Salinas Bankruptcy Lawyer
When an individual, or debtor, files for bankruptcy, he is getting a chance for a fresh start. Bankruptcy provides relief for a debtor under federal law in which certain debts can be discharged and certain assets can be kept. A Salinas bankruptcy lawyer can assist in navigating the complex federal and state laws involved when a debtor decides to file for bankruptcy.
When the debtor is an individual with mostly personal debts, and not debts related to a business, Chapter 7 bankruptcy will likely be the type of bankruptcy for which he will file. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allowed a debtor to find relief through the liquidation of his assets. Liquidation involves the selling of certain assets, known as non-exempt assets, and using the cash from the sales to pay off creditors. When all non-exempt assets have been liquidated, the remaining debts will be discharged, and the debtor is released of personal responsibility for the debts.
Not everyone is eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Generally, it is those who earn below a certain income or those without the disposable income to pay expenses who will be deemed eligible. Eligibility is determined via a means test, and a bankruptcy attorney can help a debtor to determine if he passes this test.
Discharge of Debts
Most debts that remain after the liquidation of non-exempt assets will be discharged. This means that a creditor will not be able to further pursue the debtor to collect on a debt. However, not all debts are subject to be discharged. Child support debts, spousal support and alimony debts, damages owed for personal injury actions in which the debtor caused injury to another as a result of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and fines and penalties owed to government agencies will not be discharged.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Steps
If you would like to initiate a bankruptcy proceeding, you should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer. The lawyer will gather information regarding your income, expense, debts, and creditors owed, and file a petition for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. You will want to provide documents such as income tax returns and pay stubs, as well as a list of creditors and assets. Once your petition is filed, the court will issue an automatic stay preventing creditors from attempting to collect payment for debts.
The court will assign a bankruptcy trustee who will sell your non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. You will also be required to complete a credit counseling course and a bankruptcy course during the process. Once you provide the court with a certificate of completion of the bankruptcy course, your qualifying debts will be discharged.
Call A Salinas Bankruptcy Lawyer if You Have Questions About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you think filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you, the bankruptcy lawyers at Miranda, Magden, & Miranda, LLP are here to help. Our professionals understand that bankruptcy can be a confusing and stressful process. Schedule a consultation and find relief by visiting our website today.