What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A Chapter 7 is basically a reset button. It gives you the proverbial “fresh start”. All your debts, other than the things that you want to keep, like a house or a car for example, are generally wiped out. There are always exceptions, of course; court fines, student loans, and some taxes may not be dischargeable. But the majority of your debts, those that bring you to a bankruptcy attorney in the first place, are going to be discharged in a 7. That means that roughly 90 days from the time you file your bankruptcy petition, your debts are gone and you don’t have to think about them anymore. Like we stated above, it’s a reset button that allows you to start building your financial future again rather than having it be stuck in the basement.
Why would I need an attorney to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
You need an attorney because the laws are very complicated. There’s a lot of detail, the forms change on a regular basis, and the mathematical calculations that have to be done for certain things like the Means Test, for example, make it easy for mistakes to be made. A few years ago, people could do this on their own and many did. But when the law changed in 2005, all of a sudden it became so complicated that it’s pretty beyond the average person’s capability to do it without very expensive software to make sure everything’s done properly.
In our jurisdiction, a majority of people who try to file a Chapter 7 on their own have their cases dismissed due to one detail or another. Often it’s submitting a document after the deadline leaving it out, or sending it incorrectly. The bankruptcy courts are extremely strict about what paperwork they want and when it’s due. So, that’s why you need an attorney who’s familiar with all of the rules, regulations, and procedures that need to be followed.
What type of experience does your firm have with Chapter 7?
Between Erin, Susanne and our paralegal, we probably have well over 25 years of experience with consumer bankruptcy. If we add up all the cases we have worked on, it’s probably several thousand.
What is an example of someone that you helped?
One of the more recent ones was a couple with two small children who needed a Chapter 7. He was former military who had done 3 tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. His wife was employed in banking. As a result of his service, he became disabled. Between the uninsured medical expenses (even with the VA and his wife’s employer coverage) and his being unable to work at his previous occupation, they were drowning in debt. Their marriage was also on very shaky ground due to the overwhelming stress. They had exhausted all their savings, sold belongings they absolutely didn’t need, and liquidated her retirement. Desperation led them to us. I remember how ashamed they were – even though none of this was their fault. They had always paid their bills on time and taken care of their family.
We reassured them, listened to their concerns, and shepherded them through the process. After the hearing, when it became clear that they would receive a discharge of their debts, their sense of relief was obvious. When we checked in with them last, he was working again (although with less pay), they kept their house, and they were even managing to save some money. They felt safe answering their phone again! Filing a bankruptcy truly gave them a fresh start.
Why choose your firm for help?
You should choose us because we care. You’re not just another file in the drawer to us. We believe in good service and competent assistance. We will go the extra mile to provide them. We keep our schedules flexible so we can meet with people on a weekend or an evening if that’s what is necessary. We use technology to make things very user-friendly for clients. For example, we can provide documents electronically so people don’t have to drive or take time off work to talk with us or review documents. We are available by telephone, Skype, Face Time or email. So whatever we need to do to get you ready to file your case, get the information to us, and communicate with you, we will do it.
Contact us today for immediate assistance with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy matter (360) 334-6277.