Understanding the ins and outs of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Philadelphia can be a challenge for those who have no knowledge of how the process works.
Generally speaking, this type of bankruptcy results in the cancellation of all (or most) of your debts. During this process, the only property which can be taken from you and sold is your non-exempt property and that rarely happens. In over 98% of cases, no property is taken by a trustee and your debts are discharged and cancelled without any repayment of the debts.
If you are not familiar with the term “Chapter 7,” it may be because the process is also referred to as a “liquidation” or “straight” bankruptcy.
Before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to learn more about the requirements, the documents you will need and how the process will unfold from beginning to end.
Can you File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Philadelphia?
Despite the fact that you may be interested in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are requirements that must be met before moving forward.
For example, if you have received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge in the last eight years, you are not eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but you may be eligible to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Additionally, you must fit within the guidelines of what is known as “the means test”to qualify. The means test is a look at your expenses and income, and it can eliminate you from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you don’t meet the guidelines. However, there are exceptions to the guidelines and an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can advise you if you qualify for Chapter 7 even if you don’t fall within the guidelines.
If you qualify to file for this type of bankruptcy, the next step is to complete a petition, as well as several other documents, and then file them with the bankruptcy court.
The required documents and forms will be related to:
- Your income
- Your monthly living expenses
- Your debt
- Any property you own
- Any property that is “exempt”
- Answering questions if have given away or sold property and if you are attempting to hide your money from creditors
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Benefits
Before you decide for or against filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should become familiar with some of the many benefits:
- The ability to keep many assets including your home while still eliminating debts
- Stop wage garnishment
- Stopping any lawsuits against you
- Wiping out credit card bills and personal loans
- Wiping out other types of debts
- Complete the process within a three to six month time frame
Although not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, those who do often times find it to be the right solution to their current financial concerns.
The ability to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a benefit which Congress has given the American people. It would be in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney to help you along the way to getting a fresh start. With the assistance of an attorney, you can avoid issues related to incomplete paperwork.
If you have questions related to Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Philadelphia or need assistance moving forward, contact us at your earliest convenience.