Middletown Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
- Protect your assets (in a high percentage of Chapter 7 cases)
- Stop wage garnishments
- Prevent bank account seizures
- End creditor harassing calls and written correspondence
- Helps to eliminate most debt so that credit can be rebuilt
- Substantially helps debt/income ratio
- Helping you every step of the way
David Andrade has over 20 years experience practicing bankruptcy law. David has prepared wills for over 10 years, helping people with future asset planning. Our attorney has a long history of providing help to Middletown residents through effective legal representation. We have focused our entire careers to producing legal solutions to bankruptcy and debt-related problems. To learn more about our services, contact Andrade Law Office, LLC today.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a “liquidation bankruptcy”. It often involves selling some of your property in order to pay off debts. Dischargeable debts are completely eliminated and you’re able to start fresh with a clean slate after your bankruptcy is completed.
How Do You Qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test. The means test uses your income and allowable expenses to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7. If you make less than the median annual income for your household, you will likely qualify. But if you make too much to qualify, you may be able to pursue other debt relief options, such as filing a Chapter 13. Chapter 13 allows you reorganize your debts and make monthly payments over a three to five year period.
Who Can File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
If you have recently received a bankruptcy discharge, you may not be eligible to file another case so soon after the previous one. You must wait between six to eight years after obtaining a previous discharge in order to file a new Chapter 7.
How Much Does It Cost to File a Chapter 7?
In addition to legal fees, you will have to pay court costs to file a Chapter 7. Federal court costs for a Chapter 7 are currently $335; however, that number is subject to change. The amount that your attorney charges will depend on your arrangement with the firm and the complexity of your case. To learn more about how much bankruptcy costs to file, speak to a Middletown Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at Andrade Law Office today.
How Long Will a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?
It can take between four to six months to get a discharge after you file. This can be beneficial if you hope to finalize your bankruptcy quickly. However, if you hope to take advantage of an extended automatic stay, you may want to consider other options.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
You and your Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer must complete a substantial number forms in order to file bankruptcy. The first form you will complete will be a petition. This petition will ask information about your property, income, living expenses, debts, and more. It’s crucial to carefully complete all forms to avoid having your case delayed or dismissed by the bankruptcy court.
What Is the Automatic Stay?
When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will grant you an automatic stay. This will pause or stop all legal actions being taken by your creditors. This includes foreclosure or repossessions. Creditors who are calling you must also stop their debt collection efforts and contact your attorney if they want to reach out to you.
The automatic stay is not permanent or absolute, however. A creditor may seek to pursue a collection anyway if there are extenuating circumstances or if they were in the process of a legal action (such as an eviction) already. You don’t have to deal with this alone. Your attorney can help with such a situation and inform you of your options.
If you have filed for a bankruptcy within the past year, you may not get a full automatic stay. While an automatic stay generally lasts several months, it may end earlier if the court thinks you are taking advantage of the automatic stay process. The court may even eliminate your automatic stay altogether.
Negotiating With Creditors Through Chapter 7
Your attorney can help you negotiate with creditors who are seeking payment. If you want to keep the property they are coming to collect, you can work out a new payment arrangement with them. However, if you want to release the property, you can either give it back to the creditor or sell it to repay the creditor. Many creditors are more willing to work with people who are in the bankruptcy process.
Attending the Creditors’ Meeting
After you file bankruptcy, a meeting will be scheduled for your creditors to address your debts. That meeting is called a 341 Meeting of the Creditors, or Creditors’ Meeting. At this meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will review your case. Creditors that wish to challenge your discharge or that have any other issues with your statements may also attend.
It is unusual, however, for creditors to actually show up at the Creditors’ Meeting. Your involvement in the process is also pretty limited. The bankruptcy trustee will simply affirm information that you presented in your bankruptcy paperwork and verify debts.
Dischargeable vs. Nondischargeable Debts
The biggest benefit of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you get to completely discharge some of your debts. Most of those are unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical debt. However, some debts cannot be discharged, such as child support, alimony, some past due tax debts, and more. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help you evaluate your debts and determine whether Chapter 7 is right for you.
Contact a Middletown Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
David Andrade Attorney at Law, LLC, dedicates himself to individuals suffering from untenable levels of debt. If you’re having trouble paying your bills and you’re wondering if there’s a way out, Mr. Andrade can discuss your legal options with you in more detail. Contact us today to talk to an experienced Middletown Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer who can help. We will take the time to discuss your questions and concerns at no charge.