For people that have gotten themselves into more debt than they can handle, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an excellent option to reduce or even eliminate debt and get a fresh financial start. In many cases, people who file for bankruptcy are in a better financial position than they were shortly after their case completed, allowing them to focus on the future. Filing for any type of bankruptcy is a complicated matter, however, and consumers should be sure to discuss their options with a Salinas Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer before making any decisions that could affect their future.
How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy in which a debtor’s non-exempt assets are liquidated in order to pay back his or her creditors. For this reason, Chapter 7 is often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy.” Once the debtor’s assets are liquidated and creditors are paid back, his or her remaining debts are discharged in most cases, meaning that the debtor is no longer under any obligation to pay them back. Some examples of the kinds of debts that can be eliminated through Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:
- Overdue bills
- Credit card debt
- Utility bills
- Medical debt
- Personal loans
- Car loans
- Certain tax debts
- Civil judgments
- Collection accounts
As a consumer, you should be aware of the fact that there are certain categories of debts you cannot discharge through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Consequently, you should be sure to consult with a lawyer before you file.
Do People Who File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lose Everything?
If you are reading this and are concerned that you are going to lose everything if you file for Chapter 7, it’s important to keep in mind that only a debtor’s non-exempt assets are liquidated and that there are generous exemptions available. There are exemptions available for the equity in your home, personal property and bank accounts, vehicles, wages, pensions, and many other categories of assets. In fact, most bankruptcies are “no asset,” which means that the person filing does not have any non-exempt assets that the court can seize.
It’s Not Advisable to File without an Attorney
While there is no rule that prevents people from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without the assistance of a lawyer, it’s not advisable to try and do it yourself. Bankruptcy can affect your life for years, and it’s not in everyone’s best interest to file. That said, for many people who are in debt, filing for bankruptcy is clearly the best decision they can make. In addition, it’s critical that your filings are complete and accurate in order to get the full benefit of Chapter 7. For these reasons, if you are considering bankruptcy, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with One of Our Salinas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers
At Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, we understand how stressful being in debt can be and work hard to find effective solutions for all of our clients. We will closely review your financial situation and advise you as to whether we believe Chapter 7 or any other type of bankruptcy is right for you. If it is not, we can help you explore other options that could improve your situation. To schedule a consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys in Salinas, contact us today.