Chapter 7 Checklist
As is evidenced in the recent economic crisis, consumer and business debt has soared and along with it the number of bankruptcy filings. In 2005, these increases prompted Congress to call for reforms to the US Bankruptcy Code to curtail the number of filings and the type and amount of debts dischargeable under bankruptcy actions. As part of these reforms, more filers were directed into the Chapter 13 plan, which insists that more of the debt be repaid under structured repayment plans and requires filers to pass certain measures of their income before they are allowed to file Chapter 7, or absolute bankruptcy. Fort Wayne bankruptcy lawyers will assist you with this “means test” and direct you into the plan that best benefits you.
Fort Wayne bankruptcy lawyers offer this quick summary of Chapter 7 facts:
If your average current monthly income over the last six months is below or equal to the median income for your state, your are eligible to file for Chapter 7. Otherwise, you will have to file Chapter 13 or the “wage earner’s plan” where some or all of your debts must be repaid. If you are a disabled veteran whose debts were incurred during active duty, you may file Chapter 7. If you have filed Chapter 7 in the last 8 years or Chapter 13 in the last 6 years, you cannot file Chapter 7. You cannot file Chapter 7 if, in the last 180 days, either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing was dismissed because you :
o Requested a dismissal
o Committed fraud in your filing
o Violated a court order
Before filing, mandatory credit counseling must be completed with an approved agency. Fort Wayne bankruptcy lawyers maintain a complete list of these agencies. A Chapter 7 filing will cost $ 274 and take about 4 to 6 months until debts are discharged. Attorney fees will be additional. A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to each case. This trustee has control over all assets and debts The trustee’s staff will determine if any assets should be nonexempt. Those assets must be surrendered or sold, the proceeds going to creditors. A creditor’s meeting, scheduled by the trustee, gives creditors a chance to question the debtor as to the condition of collateral for secured debts. Once all conditions of the bankruptcy are met, the debtor must attend mandatory budget planning with a government approved agency. When all counseling is complete, all remaining debts are discharged. At this point, the debtor is no longer legally responsible for those debts. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on credit reports for 7 years, affecting credit, interest rates, insurability, and sometimes employment.
For experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy bankruptcy assistance, contact the attorneys from www.legalhelpers.com. Call toll-free 800-260-1402 today for your initial free consultation or come into one of their 100 offices across the country.
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