Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | Credit Card Debt, Medical Bills, Personal Loans, Auto Debt
In general, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most popular choice for those seeking an expedited FRESH START from general unsecured debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a person to eliminate most or all unsecured debt, while retaining your assets. So long as you qualify as to income guidelines, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would eliminate:
• Credit cards
• Personal loans
• Medical bills
• “Walking away” from a troubled property
• Potential Wage Garnishments
• Utility Shut-Offs
• Deficiency balances from previously repossessed vehicles
In our experience, most individuals suffer with debt longer than necessary as they fear they will lose their home or vehicles if they choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. THIS IS NOT TRUE. The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are used to PROTECT your assets. With proper exemption planning, you can KEEP your:
• Tax Refunds
• Household Possessions
If you are suffering with medical bills, credit card debt, judgments, you should act now.
CONTACT US TODAY AND WE GUARANTEE YOU WILL SLEEP BETTER TONIGHT.
Experience Matters. Choose a Bankruptcy Law Firm trusted by your Friends, Family and Other Attorneys
Foster Law Offices, LLC has filed, by far, the most cases in the Erie Bankruptcy Division for several years now, for a reason. We are good at what we do and we offer our clients unparalleled customer service and a personalized solution to their debt relief problems.
More than HALF of our new clients are a result attorney referrals and past satisfied clients. Our firm is built upon personal relationships with clients and a mutual trust. Our licensed bankruptcy attorneys will meet with you personally to assess the viability of a Chapter 7 case and will make sure your assets are protected through proper exemption planning.
How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?
The electronic filing of the bankruptcy petition triggers the Automatic Stay under 362 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Automatic Stay is one of the most important provisions of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. The Automatic Stay protects a debtor from all collection activities including: lawsuits, wage garnishments, foreclosure, sheriff sales and general harassment.
Keep in mind that MOST common assets are EXEMPT or PROTECTED. For instance, the Federal Bankruptcy Code provides exemptions for things like a homestead (residence), vehicle, household goods and pension. However, proper exemption planning can be difficult at times and improper usage can be disastrous. It is critical to have experienced counsel review the available exemptions PRIOR to the filing of the case.
What Debts Are Not Discharged (Eliminated) in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
• Debts incurred through fraud;
• Child and spousal support;
• Debts incurred as a property settlement in a divorce;
• Some taxes including income and real estate. However, this area of law is somewhat complicated and can be discussed in detail at the initial consultation;
• Most student loans;
• Debts for personal injury and death caused by your driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated;
• Debts for personal injury and property damage incurred through willful or malicious harm;
• Criminal fines and penalties.
Why Y attorney for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
It is important to keep in mind that there is no true “typical” or “routine” bankruptcy filing. I have seen many advertisements on the internet indicating that the process is “easy” or can even be done without an attorney. I can tell you that this could not be further from the truth. The Bankruptcy Courts and the Federal guidelines are very stringent and there is very little “wiggle room” associated with the deadlines and procedure. Unfortunately, I have seen many individuals waste hundreds, if not thousands of dollars following a “do-it yourself” bankruptcy plan. More importantly, I have seen individuals lose assets with improper exemption planning. Most problems I have seen could have been avoided altogether with competent legal representation. Normally my clients enter my office with a life full of chaos, the last thing they need is to lose assets or pay several hundred dollars for a dismissed bankruptcy case.
What is a basic timeline for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In general, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process takes APPROXIMATELY 5 months from filing to discharge. However, here can be a variety of circumstances which can trigger further investigations by the Court, which would obviously lengthen the process. At the initial consultation, I am usually able to tell my clients how long a case will last based on my past experience. You can be sure that my office will walk through this process step-by-step. We realize you have never been in this situation before and we take each client’s case slowly to ensure all questions are answered in a timely manner.
What to Expect in a Chapter 7 Filing
- The first step would be to look at the reality of the situation. Have you been “treading water” with high interest rates and minimum payments for years? Have you experienced a dramatic change in your financial situation due to a job loss, divorce, or medical condition? If so, you should ACT NOW. The first step in the process is scheduling a FREE BANKRUPTCY CONSULTATION.
- Scheduling a free consultation is easy – CALL 877-673-3282 or CLICK HERE to use our Online Contact Form.
- At the initial bankruptcy consultation, a licensed bankruptcy attorney will complete an inventory of your assets and determine your household income vs. expenses. This information will allow the attorney to quickly ascertain whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or if a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better fit, based upon your unique situation.
- We can come up with a payment plan to suit almost anyone’s means. Our firm takes pride in making payment plans work for our clients. Our clients typically ask us how they can even afford to hire an attorney given their financial situation. You would be surprised what we could come up with!
- Next, we completed a draft of the bankruptcy petition and all schedules. Once your schedules are complete, we will file your case with the United States Bankruptcy Court which triggers the “Automatic Stay”. This is the area of the law that stops all debt collection, lawsuits, phone calls and everything else that is causing you great stress day in and day out.
- The filing of the bankruptcy case will also trigger a “Meeting of Creditors” whereas you will meet with the Trustee (a Court Appointed Attorney) to present your identification and verify that the schedules are accurate and that we have disclosed all income and assets. This meeting typically takes place within about 60 days or less. This meeting is usually NOT in an intimidating Courtroom. You will be prepared for this meeting and it should not be a major event in your life. It is unlikely that creditors actually show at this meeting – or at least I should know if they plan to attend. I will do everything possible to ensure there are no surprises for you on this stressful day. In general – there are several hearings scheduled every hour, so they tend to move along quickly.
- So long as everything “checks out” during the meeting – you should expect the trustee to mark your case as a “no asset” situation. In other words, there are no “exposed” assets to disburse to unsecured creditors.
- From there you should expect to receive discharge within about 90 days believe it or not! Typically, there are no additional hearings or meetings, unless you schedule an appointment with questions.
- Following your discharge you will receive a personalized LIFE AFTER BANKRUPTY packet. Our exclusive life after bankruptcy program contains information and tips crucial to rebuilding your credit in an expedited manner. Our firm will provide you with a STEP BY STEP process on how to rebuild your credit in the shortest amount of time possible.
At Foster Law Offices, LLC we pride ourselves in FOCUSING EXCLUSIVELY ON THE PRACTICE OF BANKRUPTCY. We encourage our clients to call in ANYTIME they have questions or would like to check on the status of their case. In general, our firm charges ONE FLAT FEE for most Routine Chapter 7 cases.
These means you can call in whenever you want throughout the process without fear of being billed for every phone call and email. As YOUR bankruptcy attorney, our job is to see that you get “in and out” of Chapter 7 as fast as possible, so that you can move on with your FRESH START and REBUILD YOUR CREDIT QUICKLY.