The majority of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are no asset cases. This means that the person or small business owner that filed Chapter 7 to discharge their debts kept all of their assets and still discharged their debts. There are no assets that cannot be protected and kept. All of our consultations are free and with bankruptcy lawyers that have filed hundreds and hundreds of bankruptcy case. We have offices throughout the Bay Area and in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Call us at 1-877-9NEW-LIFE to schedule a free consultation and find out if bankruptcy is right for you.
California has two different set of exemptions to protect your stuff when filing a Chapter 7. The whole point is to get rid of overwhelming debts, not leave you barefoot and carless. California’s bankruptcy exemptions are generous compared to some other states. There is a wildcard exemption that is worth over $26,000 that can be applied to anything.
Whether you qualify to file a Chapter 7 case depends upon your income, expenses and assets. If you read somewhere or heard from a friend that if your income is over a certain amount you will not qualify for Chapter 7 they are wrong. You can gross $30,000 a month and still qualify to have all of your unsecured debts discharged. Again, it depends upon your expenses, assets and income, not just your income. In 2005 the Bankruptcy Code was reformed and the Means Test was created to determine if a bankruptcy filer has disposable income each month available to pay unsecured creditors. Many news agencies and debt counselors incorrectly still report that it is difficult to qualify to file a Chapter 7 case and get rid of all debts. This is just not true. The process is just different, not necessarily more difficult to qualify.
As of 2005 there are two courses that must be completed to file and receive a discharge of debts. The first course, Credit Counseling ($5.00 per person), must be completed before the bankruptcy petition is filed with the court. The second course, Financial Management ($7.95), must be completed after the case is filed. Both of these courses can be completed on the internet and will last a couple of hours.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful way to get rid of overwhelming unsecured debts and keep your stuff, home and car. Everyone asks what about my credit score? Unfortunately your credit score is probably already not so good. The bankruptcy filing will most likely not make your score any lower, but it will give you the ability to pay the normal bills you have like a cellphone or utilities on time every time. That is what you need to do to rebuild your credit whether you file for bankruptcy protection or not.
Once the case is filed the 341 meeting of the creditors will be about 30 days from the date the case was filed. You will attend the meeting with our experienced bankruptcy attorneys. Some firms hire appearance attorneys that you never met with and usually know nothing about your case. That is not what you want or deserve. The meeting of the creditors should not take too long and proceed smoothly. The Chapter 7 Trustee assigned to your case will ask a series of questions. All you need to do is tell the truth and there should not be any problems. If there is a problem that is why we are there to assist and make sure the trustee has the information they need to administer the case.