The majority of Americans that seek bankruptcy relief do so under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 7 is a “liquidation” bankruptcy, meaning available assets are converted to cash in order to pay one’s creditors. However, the Bankruptcy Code allows Debtors to “exempt,” or protect, certain categories of property, such as equity in a home, an automobile, household goods, and retirement accounts. A typical Chapter 7 case, including the time for our office to assist you in preparing the bankruptcy petition to be filed with the Bankruptcy Court, is between 4-6 months. As part of our initial analysis we will need to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 based on your income and family size. The Bankruptcy Code’s “Means Test” is a formula by which the Court determines whether a debtor has the means to pay back all or a portion of debt. If, according to this formula, you do not have an ability to repay your debt over a 3 to 5 year payment plan, then you will qualify for Chapter 7.
If you are currently struggling with debt, Chapter 7 may be an option to:
- Discharge unsecured debt, such as credit cards and medical debt;
- Stop creditor harassment;
- Achieve a fresh start on your financial future