Bankruptcy Lawyer Hollister
Are you trapped under an overwhelming amount of debt? Your last resort may be filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The most common form of bankruptcy, a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, will wipe out all your dischargeable debt to give you a fresh financial start. Our experienced bankruptcy lawyers here at Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, can help you with the entire bankruptcy process, so you can start living a debt-free life. If you have yet to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in Hollister, here’s what you need to know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Put simply, when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee appointed by the court will examine all your assets, property, and debts and will sell or liquidate property, if any, that is not protected under law. The sale proceeds will then be used for paying off your creditors. The court will forgive the remaining debt that exceeds your assets.
Property that the trustee can’t liquidate or sell and you get to keep is called exempt property, and this usually includes, but is not limited to:
- Your vehicle
- Unspent Social Security plans
- Retirement plan assets such as IRAs and 401(k)
- Some home equity
- Anything your need to do your job
- Furniture and clothing
- Wildcard assets up to a certain value
Although some of your debt may be forgiven or discharged, the court can’t forgive specific payments, which can include:
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Most Student loan debt
- Debt incurred through illegal activities
- Most Back taxes
Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
You cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the event that you’ve had debt discharged even once in the past six to eight years. But the total time will depend on which form of bankruptcy was used to discharge the debt. You will also need to pass a means test, which is a test that will determine whether you can pay back a reasonable percentage of the debt. The test will compare your income to your state’s median income.
Prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll be required to complete a DOJ-approved credit counseling course. This course will give you an understanding of the other alternatives you may consider before you resort to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can complete this course online, by phone, or in person. You will also have to file a petition along with some documents with your local bankruptcy court. The required documents will show the following to the court:
- Your debt and creditors
- Your current income
- Any current property and property that you have owned in the past two years
- Your living expenses
- The past two years’ financial transactions
- Exempt property
An automatic stay will be placed on your property once the bankruptcy court approves your paperwork. With an automatic stay in place, your creditors won’t be able to collect what you owe them. This means that during this time, the court will safeguard your property and assets from seizure.
Get Legal Counsel from a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Hollister Today
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, let the experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys of Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, help you. Use our online contact form or call us to discuss your bankruptcy case with a bankruptcy lawyer in Hollister today.