Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what people traditionally think of as bankruptcy. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you discharge all of your debt and pay nothing back to creditors. It is truly a fresh start. With a chapter 7, you typically pay nothing to the trustee and keep you tax refund money. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan.
Do I qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In order to qualify for filing chapter 7 bankruptcy your income must be below the means testing. Means testing is based on your household size (including elderly parents). For example, a married couple with two children would be a household of 4. A member of the household is not the same as tax dependents. The bigger your household, the more you can earn and still qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Further, income is calculated by earned income for the last 6 months times 2. Income is not social security, pension, disability, or workers compensation. The median income (or means testing levels) for 2017 (November) in West Michigan are as follows: 1 person – $48,626.00, 2 people – $59,541.00, 3 people – $70,579,.00 4 people – $87,070.00. These amounts change every 6 months and have been trending upward. also, the means testing only applies to people with primarily consumer debt not business debt. If you have primarily business debt, means testing does not apply and you can file chapter 7 bankruptcy
How much debt do I need to have to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy?
There is no minimum or maximum amount of debt to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
What assets can I keep in a chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Under the bankruptcy code you have certain exemptions that you can take to protect your assets. The trustee has no interest in your assets that you have that are below your exemptions. Exempt assets you can keep and still discharge your debt. The exemptions are doubled if you are married. Some exemptions (not all) are as follows:
(1) The debtor’s house equity up to $23,675 per debtor.
(2) The debtor’s motor vehicle (car, truck or motorcycle) up to $3,775 .
(3) Household goods up to $12,625.
(4) Jewelry up to $1,600.
(5) Anything you want up to $11,850.
(6) Tools up to $2,375.
(10) The debtor’s right to receive–
(A) a social security benefit, unemployment compensation, or a local public assistance benefit;
(B) a veterans’ benefit;
(C) a disability, illness, or unemployment benefit;
(D) alimony, support, or separate maintenance, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;
(E) a payment under a stock bonus, pension, profitsharing, annuity, or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age, or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor, unless–
(11) The debtor’s right to receive, or property that is traceable to–
(A) an award under a crime victim’s reparation law;
(B) a payment on account of the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;
(C) a payment under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent on the date of such individual’s death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;
(D) a payment, not to exceed $23,675, 1 on account of personal bodily injury, not including pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss, of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent; or
(E) a payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is or was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.
(12) Retirement funds.
Can I keep my home and car and continue to make payments?
Yes, Under chapter 7 bankruptcy law you can keep your home and cars and continue to make payments. Typically the creditor will require that you are current on the payments and that you have insurance.
What debts are discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Almost all of your debts are discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Medical bills, credit card bills, law suits, repossessed vehicles, foreclosures, passed due rent, utility bills, pay day loans, cash advances, and personal loans. Typically, taxes and student loans cannot be discharged.
What is the process to file chapter 7 bankruptcy?
The process to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy is easy with the help of a great bankruptcy attorney from Krupp Law Offices. Just call for an appointment. We will review you case on the phone. If it appears that we can help, we will set up a free appointment. After your appointment, will prepare your bankruptcy petition and have you sign it. It is filed with the court. About 5 weeks later there is a meeting with the trustee. We attend that meeting with you. After your meeting with the trustee, there is a 60 day waiting period. You then will receive your discharge in the mail. It’s jus that easy.
How much does it cost to file chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Typically a chapter 7 bankruptcy costs 1,350.00 (which includes the filing fee). Our offices charges nothing for the first appointment.
How long does it take to file and complete a chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A chapter 7 bankruptcy usually take about 90 days from start to finish. You will have one meeting with the bankruptcy trustee to review your case. You will not have to go in front of a bankruptcy judge. There is a 60 day waiting period after your meeting with the trustee.
How will chapter 7 bankruptcy effect my credit and future?
After your chapter 7 your credit will start to improve. You credit should be back to a normal level within 24 months. Your credit should continue to improve over time.
Who can I talk to about chapter 7 bankruptcy?
You can speak to a bankruptcy lawyer immediately to review your specific case. We offer a free consultation to review your case.
How do I get started with my chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Getting started is easy. Just pickup the phone and call our office. You will speak to a bankruptcy attorney immediately.
KRUPP LAW OFFICES PC
Grand Rapids Bankruptcy Lawyer
161 Ottawa NW Suite 404
Grand Rapids MI 49503