Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me
Filing bankruptcy allows you as a debtor to find relief under federal bankruptcy law. The legal process allows you to discharge most debts that you are unable to pay while also providing payments to those creditors who are of a higher priority than others.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy filed by individuals since it provides the opportunity to pay off debts through the liquidation of assets. When you file for bankruptcy, a trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court will sell any non-exempt assets. The money from these sales will then be used to pay off creditors. Debts that cannot be paid off via liquidation of your assets will be discharged. Discharge means that you are released of all personal responsibility for that debt and that the creditor cannot continue with any collection efforts.
Before you file for bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney near you can help you determine if you qualify. Eligibility is determined via a means test, which requires that your income is less than a certain amount or else prove that your disposable income is not enough to pay off your debts.
What Happens When I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
California requires that you follow state exemption laws when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and has two exemption systems from which to choose. Typically, the assets you don’t need for support or maintenance will be liquidated to pay your creditors. This means that you will likely be allowed to keep most of your property up to a certain value. Generally, assets that are included within the exempt category include:
- Your home, furnishings, and personal items
- Your clothing
- Burial and cemetery plots
- Equity in your vehicle
- Retirements and pensions
- Personal injury awards
- Funds necessary for support
Steps Involved in a Bankruptcy Proceeding
To initiate a bankruptcy proceeding, you will consult with an attorney who will complete and file documents such as the petition and your lists of assets and creditors on your behalf. Additionally, you will be required to provide proof of income and expenses as shown by your income tax returns and pay stubs. You will also be required to complete a credit counseling course. Once the petition is filed, the court will issue an automatic stay. This order prohibits creditors who are listed within filed documents from pursuing the collection of debts.
After you’ve filed your petition and the court assigns the bankruptcy trustee, the trustee will hold a meeting of creditors. The meeting will be the time at which the trustee will ask you questions about your debts in the presence of creditors. The trustee will then sell the assets to be liquidated and pay your creditors. To have your debt discharged, you must also complete a bankruptcy course and provide proof of completion with the court.
Call A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Near You Today
If you need help deciding whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you, the attorneys at Miranda, Magden, & Miranda, LLP are here to help you begin the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process to discharge the debts that you are unable to pay. Schedule a consultation by visiting our website today.