What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common of bankruptcy filings. Often defined as the “liquidation of assets,” filing for Chapter 7 forgives unsecured debt, allowing the debtor to begin anew. Individuals, married couples and companies are eligible for this type of filing. A trustee is appointed to sell the debtor’s assets for payment of debts, though federal and state law exemptions allow for retention of a primary residence and basics such as clothing. After filing for Chapter 7, the debtor cannot re-file for this type of bankruptcy for seven years.
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Benefits of Chapter 7
- Speed: Complete liquidation typically within 4 to 6 months of filing your case.
- Simplicity: There are no payments to your creditors. You simply work with a qualified attorney to prepare the necessary bankruptcy schedules and file your case.
- Protection: Creditors are required to comply with the bankruptcy code and must immediately cease any of the following actions: collection calls, garnishment of wages, pursuit of judgments through lawsuits, repossession and foreclosure.
- Retain Property: Debtors are often able to keep much of their property in a Chapter 7 filing, including houses, cars, retirement accounts, cash and all household goods and furnishings.
- Improve Your Credit Rating: Over time, most people are more likely to rebuild their credit score by filing for bankruptcy and getting their finances under control than continuing to struggle under an increasing debt load. In many instances you will be in a better position to obtain credit than if you had not filed for chapter 7!