Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for persons who cannot afford to pay their creditors and who need a fresh start. Once your case is filed it takes about 90-100 days in most cases to complete. Although the process is relatively quick once the case is filed, the preparation for filing can be involved and sometimes burdensome on debtors. I do my best at simplifying this process without sacrificing the detailed attention that is required so that you are in compliance with all of the disclosure requirements for debtors under the bankruptcy code. I give you the one on one attention that you need to understand the process and comply with the bankruptcy laws. I often say that bankruptcy can be straight forward and simple, as long as you follow the law.
When you file a chapter 7, in most cases you are able to keep most of your property because it is “exempt” (see frequently asked questions). There are some cases in which not all property is exempt. This is another area that requires consultation with an experienced attorney in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area. Sometimes debtors are not able to keep their property in a bankruptcy, not because the property was not protected, but because that person could not afford to continue making payments on the loan securing the asset: If you want to keep a car or home that is financed you must keep current on those payments.
Although most of your debts will be discharged some will not. The following debts may not be discharged: child support, alimony, fines, some taxes, most student loans, debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition, loans you received by knowingly giving false information to a creditor, debts resulting from “willful and malicious” harm, loans secured by real or personal property (unless the creditor repossess, forecloses and resells the property).
When you file a Chapter 7, most of your unsecured credit cards, medical bills, utility bills, some overdraft charges, as well as balances on foreclosures and repossessions are discharged or wiped out. Although occasionally taxes and student loans are forgiven, the bankruptcy code has specific provisions that govern the dischargeability of those debts that should be specifically discussed with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Below is a list of debts that are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It is important to note that the law is constantly changing and no attorney can guarantee that any single debt will be forgiven.
Debts that are not discharged in a Chapter 7:
- Debts incurred through fraud, such as lying about your income on a credit application;
- Child and spousal support;
- Debts incurred as a property settlement in a divorce;
- Most Taxes;
- Most Student Loans;
- Debts that you forgot to list on your bankruptcy papers;
- Debts for personal injury and death caused by your driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated;
- Debts you never intended to pay back (you took on the debt near in time to filing bankruptcy, you took a cash advance and never paid any money back, debt taken on after meeting with a bankruptcy attorney);
- Debts for personal injury and property damage incurred through willful or malicious harm; and
- Criminal fines and penalties.
This law firm is a debt relief agency, and we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Law.