Boston Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
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Often called “straight bankruptcy,” or “liquidation,” Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common bankruptcy for consumer debt. It offers the most protection from creditors and provides the best fresh start. The legal remedy of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing may help if you, your business, or your family is overwhelmed with debt. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if you have not filed a bankruptcy action within the last eight years you can usually have your debts erased or discharged. The most common debts that are dischargeable include credit card debts and medical bills.
How can I reduce my debt and keep my property?
In addition to erasing your debt, Chapter 7 allows you to keep most, if not all, of your exempt property. Exempt properties are items you are usually allowed to keep including:
- Motor vehicles, up to a certain value
- Most clothing
- Reasonably necessary household goods and furnishings
- Household appliances
- Jewelry, up to a certain value
- Pensions and retirement plans
- A portion of equity in your home
- Tools of your trade or profession, up to a certain value
- A portion of unpaid but earned wages
- Public benefits, including welfare, Social Security, and unemployment compensation that you have in a bank account
- Damages awarded for personal injury
What is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process?
Once we have analyzed your debt, determined your property exemptions, and ensured you are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can expect the following:
- Credit counseling. The 2005 changes to the Bankruptcy Code now require every person filing for bankruptcy to get credit counseling at least 180 days before filing their bankruptcy petition.
- Bankruptcy petition. File your bankruptcy petition with the Bankruptcy Court.
- Automatic stay. The automatic stay is immediately entered!
- Trustee. A trustee will be appointed to your case.
- 341 Meeting. Attend the 341 Meeting.
- Discharge. Receive your discharge. Congratulations! This is what you’ve worked so hard to get!
- Timeline. The length of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case varies but is generally three to four months.
Can I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
That depends. Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7. You are required to qualify under the means test. Basically, the means test determines whether your income is low enough for you to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.