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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code allows individuals and businesses to make a fresh financial start. Your circumstances will determine your eligibility to file Chapter 7 and bankruptcy attorney Lynn Hamilton Johnson can help you understand the laws and expain your options.

Also referred to as a Straight Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 eliminates most unsecured debt and is normally suggested for someone with few or zero assets available to pay debtors. Unsecured debts eliminated by Chapter 7 bankruptcy include credit cards, medical bills, most personal loans, judgments resulting from car accidents, garnishments and deficiencies on repossessed vehicles.

As soon as you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be protected from collection agency harassment. Creditors are forbidden to contact to you once bankruptcy proceedings have started.

In addition to eliminating debt, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy normally allows you to retain some of your property, including your personal belongings, your home and your car if your car and mortgage payments are current and if there is no significant equity in your property. Businesses may choose Chapter 7 when going out of business completely is the best option.

Based on changes to the law that occurred in 2005, you can qualify if:

  • Your income falls below the median income level in the state where you reside.
  • You have no disposable income to repay debts after required obligations are fulfilled, thereby allowing you to pass a means test.

Although Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, you can start reestablishing your credit right away. Though you may have to pay slightly higher interest rates, you should be able to purchase a home or car and qualify for credit cards very soon after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.