What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Life happens to everyone, and some things unfortunately don’t work out the way we had hoped. When you get to the point where you’re far behind on bills and you can’t afford monthly payments and living expenses, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy might be the last resort available to help you. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy does a lot of things to help you reset your finances and get back on track, although, you might lose some of your most expensive possessions and it can have lasting effects on your credit score.
How does it work?
If we have any avid “The Office” lovers out there, you know that you can’t just shout out that you are declaring bankruptcy, even though we wish it was that easy. There’s a checklist of steps that need to be followed to ensure everything comes out fair and accurate.
- File for bankruptcy – You can choose to do it on your own or hire an attorney to help. We recommend hiring an attorney because they are very experienced in this process and can make it much easier for you.
- After filing, the court pauses your current debts – This means nobody can evict you, shut off your power, foreclose your home, etc. The court takes legal possession of your property. A bankruptcy trustee is appointed to the case.
- Trustee will review finances and assets – Any nonexempt property will be sold off by the trustee. The earnings from this will go towards paying off your creditors.
- Creditor meeting – Your trustee will arrange a meeting between you and your creditors. It’s held at a courthouse where you’ll be asked questions about the filing.
- Court will discharge remaining debts – This part happens anywhere from 4-6 months after you initially filed. But be aware – some debts are not dischargeable through bankruptcy and you will still have to pay them off.
Debts that aren’t discharged:
- HOA fees
- Court fees
- Child support
- Some types of tax debts
- Student loans
- Injury debts you owe due to an accident while you were intoxicated
- Unsecured debts intentionally left off of filing