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What's a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When most people think of bankruptcy, they're thinking of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For many people facing unmanageable debt, a Chapter 7 is the fastest and easiest way to a fresh start. If you qualify, the end result is a Federal Court order called the "discharge". The discharge makes it illegal for a creditor to collect that debt from you - forever!

The discharge can eliminate most kinds of "unsecured" debt: credit card debt, personal loans, payday loans, and even many taxes. On the other hand, some debts are not dischargeable - typically student loans, child support and alimony, and recent income taxes can't be eliminated by a Chapter 7. Also, if a debt is "secured" by property, such as a car loan or a mortgage, the lender can repossess the property if the debt isn't paid. Often, though, by eliminating other debt, the debt that remains is far more manageable.

There can be a trade-off, though. If you have assets worth more than what the law says is reasonable, those assets might be taken to pay something to your creditors. Of course, if everyone that filed for bankruptcy wound up homeless and with no way to get to work, it would be impossible. There are laws, called "exemptions", that protect your property so that you can move on with your life and truly benefit from your fresh start.

Filing a Chapter 7 case immediately stops lawsuits, wage garnishments, bank levies, foreclosures, repossessions and harrasments. Unfortunately, sometimes maximizing your benefit of the process takes time and preparation. Please, don't wait until an emergency! I can review your financial situation and determine if you can qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge, and make sure that you get the maximum benefit of the exemptions the law allows. Schedule an appointment so I can help you determine if a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the best solution for you.


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