Most Soledad families live from paycheck to paycheck. Many do not have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency expense, like a car repair or medical bill. So, one financial storm like a divorce, serious illness, or job loss often forces a Monterey County family under water. If you are drowning in debt, you will find that most debt collectors are quite aggressive. Therefore, the situation will probably get progressively worse unless you work with a Soledad Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney.
At Miranda, Magden & Miranda, we do more than file paperwork and hope for the best. Every bankruptcy matter we handle begins with a conversation. The outcome is much better if we understand your needs and goals. Additionally, we are with you every step of the way, including through any necessary court hearings. No bankruptcy petition preparer can do that. Finally, we give your family the tools necessary for post-bankruptcy financial success.
The Automatic Stay in Chapter 7
As mentioned, many creditors aggressively pursue adverse action after just one or two missed payments. Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code typically kicks in as soon as debtors file their voluntary petitions. The Automatic Stay immediately halts adverse action such as:
- Harassing phone calls,
- Wage garnishment, and
Debtors need not show cause, negligence, or any other fault. The Automatic Stay is just that. Normally, it stays in effect until the judge discharges debts, as outlined below. Moneylenders may only pursue adverse action if they get special permission from the bankruptcy judge. Such permission is extremely difficult to obtain, and an assertive Soledad Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney is on your side during the hearing.
The Automatic Stay applies to both private creditors like debt buyers and public agencies like the IRS. Furthermore, the Automatic Stay protects debtors even if the debt itself is a delinquent mortgage or another nondischargeable obligation.
Soledad Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys and Debt Discharge
About six weeks after the petition filing, a Chapter 7 trustee (person who administers the bankruptcy for the judge) reviews the paperwork and identifies any red flags. The trustee also usually requests identifying documents, like a Social Security card, and financial documents, like tax returns.
Assuming everything is in order, the judge usually issues a discharge order a few months later. This discharge order applies to most unsecured debts, such as:
- Medical bills,
- Credit card bills,
- Payday loans, and
- other personal loans.
Some unsecured debts are in special categories. For example, FSOs (Family Support Obligations) are usually never dischargeable under any circumstances. Past due income taxes are only dischargeable in certain situations, as well.
Additionally, the discharge order has a limited effect. It only eliminates the legal obligation to repay the debt. So, if a taxing authority or other entity has filed liens, the liens will still need to be addressed beyond the bankruptcy.
Contact a Diligent Lawyer
Bankruptcy cases are complex, and we are with you every step of the way. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Soledad Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney, contact Miranda, Magden & Miranda LLP. After-hours visits are available.