Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is often called the "Fresh Start" bankruptcy. Individuals can file for bankruptcy in a federal court under Chapter 7 (also referred to as "straight bankruptcy" or "liquidation") and are generally discharged of many types of unsecured debts such as credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, and some judgments. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy puts into effect something called an "automatic stay," which immediately stops your creditors from trying to collect. As a result, creditors cannot garnish your wages, empty your bank account, or go after your car, your house, and your personal belongings. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the individual is allowed to keep certain exempt property. Each state has its own set of exemptions and a qualified bankruptcy attorney will be able to outline the type of property that is exempt from liquidation in a Chapter 7. In some cases, all property is exempt and there is nothing for the bankruptcy trustee to liquidate. If you have any questions you should contact one of our attorneys for a Free No Obligation Legal Evaluation.

Chapter 7 Process

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will usually take approximately 4-6 months to complete from the filing of the bankruptcy petition to the discharge of the debt, although this process may take longer for more complicated cases. Prior to filing a Chapter 7, the Debtor must complete a court approved credit counseling course. These courses may be taken at home or in our offices either online or over the telephone. After the Debtor has completed the credit counseling course, the Debtor's bankruptcy petition may be filed with the US Bankruptcy Court. The Debtor's bankruptcy petition must contain a list of all creditors and the amount owed, the nature of the claims, the source, amount and frequency of the debtor's income, a list of all the debtor's property, and a detailed list of the debtor's monthly living expenses. Once filed, the case is assigned to a bankruptcy trustee who is put in charge of determining whether the debtor has any assets that may be liquidated for the benefit of the debtor's creditors. To determine whether you have any assets that may be liquated you should seek the advice of an experienced attorney. After the case is filed, the Debtor is required to complete a second mandatory Debtor's Education Course. This may also be taken at our office. Approximately one month after filing, the Debtor is required to attend a 341(a) Meeting of Creditors, where the creditors and the trustee are allowed to ask the Debtor questions regarding their bankruptcy filing. Once the meeting of creditors is completed the debts are usually discharged within a 2 month period by the court. The bankruptcy discharge stays on the individual's credit report for up to 10 years for most purposes.

At the Law Offices of Christian A. DiCicco, Mr. DiCicco will personally lead you through the complete process from beginning to end. He will be by your side every step of the way. Don't be fooled by other firms where you meet with the attorney once and then your case is passed off to a legal assist to complete. Mr. DiCicco will handle your case from your Free Initial Consultation to the discharge of your case.