Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
We understand that filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a big decision. Choose an experienced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney so you can get out of debt and start fresh.
Bankruptcy Basics: Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
More people file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy than any other type of bankruptcy. Now Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is commonly referred to as a "fresh start" because it wipes out debt. In fact, you never again have to pay the debts included in your bankruptcy case. Importantly, the creditors are legally forbidden from trying to collect money from you after you receive your discharge.
The Bankruptcy laws were not enacted to punish you. On the contrary, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is meant to give you a second chance. At the same time, you can keep your assets. Then you will be able to rebuild your credit and focus on your future.
Considering Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a great solution to overwhelming debt when you find yourself:
- Can't pay more than minimum payments on credit card bills.
- Without a job to pay your bills.
- Involved in a lawsuit because of unpaid debts.
- Taking money from one credit card to pay on another.
- Struggling with personal loan payments.
- Assessed large tax debts.
- Ordered to pay large child support payments reducing your monthly income.
- Late on your house
- Falling behind with car payments.
- Involved in a divorce requiring you pay all or part of the marital debts.
- Saddled by bad credit.
- Making credit card payments but never able to pay down the balances.
- Paying a large portion of your income toward your credit card payments.
- Liquidating retirement accounts to pay bills, especially unsecured debt.
- Unable to pursue additional education because you can’t get ahead on your credit card payments.
Debts that go away in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy include credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, income taxes (that are at least three years old, were assessed more than two years ago and meet the 240 day assessment rule), attorney's fees, judgments, auto repossessions, foreclosure deficiencies, past due utilities, lawsuits and more.
To sum up, your balance owed on the above unsecured debts goes away. You do not have to pay back these creditors. Under the United States Bankruptcy Code, this is referred to as “discharge” of debt.
You can keep most, if not all of your property in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, including:
- Equity in your primary residence up to approximately $640,000.
- Household goods: furniture, clothing, electronics, sports equipment, etc.
- Retirement accounts: 401k, Pension, 403b, IRAs and other IRS qualified accounts.
- Term life insurance policies.
- Whole Life Insurance policies with a limited cash value.
- Money in the bank.
- Tax refunds.
- And MORE!
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Before filing bankruptcy you need to speak with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. The bankruptcy laws require an in depth analysis of your household income and your property. First, you need to pass the bankruptcy codes income calculation known as the "means test". Second, you cannot have filed another chapter 7 within the past 8 years. Third, you cannot have too many assets. Fourth, you must take a credit counseling class as required by the United States Bankruptcy Code. Fifth, you must attend a 341a meeting of creditors before a Trustee who is assigned to your bankruptcy case.
Protect Your Property With Bankruptcy Exemptions
Property is protected in bankruptcy using “exemptions”. In fact, choosing exemptions is the most important aspect of a bankruptcy filing. Exemptions are particularly complicated and require application of either Federal or State laws. California exemptions are especially generous when compared to other states. Still, they require careful analysis and application in a Bankruptcy filing.
Another key point is that the Bankruptcy Laws allow you to keep your San Diego residence. Even if you have as much as $600,000 in equity in your primary residence! However, the protecting property in complicated.
Without a skilled bankruptcy attorney who knows how to apply exemptions, you risk losing your property in a bankruptcy case. Therefore, you need a qualified Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney San Diego. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark L. Miller have been handling bankruptcy cases for over 25 years. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
In addition, filing bankruptcy will prevent the following creditor conduct:
- Stop creditor calls
- Eliminate wage garnishments
- Put a Stop to bank levies
- Block repossessions
- Cease foreclosure
- And MORE!
Indeed filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy initiates an “automatic stay” under the United States Bankruptcy Code. The “automatic stay” acts as a stop sign preventing creditors from continuing collecting. For example, court ordered collections such as wage garnishments and bank levies stop. Further, a scheduled property foreclosure sale must be cancelled. A creditor cannot repossess a car, truck, motorcycle, RV, boat or any other motor vehicle because of a bankruptcy.
Nevertheless, there are procedures that must be followed to ensure the creditors are notified of a bankruptcy filing. For this reason it is particularly important to consult with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney San Diego with sufficient expertise.
Text (619) 574-0551 for a free consultation.
What Debts does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Clear?
Filing bankruptcy gives you a fresh start by eliminating debt while allowing you to keep most of your property. In fact, most clients keep all of their property and lose nothing but their debt! To begin with, Bankruptcy law is not meant to punish you. To this end, the law allows for property exemptions to keep your car, house, jewelry, clothing, and everything else. Unsecured debts like credit card balances, personal loans, money judgments, and certain taxes can be wiped out in Chapter 7.
What Debts Do Not Go Away in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Some debts will not be wiped out in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, spousal support, alimony, child support, student loans, court fines, government fees, parking citations, speeding tickets, restitution, criminal claims and taxes owed for the past three years.
How Long Does Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?
Generally Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases last about four months. First, we will file your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court. Then you will attend a 341a meeting of creditors. The Bankruptcy Court schedules your 341a meeting of creditors. The 341a meeting of creditors is held about 30 days after your bankruptcy case is filed.
On this occasion, you will be accompanied by an experienced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney from the Law Offices of Mark L. Miller. Of course our attorneys are highly qualified. They have attended thousands of 341a meetings.
Afterward, you will wait approximately three months for your discharge order to be entered by the Bankruptcy Court. Finally, your bankruptcy case is done and you are debt free!
Choose our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney San Diego
While bankruptcy law is extremely powerful, it is equally complex. Navigating through the bankruptcy process can be overwhelming. Therefore it is most important that you speak with a skilled chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. Our knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys are very hands on. For example, you will meet with an attorney during your initial consultation. The attorney will provide you an in-depth analysis of your situation. In addition, we will discuss several different options based on your situation. We do not have high pressure sales tactics.
Above all our priority is for you to feel comfortable knowing this is the right decision for you. For this reason the Law Offices of Mark L. Miller is here to guide you from beginning to end of your bankruptcy case. Get out of debt and get back to living life. Contact us at the Law Offices of Mark L. Miller in San Diego. Talk with one of our experienced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys so you know your rights and can get out of debt.
File for Chapter 7 in San Diego
Because bankruptcy law varies significantly from court to court, it is important to find an attorney who is familiar with how the courts operate in your particular area. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark L. Miller have experience with San Diego bankruptcy courts and have helped thousands of clients regain financial freedom.