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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


How do I begin Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will want to put together a list of the people you owe, and how much you owe them. We advise you to speak to a Bankruptcy Attorney, as bankruptcy is a difficult legal process.


Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy available for anyone?

Yes. Anyone is eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they live, have property, or have a business in the United States.

There are, however, some exceptions, based on your income and the assets you own.


How much will chapter 7 bankruptcy cost me?

In total, the court requires a case filing fee, a miscellaneous administrative fee and a trustee surcharge. This price must be paid to the court in full upon filing. With court permission, it may be available to pay in four installments. Your case may be dismissed if you neglect to pay these fees. These fees vary by jurisdiction, but are usually in the $300 to $400 range. In addition, if you use a bankruptcy attorney, they will also require payment.

Is there any paper work?

Yes. In addition to the petition, you will also need to fill out several schedules. These schedules will include a schedule of assets and liabilities, executory contracts and unexpired leases, current income and expenditures, exempt property, as well as a statement of financial affairs. Speaking to your bankruptcy attorney is highly recommended for compiling this paper work.

Who will be in charge of the case?

The United States will select a neutral trustee to oversee the debtor's case, and to liquidate their assets. Their main goal is to give the debtor a "fresh start" by preventing creditors from accumulating debts.

Will I ever meet with the trustee?

Yes. Approximately 20-40 days after the filing of the petition, a creditors meeting will be called. Debtors must attend this meeting as it will give creditors an opportunity to ask questions about the debtor's financial affairs and property. The trustee will orally inspect the debtor to insure that they are aware of the potential risks and effects on credit history. Prior to the meeting, the debtor may be able to obtain the criteria in written form from the trustee, so that they may better prepare themselves for the examination.

What if creditors continue to pursue legal action after I have filed for bankruptcy?

Upon filing for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will be placed on your property. Creditors will be inhibited from contacting you to demand payment, or to pursue legal action.

How will the creditors be paid back?

The debtor's nonexempt property will be collected by the trustee and sold. The creditor is paid the value of the sold property. Creditors who hold a lien are given top priority.

Could I file for chapter 7 bankruptcy on my own?

Going through the process on ones own would be extremely difficult. Finding a bankruptcy attorney is highly recommended for your own protection.

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