Unpaid debt can lead to serious financial issues, and should be handled with due care and consideration. For many individuals, filing bankruptcy is the best way to resolve debt and start fresh, and our attorneys at Wadhwani & Shanfeld can help you through it.
With over 65 years of legal experience, our firm has the knowledge necessary to guide you through each step of the bankruptcy process, from determining your eligibility to helping you retain important assets. Turn to a bankruptcy firm in Los Angeles you can trust, and rest easy knowing your financial future is secure.
Speak with our legal team and learn all about your financial relief options at (800) 996-9932!
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The most common form of bankruptcy, Chapter 7, can help you liquidate your assets in order to receive full forgiveness for outstanding debts. The debts eliminated through Chapter 7 are called unsecured debts, and may have been accrued through credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, or payday advances.
Also called liquidation or straight bankruptcy, Chapter 7 takes as little as four months, and may allow you to retain certain assets, like your home or car.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a very straightforward process, and it is usually considered the simplest form of bankruptcy.
How to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined by a means test, which examines a person’s average gross income for the 6 months prior to filing bankruptcy. If someone makes less than the average income of their state, they will qualify for Chapter 7. Those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 are considered capable of repaying their debt through Chapter 13 bankruptcy or another repayment method.
Chapter 7 Filing & Petitions
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case begins when the debtor files a petition in bankruptcy court, along with pertinent information regarding the state of their finances, including schedules of assets and liabilities, current income and expenditures, and other documents related to their financial affairs.
Debtors preparing to file for Chapter 7 must include the following information on their petitions:
- A list of their creditors and the amount of their claims;
- The source of a debtor’s income, as well as its frequency and amount;
- Tax information, including their most recent tax returns and other returns filed during the time of the case;
- Executory contracts and current leases;
- A list of the debtor’s property; and
- A list of the debtor’s monthly living expenses, including food, shelter, clothing, utilities, medicine, transportation, taxes, and more.
If the debtor mainly has consumer debts, they have additional filing requirements, and must also provide:
- A certificate of credit counseling along with a copy of the debt repayment plan made during counseling;
- Any evidence of payment received from employers received two months before filing;
- A statement showing monthly net income and any anticipated increases in income expected after filing; and
- Proof of any interest in federal or state qualified tuition or education accounts.
Regardless of whether married individuals are filing jointly, separately, or if only one spouse is filing, this information must be gathered for both individuals in order to form an accurate picture of the financial position of the household.
Applicants must also pay the associated filing, administrative, and trustee fees in order to advance their case. Failure to do so will result in a dismissal, but in certain cases the fees may be waived if the debtor’s income level meets the requirements.
After the petition is filed, usually between 20 and 65 days later, the trustee of the case will hold a meeting of creditors. The debtors must answer questions regarding their property and financial affairs and be made aware of the consequences of bankruptcy. If necessary, the debtors can convert their case to a case under chapter 11, 12, or 13, but only if their chapter 7 had not already been converted before.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions
For most individuals, the primary concern with filing bankruptcy is whether or not they will lose their home. With Chapter 7, it is possible to retain possession of your house, especially if it is considered an exempt property. You may also be able to retain essential possessions, like cooking utensils, bedding, and even benefits or retirement funds.
Find Your Debt Resolution, Today
If you think Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an option for you, contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld to speak with one of our lawyers in Los Angeles. As we being the process to your financial resolution, we will need to file a petition, along with several forms regarding your properties, income, expenses, and total debts.
Speak with our experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys in Los Angeles about your financial options. Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld.
"Unbelievably satisfied experience."
"Unbelievably satisfied experience. Did not know what to expect but everything was explained to me during the whole process. Such a relief."
Priscilla G. August 16, 2018