Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge all or most of your debt and get a fresh financial start in life.
In order to qualify for Chapter 7 you will need to meet the income requirements. The first factor in determining if you qualify is looking at your income and the median income set for the state in which you live. If your income is equal or less than the median you will likely qualify as long as you meet the other requirements.
If your income is greater than the median, you will have to pass the Means Test to see if you have any excess income. This is determined by a budget analysis which looks at your monthly required living expenses, taxes, and your income.
If you have excess income, you won’t qualify for a Chapter 7 but may still be eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will be able to get rid of most of your debt.
Chapter 7 does not eliminate:
- Student loans, except extreme hardship cases
- Debts for most taxes
- Debts for alimony, maintenance or support
- Debts for fines, penalties or criminal restitution
- Debts for personal injuries caused by driving intoxicated
- Debts incurred fraudently
In addition to getting rid of your debt, you typically can keep all of your property. As long as your car and mortgage payments are current, creditors usually offer reaffirmation agreements which allow you to keep the property and continue to make the scheduled payments on the loan. We can explain the process to you during your first consultation.
Keep your home, keep your car, keep your personal belongings, but eliminate your debt; that is our goal. The Law Firm of Robert C. Hahn, III, may be able to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy to provide you with many benefits. Read about those benefits below and about other subjects related to bankruptcy.
Read the below alert that contains important information that you need to know!
More Information about Chapter 7:
Stop Creditor Harassment
If creditors are bothering you at work, harassing your family, friends and neighbors, or calling at all hours, you can put an end to it immediately simply by hiring Robert C. Hahn, III, to represent you. Upon retaining our services, we provide you with a telephone number so that you can refer your creditors to us. We will keep the creditors off your back, and you can stop paying your creditors immediately (some debts need to be continued. Call now and schedule an appointment to discuss your particular case).
Eliminate Repossession Debts
After a vehicle finance company repossesses your car, they auction it to reduce their loss. You are still responsible for the balance after the sale proceeds are deducted, called a ‘deficiency balance’. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate your liability for the entire deficiency balance. Remove the risk of lawsuits and garnishments by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most effective ways to immediately stop garnishments. Garnishments can diminish your hard-earned income making it nearly impossible for you to afford basic necessities. By filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and stopping the garnishment, you will be able to use your income for more important necessities in life and start saving for your future.
End Lawsuit/License Suspensions
Many states have imposed laws that allow the state to suspend your license if you failed to maintain liability insurance at the time of the accident. The Law Firm of Robert C. Hahn, III, can help you get your license reinstated if it is suspended due to an uninsured car accident or unpaid parking tickets. Our attorney can also stop lawsuits related to those car accidents.
If you are being sued, and you own a home, we strongly urge you to speak with a lawyer immediately about filing bankruptcy. A bankruptcy will stop a lawsuit immediately and prevent your creditors from placing a lien on your home or garnishing your hard-earned wages.
Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy
One of the most common concerns that we hear from clients has to do with the stigma related to bankruptcy. A basic characteristic of human nature is that people are afraid of things with which they are not familiar. Do not count out bankruptcy as an option until you have taken a short time to get educated on the subject.
The stigma against debtors has greatly diminished over the last 20 years, and there is no indication that debtors will be treated less favorably in the future. In fact, the ability to reestablish your credit after a bankruptcy is better than it has ever been before. Bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, but you can start reestablishing your credit immediately.
First, let us define credit: credit is your ability to borrow money. Many lenders determine whether or not to lend you money by examining your debt to income ratio; how much outstanding debt you have compared to your income. Remember that the reason that your credit is poor right now is because you have so much outstanding debt. Ask yourself, who would you rather loan money to: the person who has $20,000 in credit cards and could file a bankruptcy at any time, or the person who has already filed bankruptcy, has no remaining debt, and could not file another bankruptcy for another eight years?
Many of our clients are able to purchase a vehicle on financing the day they receive their bankruptcy discharge. Often times you will pay a higher percentage than a person with unblemished credit, but ask yourself – how low of an interest rate would you be able to get in your present situation? You may be able to finance a home as soon as two years after receiving a bankruptcy discharge, as long as you can provide a minimum down payment and show the ability to make the monthly mortgage payment. Many consumer debtors receive credit card solicitations within months of receiving a bankruptcy discharge.
We caution you against rumors of the bankruptcy stigma that you may hear from friends or family, who may not possess the knowledge of bankruptcy law necessary to give legal advice. They may have your best interests in mind, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Speak with our experienced bankruptcy professional to make sure what you are hearing is the truth.
Mortgage lenders and automobile finance companies are usually more than happy to keep accepting your current monthly payments both before and after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They are in the finance business to make money, not to repossess your property. A separate document is prepared, signed and filed within a chapter 7 which excludes the debt from the discharge, called a Reaffirmation Agreement. When the finance company reaffirms the debt, they have the comfort of knowing that you have no other outstanding debts, you cannot file bankruptcy for another eight years, and they can continue to collect the principal plus interest under the original loan agreements. The Law Firm of Robert C. Hahn, III, may request reaffirmation agreements, if applicable, for you to reaffirm your debts on your home, car or other household goods that you are financing, if desired.
If you have a debt owed to a credit union, such as a credit card or a car loan, and also have a checking or savings account through the same institution, you need to bring this to your attorney attention so you can get advice as to how to deal with the legal recourse of filing bankruptcy. Credit Unions have a cross-collateralized interest in your checking and savings account and may choose to freeze your account until you reaffirm their debt. If you do not want to reaffirm your debt to the credit union, you may need to close that account and open a new bank account with a different institution or risk losing your funds held by the creditor.
Once you have found an experienced bankruptcy attorney with whom you are comfortable, be sure his or her fee is fair. Our firm will provide you with a range of fair fees right over the phone. The Law Firm of Robert C. Hahn, III, provides you with low attorney fees and allows you up to six months to pay the remaining fees, in amounts which fit your budget. Under this payment plan you can hire us with as little as $100, which will allow you to refer any creditors or collection agencies to our office. Once the fees are paid in full, your case will be filed.
Note: We are a law firm and under the bankruptcy code are considered a debt relief agent who helps people file for relief under the bankruptcy code.