Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me
As a debtor considering whether to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you likely have many questions regarding the bankruptcy process and what’s involved in a Chapter 7 case. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For specific questions about your individual situation, contact a bankruptcy attorney near you.
Should I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a beneficial process for many people, it is also a complex legal process with many implications for your future. You should never file for bankruptcy on a whim, but instead, carefully discuss whether this is the right debt relief path for you and your situation. Our attorneys review many factors, including:
- Your income
- The nature of your debts
- Your assets and property
- Whether you have filed for bankruptcy in the past
- Your future financial goals
If Chapter 7 is the right course of action, your attorney can begin guiding you through the process.
What is the Means Test?
The means test determines whether or not you have enough disposable income to pay your debts when considering all sources of monthly income. If you make less than the state median for a family of your size, then you qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If not, your lawyer can deduct certain qualified expenses to show reduced income. If you still make more than the state median, you might need to explore other options for debt relief other than Chapter 7.
What Can I Claim as Exempt Property?
When it is determined that you are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets will be liquidated to pay the money you owe to creditors. There is certain property that is considered exempt and cannot be liquidated. After all non-exempt assets are liquidated, you will be entitled to discharge your remaining debts.
Exempt property is generally those assets that are needed to maintain your house and your employment. California law requires all debtors to choose from one of two systems of exemptions. Both systems allow you to retain the homestead, motor vehicles, personal property, insurance, and benefits, generally up to a certain amount. However, the 704 exemption is better for those who wish to protect their houses. This exemption, known as the “wildcard” exemption, allows you to protect any property up to a certain dollar amount.
Will Any of My Debts Not Be Discharged?
Once your assets are liquidated, and creditors are paid with the proceeds, you are entitled to discharge your remaining debts. However, certain debts cannot be discharged including:
- Child support and alimony
- Debts owed to the IRS and other government agencies
- Debts from student loans
- Personal injury damages you owe as a result of injuring someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Wages owed to employees
Should I Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me?
A bankruptcy attorney can help you provide accurate and complete information when submitting required documents to help prevent delays and ensure a successful discharge of your debts. The bankruptcy attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, are here to guide you through the Chapter 7 process. Visit our website to contact a bankruptcy attorney near you.