Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can get you a fresh start without having to repay your debts. There are many benefits of it. Firstly, it’s over relatively quickly, often less than six months. Secondly, you don’t have to pay your debts, so it’s a less costly solution. Finally, most people generally keep most of their possessions, though your mileage may vary, and always consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
The Good Parts of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
When filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7, there are a few benefits:
- you don’t pay debt back
- the whole thing takes less than six months
- safe from creditor harassment, lawsuits and garnishments
All of that can be attractive, especially to someone who has over $10,000 of debt and isn’t earning much. That $10,000 can feel like $10,000,000. The more debt someone has, generally speaking, there can be a very good bang for one’s buck.
The Drawbacks of Filing Chapter 7
However, all is not perfect under this option. There are some pitfalls and gotchas:
- You could lose assets.
- It goes on your credit report for ten (10) years.
- It costs money to pay a lawyer.
- Not everyone qualifies.
- Oh did I mention you can lose things.
The Responses to the Drawbacks
These negatives aren’t all terrible, and deserve some context and explanation. Firstly, you can indeed lose things in Chapter 7, to be sold for your creditors. However, there are ways that a skilled attorney can protect many common items, and most people keep their cars if they continue paying them and then sign and return the reaffirmation agreement. To determine your specific risk, consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Secondly, while it does ding your credit bad, and stays there for a while, you can get credit again. In fact, if you’re responsible and get a credit card after bankruptcy, then don’t max it out, your credit score can be higher just a year or two later than it was before the bankruptcy.
Thirdly, bankruptcy lawyers do generally cost money. However, skilled bankruptcy attorneys who’ve been doing this a while have found a way to earn a living while helping people with no money. The way this bankruptcy lawyer does it is with a flexible payment plan. Contact us for details.
Fourthly, the Means Test stands like a monolith guarding who can enter Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s a set of forms that factors in income and some expenses and some debts. Depending on how it’s completed and the result, someone can pass or not. Don’t worry if you aren’t eligible: there’s still hope and relief if we do a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some bankruptcy lawyers will let you run just the means test before committing to a full bankruptcy Call us and let’s talk about it.
I have over 15 years of experience, practicing nothing but bankruptcy law. We’ve been named best bankruptcy attorney, and have the award to prove it. Four times, actually. We’ve successfully assisted over 2,000 people in getting a fresh start, and would be honored to have the chance to assist you, too.