A Step-by-Step Approach to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Successfully Working Your Way to Discharge of Debts

A Step-by-Step Approach to Chapter 7 BankruptcyWhen you’re looking to get a fresh financial start through a bankruptcy filing, the permanent discharge of debt through Chapter 7 often holds more attraction than repaying your creditors over a three-to-five-year period, as required under Chapter 13. But Chapter 7 can be tricky—you need to be sure you qualify, and you need to know that it will help you accomplish your goals. A methodical approach to Chapter 7 is the best way to protect yourself.

Step One—Look at Your Debts

Before you do anything else, confirm that the debts making you feel overwhelmed can actually be discharged in a Chapter 7 proceeding. Child support arrearages are specifically excluded. And student loan payments and tax debts are extremely difficult to discharge.

Step Two—Look at What You’ll Be Able to Keep

The tradeoff for discharging debt is that you must transfer some of your assets to the bankruptcy court to be sold to satisfy your creditors. Some property is exempt, but if wish to keep property that’s not exempt, you may not want to file under Chapter 7.

Step Three—Submit to the Means Test

Under U.S. bankruptcy, you must qualify to discharge debts under Chapter 7 by taking a “means” test. The bankruptcy court determines whether you have the resources to repay your creditors in Chapter 13. If you do, you’re not eligible to file under Chapter 7.

Step Four—Protect Secured Debt

If you have property secured by collateral (a house or car, for example), you can keep that property, but you must “reaffirm” the debt, making a legal promise to continue to pay the obligation. When you do, that property is excluded from a Chapter 7 proceeding.

Step Five—Complete a Credit-Counseling Course

Before you can actually file your bankruptcy petition, you must complete an approved credit-counseling course.

Contact an Experienced Rockwall, Texas, Bankruptcy Attorney

At the Law Offices of Carrie Weir, all potential clients are entitled to a free initial consultation. I am currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, or videoconference. To arrange an appointment, contact my office online or call 972-772-3083. I handle Texas personal bankruptcy filings in Rockwall County, Collin County, Dallas County, Hunt County, and the surrounding counties.

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Call Rockwall bankruptcy lawyer Carrie Weir at 972-772-3083 or fill out the contact from below for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your options.

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