Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Overview
The thought of filing for bankruptcy can be scary. What does it mean to you and your family? Will you lose your home? Are all of your debts eliminated? For some people, filing for bankruptcy protection is the right answer – the answer that will get them back on their feet and working toward complete financial freedom and independence. It can be the solution to getting rid of your debt and reclaiming your future.
Filing for Chapter 7 in California requires the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Our local expert lawyers will help you review your financial situation, assess your debts, and explore your options. If you decide, along with your attorney, that Chapter 7 is the right option for you, we’ll take care of all of the paperwork and required legal filings.
How Chapter 7 Works in California
In short, a Chapter 7 filing means that all of your debts – with a few notable exemptions – are wiped-out, allowing you a fresh financial start. It’s a relatively fast process and is very straightforward. Within months, you could be free of debts and harassment you’re your creditors.
Exemptions – What You Can Keep Away From Creditors
It all starts with the filing of a lengthy court petition, which details your debts, assets, and income, as well as any assets that have been identified as being claimed as exempt. Many people believe that everything they own will be sold as part of the process. That is completely false. In fact, most personal assets are protected by the exemptions set forth by statutes. For example, your cars, your furniture, clothing, and jewelry, as well as boats, vacation homes, and many other personal assets can be shielded from creditors. The exemptions also protect your home from creditors.
California Chapter 7 Exceptions – The Debts You Cannot Discharge Under California laws, there are certain debts that you cannot get rid of by filing for bankruptcy. Chief among these are:
- Back Child Support
- Fraudulent Debts
- Some Taxes
- Student Loans
If you have certain possessions – like your home or your car – that you don’t want to lose during your Chapter 7 filing, you can arrange for reaffirmation agreements. With a reaffirmation agreement, you agree that you won’t file for bankruptcy or attempt to otherwise wipe-out that debt in the next six years. You also need to bring your house or car debt current. That means you will need to pay all of your back payments before you’re able to sign the reaffirmation agreement.
Reaffirmation agreements are up to you. You can decide which of your possessions you want to keep paying on and which ones you’d prefer to let go back to the respective creditors.
Find out some more details on things you can expect during your filing here.
Deciding to File for Chapter 7
Filing for Chapter 7 in California is one method for discharging your debts. However, Chapter 7 isn’t the right answer for everyone and other options are available. If you’re in dire financial straits and are feeling like you’re trapped with no exit options, call us. We’ll take the time to review your individual situation and then discuss with you all of your financial options.
We will present you options that will enable you to make the best decision for you and your family. We believe in educating our clients and providing the information required to make an educated decision about their financial future. That decision is key: it’s your first step to getting back on financially secure and stable ground.
It’s time you reclaim your financial future. Call today!
Chapter 13 – Another Option
If we determine that Chapter 7 is not the right answer to your financial situation, we may want to look into your options under the Chapter 13 laws. Two reasons that Chapter 13 might be a better option for you include your yearly income exceeding $100,000.00 or if you cannot bring yourself current on your mortgage and need more time to catch-up on missed or late house payments. Please read our informational page on Chapter 13 bankruptcies for more details on this option.