code was created to offer people just like you the chance to rebuild their financial future and get a fresh start. It is your right as an American citizen to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if you meet certain criteria.
Before your case can be filed you must receive a consultation from a credit counseling agency. Under the new Bankruptcy Reform Act, before you file a bankruptcy petition, you are required to have a briefing from a certified credit counseling agency. We offer a certified on-line service right here in our offices for your convenience. This on-line service will explain financial management, the alternatives to bankruptcy, and how to do a budget analysis.
Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney
Although the law provides that you can handle a Bankruptcy proceeding on your own, the new laws are complex, and lets face it your financial future is important. You should retain an experienced attorney whose specialty is personal bankruptcy cases. You’ll find that Eron and his staff are familiar with the crucial step of assessing your specific financial situation. We will guide you through the entire process, presenting you with all your options so you can make an informed decision.
Protection from your creditors
After we are retained to handle your case we will begin the process of filing a bankruptcy petition with the court. We will ask you to fill out some forms which will help us prepare your personal information, including all your income (your pay), your assets (things you own), your expenses (what it costs you to live on a monthly basis), and your debts (anyone you owe money). We will also explain what exemptions the law entitles you to. Exemptions are laws that prevent your creditors from taking certain property away from you.
After the petition is filed with the court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to your case. The court will then issue an “Automatic Stay” that prohibits most of your creditors from taking any further action against you outside of bankruptcy court. This action is designed to:
- Stop most calls and bills from creditors
- Protect much of your property from seizure
- Prohibit most creditor lawsuits against you
- Prevent foreclosure of your home
- Stop wage garnishments > Block the repossession of your automobile
You must however comply with all rules in order to receive your discharge. It is critical for you to follow your attorney’s instructions and do not:
- SAttempt to conceal your property
- SDestroy financial records
- SViolate any court order
- SMake enormous, last-minute charges on your credit cards
- SBankruptcy can help you eliminate many debts
If a debt is unsecured-that is, with no collateral backing it up-it typically can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Eron will review your case with the Federal and State allowable exemptions in mind. Some of these may include:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Most personal loans
- Judgments resulting from car accidents
- Deficiencies on repossessed vehicles
- Some older tax debts
- Payday loans
- A bankruptcy cannot eliminate all debt
Unfortunately, even a bankruptcy cannot eliminate all of the debts you owe. You will still be liable for:
- Child support
- Recent Taxes
- Student loans
In the case of significant non-dischargeable debts, you might consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. During your initial consultation we will explain all of your options and other legal rights and responsibilities as they pertain to your specific situation.