Chapter 7 is a liquidating bankruptcy. It is normally utilized to obtain a “fresh start” for an individual debtor, and, far less often, to wind down the affairs of a business debtor.
In many cases, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows an individual debtor to wipe away all of his or her debts without losing any assets. I can advise you as to whether you, as an individual, would qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; and if so, what debts of yours would go away in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; and whether you would have to give up any property as part of the bankruptcy.
I can also help a troubled business determine whether a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would be appropriate for the business.
What to expect when filing for Chapter 7
The Chapter 7 process starts with a telephone call to my office. I obtain some basic information from you over the telephone, and, if appropriate, schedule an initial consultation with you, in my office. There is no charge for the consultation unless and until you hire me.
During the consultation, I’ll discuss what you own, what mortgages or liens are on the property that you own, what debts you have, your income, and other facts relating to your finances.
If I determine that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is your best option for dealing with your debt, and that you wish to hire me to file your bankruptcy petition, then you can expect the following process.
- Upon your completion of my office’s paperwork regarding your finances, and a mandatory online credit counseling course, you’ll spend at least a few hours in my office to prepare your petition.
- Once I file your petition, your creditors are forbidden from contacting you about the debts in your bankruptcy — creditors must communicate with my firm, through an orderly court process.
- Approximately three weeks after your petition is filed, you must attend a hearing known as the first meeting of creditors; the hearing is not in a courtroom, and there is neither a judge nor a jury. Everyone who filed for protection under Chapter 7 in Charlotte during the week that you filed must attend the same hearing. The bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case will ask you questions about your petition; creditors have the right to attend and ask questions, but rarely do. I attend this hearing with you.
- You must also complete a second online course on financial management. In the majority of Chapter 7 cases, debtors obtain a discharge — a written order from the bankruptcy court, wiping out the debts — approximately 90 days from the date on which the petition was filed.
- When the discharge order is entered, a permanent injunction is in place, prohibiting creditors from attempting to collect the discharged debts. This injunction lasts through your lifetime.
Call our office to set an appointment. 704.333.0630
Together, we will determine the best strategy for legally handling your financial troubles.
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