Sometimes, debt reorganization, repayment plans, etc. are not enough to get rid of the overwhelming debt accumulated by people. For such individuals, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the only solution available. This type of bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, wherein the non-exempt property of the individual is sold off and the money so generated is distributed among creditors. After this, lawyers of Los Angeles based law firm Recovery Law Group clarify that any remaining debts are discharged.
Considering the complexity of cases, it is vital that you consult adept bankruptcy lawyers to help you out in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Many times, clients do not have any non-exempt assets, i.e. they get to keep all their property/assets. The primary task of a bankruptcy attorney is to evaluate the debt, assets, as well as income of the debtor to find out whether Chapter 7 is indeed the best debt relief solution for them or they, should opt for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Not every debtor can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as they are required to qualify a means test. In this test, the income of the debtor is assessed. In case it is below the state median, they can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it is above the mean income in the state, they need to undergo credit counseling with an approved agency.
What Happens If You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
If you are able to qualify the means test for Chapter 7, bankruptcy lawyers guide you through the entire process. In this particular bankruptcy, a court-appointed trustee gathers all non-exempt assets of the debtor and sells it. In the state of California, 2 sets of exemptions are available; California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 703 & 704. At a time, the debtor can choose from either of the two sets in his/ her bankruptcy case. Taking the help of your attorney can provide you the necessary guidance.
Different assets that are exempted, either entirely or in part are listed below:
- Tools of trade
- Insurance policies
- Clothes and personal effects
- Vehicle equity
- Homestead equity
- Ordinary household goods (appliances, furniture, )
- Retirement plans
- Worker compensation or any income generated from a personal injury claim
- Other assets
Any assets apart from those listed above can be sold by the trustee and payments made to creditors as per the Bankruptcy Code. Any debt that remains after the liquidation of asset is discharged. However, it is important to remember that certain debts cannot be discharged. These include:
- Some Government taxes
- Spousal and child support
- Few Education loans
- Some criminal restitution debts
- Certain personal injury debts
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an intricate process, however, with a skilled bankruptcy attorney by your side can make things relatively easy. The bankruptcy lawyers are adept at handling cases and can help you keep maximum assets, with bare minimum going for liquidation. Many times, debtors can keep all their assets while receiving a discharge simultaneously. It is important to have an honest conversation with your lawyer regarding your financial situation so that they can help devise legal ways for you to get a fresh start. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an excellent way to get rid of your debt problems and stop foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment, bank levies as well as threatening phone calls from creditors.