Terre Haute Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
For most people, Chapter 7 is the form of bankruptcy they think of when they imagine bankruptcy. In Chapter 7, the bankruptcy court wipes out just about all of your unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, utility bills, collection accounts…), giving you a fresh start with a clean slate. Chapter 7 is a powerful tool for people struggling to keep up with monthly payments. However, not everybody qualifies for Chapter 7. For those who do, having the help of a skilled bankruptcy attorney is essential to achieving a successful discharge of debt without losing any property along the way.
In Terre Haute, the Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm helps people climb out from under a mountain of debt and get a fresh start with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Call us for a free consultation, and we can get started right away getting you immediate relief from creditor harassment and collections while we work to discharge your debt.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy that allows most people to completely wipe out their unsecured debt, such as medical debt, credit card debt, personal loans, judgments, lease and collection debt. A debtor can usually keep their home and car in a Chapter 7, but they must be and remain current on their monthly payments. To qualify for a Chapter 7, a person must not have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the last eight years in Indiana and be able to pass an income test called “the means test.” The means test uses the median income for your household size and expenses based on the IRS standards of living.
In Chapter 7, the trustee takes control of the debtor’s assets and sells any unexempt property to pay back creditors. Fortunately, most people do not have any assets of value or nonexempt assets to be liquidated. The bankruptcy code allows exemptions on real and personal property so that the debtor will have some assets when the bankruptcy is finished. Although bankruptcy is federal law, each state may choose to use its own exemptions.
A chapter 7 remains on your credit report three years longer than a chapter 13. We have been very successful in advising our clients how to rebuild their credit after their bankruptcy.
Benefits of Filing Chapter 7
You get to make a fresh start with your finances. When the bankruptcy court issues a discharge, the only debts that you will be responsible for are the secured debts that you reaffirm (such as car loans) and any debts that are excluded from discharge by law (certain tax debts, student loans in most cases, child support payments).
Your Creditors will have to cease all collection activities, including repossessions, lawsuits and wage garnishment.
- Any income earned or assets acquired after you file, except for an inheritance, are yours to keep.
- You don’t have to carry a certain minimum amount of debt to be able to file.
- Your case is usually finished within three to five months.
How Our Terre Haute Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
Before you file for bankruptcy, we’ll go over your finances and personal situation to make sure your filing is timed appropriately for maximum benefit. We’ll guide you through the means test to determine your Chapter 7 eligibility, and we’ll prepare your petition for filing. We’ll pore over all applicable bankruptcy exemptions to ensure you get to keep most, if not all, of your property safe from the bankruptcy trustee. We’ll gather, prepare and file all necessary documents, appear on your behalf at any required meetings, and resolve any issues that might crop up along the way, including objections from creditors about discharging your debt or other attempts to make a debt non-dischargeable.
What Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Do?
When you’re saddled with massive amounts of debt, everyday life can feel overwhelming. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a great option for those who are having difficulty supporting themselves and simply are unable to repay their creditors.
However, because Chapter 7 involves the complete liquidation of your assets, you’ll need to make sure that this is the right choice for you. Working with an experienced and successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine whether this path is the best one for you. Below, we discuss the responsibilities of your attorney and what you can expect when declaring Chapter 7.
Bankruptcy Legal Advice
Although you might believe Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the only option for you, it might come as a surprise to learn that there are other types of bankruptcy that could be a better fit, including Chapter 13.
Your lawyer will review the details of your income, debts, expenses, assets and other pertinent information to determine whether Chapter 7 is the right choice for your financial situation. You can trust that your attorney will be able to give you the sound legal advice you need to move forward.
Preparing Bankruptcy Paperwork
No matter which type of bankruptcy you’re filing, the size and complexity of the forms process can be be overwhelming, and you might not understand all of the legal language. Your lawyer can assist you in filling out the necessary papers and make sure that everything is filed on time so your Chapter 7 bankruptcy process continues as smoothly as possible.
Requirements to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Making the decision to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy shouldn’t be taken lightly. It requires the complete liquidation of your assets and should only be done as a last resort because you are simply unable to repay your creditors through Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 either. In fact, there are many requirements that must be met before you can officially declare. Continue reading to learn more about these requirements so you can determine whether Chapter 7 is the right choice for you.
Low Income Level
One of the primary requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you have minimal disposable income. Disposable income is the remainder amount of your average monthly earnings after you’ve paid your bills. A means test can determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 based on your income.
It’s worth noting that you can still have a job to qualify, but in this case, your monthly bills will need to be costly enough to offset your income amount. Additionally, your current debts must not exceed approximately $394,000 in order to be approved for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Mandatory Credit Counseling
Credit counseling is a requirement for any form of bankruptcy. Before you officially filing for Chapter 7, you will need to have completed credit counseling through an approved agency within the past 180 days. Due to the serious nature of bankruptcy, credit counseling is required to ensure they are aware of their options.
Only those who are in active military combat zones or who have a severe physical or mental disability are exempt from completing credit counseling. Once finished, you will be issued a certificate of completion that you’ll include in your Chapter 7 declaration.
Professional and Knowledgeable Representation
Before your bankruptcy can be finalized, you’re required to attend a 341 creditors’ meeting. Here, you’ll discuss your debts in detail with your creditors to clear up any discrepancies and ensure that your debts are recorded accurately. You’ll want your attorney to attend this hearing to have someone on your side representing your best interests.
Call Today for a Free Consultation on a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Terre Haute
The Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm provides all new clients with a free consultation so that we can get to know you and your circumstances and advise you on your best path to financial freedom. From our office in Terre Haute, we help people throughout Vigo County and the Wabash Valley. Call 812-232-7400, and let’s get started today providing you with immediate relief.