What is Chapter 7?

One of the main goals of a Chapter 7 is to give the honest yet unfortunate debtor a “fresh start”.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as a “fresh start” bankruptcy, is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. So, if you are struggling each month to pay your bills and you have late fees and interest charges piling up, filing a Chapter 7 may be a viable option for you. If you file a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy, generally all of your unsecured debts, including credit card balances, medical bills, and any other debts that are not secured by any assets, will be discharged.

There are two main things to consider before filing Chapter 7:
  • Do you pass the means test? In order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must prove either that your household income is below the median or that your expenses do not leave you with enough disposable income to pay down your debts. This test can be somewhat complicated, but I will walk you through each and every step so we can determine whether you pass the means test and qualify for a Chapter 7.
  • Will you have to give up any assets? This is one of the main concerns that many filers have. Contrary to popular belief, most people who file Chapter 7 are able to keep their homes, vehicles and other property. It is important to know, before filing, whether your assets fall under certain exemptions that are allowed for. I can help you figure this out so that you can keep as many assets as possible.

If it turns out that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not right for you, I can help you explore your alternatives, including possibly filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and any and all alternatives to bankruptcy. My goal as your lawyer will be to put you in the best possible financial position to move forward with your life and to start to relieve your stress immediately.

What is Chapter 13?

In today’s economy, many people have fallen behind on their debts due to wage cuts, temporary job loss, or a variety of other factors. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as debt reorganization, you generally keep most of your property and make payments over time, usually three to five years, pursuant to a court-approved repayment plan. The amount of the monthly repayment is based on household disposable income, secured debts and priority debts, among other things.

After the debtor has paid on their debts for the 3 to 5 year repayment period, all unsecured non-priority debts that have not been paid off will be discharged. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is intended for debtors who don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 due to various reasons such as a debtor’s income being too high, a second mortgage being eligible to be stripped and discharged, arrearages on a home mortgage needing to be made up to stop a foreclosure, or if the debtors have filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy in the last 8 years.

To get more information on the bankruptcy process and your options click

The information available on this website is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. Nor does the use of this website, or contacting me through the e-mail links contained therein, create an attorney-client relationship.