What is a chapter 7 bankruptcy? 23 Answers as of August 25, 2011

Im reading about different types of bankruptcy and want to know more about chapter 7 because I don't make much money and am renting the apartment I live in. What else except for ownership of assets is there to considering when choosing what chapter to file under?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
generally, you want to file a ch 7 if you qualify. however, ch 13 does have advantages that ch 7 does not provide for.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/25/2011
Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
You really need to talk to an attorney if you are unable to discern what a chapter 7 is after reading about it. Most of us offer free consultations. And you will find out you really need an attorney to do this without losing something.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/22/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
Your income is probably the most important factor when deciding what chapter of bankruptcy you can qualify for. If your income is below the median income for the state, then you can qualify for chapter 7 discharge without having to pass the means test. The next issue you would want to look at is your assets, etc. You should also consider if you've transferred any assets recently, before you file for bankruptcy, because that may impact when you can file. If your income is low enough, and you don't have many assets, but have debt that you need to discharge, you may be able to qualify for a simple chapter 7.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2011
Discharges all debts with no payment plan. Available for those with low income and high debts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2011
Ray Fisher Law Offices
Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
Chapter 7 is what we call a liquidation bankruptcy. It wipes out all your debts except some taxes, student loans, child support, and secured debts such as cars and houses if you want to keep the car or the house. This normally the best kind of bankruptcy for a consumer to file. The other consideration besides assets is income. From what you describe that does not sound like an issue for you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/19/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Most debtors file chapter 7 bankruptcy and it is by far the most common type of bankruptcy. Its purpose is to allow the debtor to discharge (eliminate) most unsecured debts, as well as secured debts not reaffirmed. Chapter 13 bankruptcy (the second most common type of bankruptcy) involves a three to five year payment plan. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is quicker, cheaper and easier than chapter 13 bankruptcy, but talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney as a chapter 13 bankruptcy may save you money in the long run.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a liquidation of non-exempt assets in order to pay off creditors. If you do not have non-exempt assets then the creditors get nothing, and you get a discharge from your debts. The determination whether you can file Chapter 7 initially, or must file a Chapter 13 depends on your income less allowed expenses (housing, food, clothing and the like). If your net income exceeds about $50,000 then you will be required to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, make a plan and make payments to your creditors through the trustee. If less, then you can file a Chapter 7, and be done with it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is used when the Debtor has no ability to pay their debts and are asking the Court to discharge the Debtors responsibility to pay those debts. Assets, income and level of debt are considered in determining what Chapter of Bankruptcy you should file.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    A chapter 7 is also often called the Fresh Start bankruptcy. Typically it takes 4 months and you are finished. Besides the ownership of the assets, you need to consider things like the amount of debt, what type, are you current, what is your income, what is your monthly expenses. Lots of variables to consider, consult an attorney and see what they suggest.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Books can be written about that subject. You sound like a chapter 7 to me based on what you have said about yourself. There are income restrictions. See a lawyer and bring your pay stubs for the last 6 months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Chapter 7 is a complete discharge of debts that are eligible for discharge and in turn, the debtor must surrender "non-exempt" assets to the bankruptcy estate for the benefit of the creditors. For most people filing Chapter 7, this means keeping everything that you own. There are limitations on how much one can earn and file for Chapter 7 and other considerations regarding assets to be aware of, including assets that people don't tend to think about (large tax refunds, for example).
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC | Christopher D. Hite
    If you plan on researching the chapters and choosing one yourself, you are asking for disaster. Consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney and provide him/her with comprehensive info about your finances and be told what you need.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge all of your unsecured debt. You should make sure that your assets are not over the exemption limits for your jurisdiction.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Chapter 7 is a so-called "straight bankruptcy." Unlike chapter 13 you don't propose a repayment plan of your debts. You are allowed to keep your assets if they are ordinary and necessary, for the most part. You received a discharge of your debts, meaning you don't have to pay them. If your income is low you probably qualify under the "means case" to file chapter 7 instead of chapter 13. As to the advantages and disadvantages of chapter 7 consult an attorney specialist.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Chapter 7 is often called "straight bankruptcy," in which you show you have fewer assets than debts, and less income (or equal) than living expenses when the debts aren't included. Your income should be under the median income for where you live. If you have too many assets the trustee could sell them to pay some debts. This seldom happens. Beyond that, you should retain competent counsel, who can save you money, assets, and stress.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Many factors determine eligibility for (and advisability of filing) besides the ones you mentioned. Your precise income, living expenses, assets, existence of possibly non-dischargeable debts, marital status, past transactions and other details all affect the decision. Your best bet is to let a lawyer look over your actual numbers and help you decide, and, if you should file, let him determine the optimal timing.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ariano & Reppucci
    Ariano & Reppucci | Chris Ariano
    In my opinion, two big factors to keep in mind when considering chapter 7 bankruptcy are income an assets. To successfully file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must qualify under the means test. If your income is less than the IRS average for your family size, this shouldn't be a problem. If it is higher than average, you may still qualify. Second, you are absolutely correct in your understanding that assets play a huge role in deciding to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 debtors are allowed specific exempt property that they can keep when filing. Other assets classified as non-exempt may be at risk. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can quickly review your income and assets to determine whether chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option for your current situation. The best part? Most attorneys in the area offer free consultations for new clients.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Income versus living expenses. Is there surplus income? If not, you're OK for a 7 Assets. Are they within what the exemption laws allow you to keep. If so, you're OK. Assuming most of the debt is unsecured debt, with no dischargeability issues (taxes, student loans, child support to name a few), you're OK for Chap 7
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Chapter 7 is known as liquidation bankruptcy. It is the most common type of bankruptcy and is what you probably need unless you have very high debts or your income is too high or you have too much property that is not exempt. The decision on which Chapter is best for you must be made with the advice of a bankruptcy lawyer considering your entire financial situation and what would benefit you the most.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Chapter 7 is the best way according to what you just wrote. Quickest, most affordable way to eliminate debts for good. Thank you,
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
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