Chapter 7 Personal Bankruptcy Attorney in Columbus
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called a "straight bankruptcy," is a form of personal bankruptcy which involves the liquidation of as much of the debtor's assets and property which does not fall under the bankruptcy exemption guidelines. The exemptions essentially allow debtors to keep sufficient assets to start on a clean slate. The exemptions in bankruptcy are a complicated area which should only be advised by a qualified and experienced bankruptcy attorney.
In short, the purpose of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to wipe out your debts, allowing you to get a "fresh start."
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee will be appointed by the court to liquidate (sell) all assets which do not fall under the bankruptcy exemption guidelines. The net proceeds collected in the liquidation of the nonexempt assets are then distributed to your creditors. In most cases, all of the property you own will be within the exemptions and you will be able to keep all of the property in your possession.
Debts which cannot be included for discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may include, but not limited to:
- Alimony spousal support
- Child support
- Fraudulent debts
- Certain taxes
- Student loans
Typically, an individual who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy has a large amount of unsecured debt which may include multiple credit cards, various other unsecured loans, taxes and medical bills, of which the payment status may or may not be delinquent.
In many Chapter 7 bankruptcy situations, you may be able to keep specific secured debts such as your car, furniture or home, as long as you reaffirm your commitment to continue paying these debts. In order to keep these items in a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must voluntarily sign a “reaffirmation agreement," which stipulates that the creditor will have the same rights against you after the discharge if you default which they had before the bankruptcy was filed. Essentially the debt survives the bankruptcy.
We are extremely detailed in our preparation regarding your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, provide a comprehensive approach in seeking a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and guide you through this difficult process with the dignity and respect you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 eliminates many debts almost immediately. If you have assets which exceed the allowable exemptions, the bankruptcy trustee might use those assets to repay a portion of your debts. Most Chapter 7 cases do not have assets which exceed the allowable exemptions. At your free consultation, attorney Brace W. Luquire will review your debts and your assets. He will tell you what debts will be eliminated by the bankruptcy, and how the exemptions work in your case.
Can I keep my house or car in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Many people are able to keep both their home and car, even in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At your free consultation, attorney Brace W. Luquire will review your property and tell you how to use state and federal laws to protect it from sale by the bankruptcy trustee.
What debts does Chapter 7 eliminate?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most unsecured debts, such as:
- Credit card bills
- Medical bills
- Utility bills
- Debts from most lawsuits
- Deficiencies from car repossessions
- Deficiencies from foreclosures
- Some tax debts
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will also eliminate secured debts, such as car loans and mortgages, if you are willing to give the property back to the lender. At your free consultation, attorney Brace W. Luquire will tell you which of your debts will be eliminated by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
What debts does Chapter 7 not eliminate?
In most situations, Chapter 7 does not eliminate taxes, student loans, child support or alimony payments. At your free consultation, attorney Brace W. Luquire will tell you which of your debts will survive a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy stop a garnishment?
Yes. As soon as your bankruptcy is filed with the court, the garnishment will stop.
Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy stop a utility shutoff?
Yes. As soon as your bankruptcy is filed with the court, the utility shutoff will be prevented. You are required to pay all new utility charges and may be required to pay a deposit.
Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy stop a foreclosure?
Yes, but only temporarily. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure, but it will not repay mortgage arrears. If you wish to catch up on your mortgage, you need a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Schedule a free consultation with attorney Brace W. Luquire to determine which option is best for you.
How often can I file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcies can be filed once every eight years. Even if you cannot file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can still file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Schedule a free consultation with attorney Brace W. Luquire to learn more.
Do I qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
People with lower incomes or larger households are most likely to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcies. At your free consultation, attorney Brace W. Luquire will review your income and household size and discuss whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be able to help you with your debts.