All You Wanted To Know About Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called straight bankruptcy as it is the simplest form of bankruptcy, can be filed by individuals who have run into a rough spot financially and unable to clear their mounting debts because of various reasons. There are several terms and conditions that an individual must meet if they have to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Your gross income must be lower than the median income of your state for you to qualify for Chapter 7. If you have been discharged from bankruptcy in the last six to eight years, you cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again. The number of years you have lived in a state will also be a factor in filing for this type of bankruptcy.
Why You Need A Bankruptcy Attorney
The first thing to do while planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Northern Virginia is to find a qualified bankruptcy attorney. The entire process of filing is complex and long-drawn. You might feel intimidated about it, and this can result in mistakes in filing and cancellation of your application.
By using the services of a leading bankruptcy attorney practicing in the local court, you can ensure a smooth and error-free filing. Your attorney will advise you on the documents you must gather, and the other mandatory tasks you must complete to be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Northern Virginia successfully.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Documents Include
- A voluntary petition for relief
- Schedules of assets and liabilities
- Declarations regarding completion of debtor education
- Statement of financial affairs such as details of property, debts, creditors, income, expenses, and property transfers
You can authorize your chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer Northern Virginia to file these documents with the appropriate authority of the local bankruptcy court. It also involves paying a filing fee.
The Credit Counseling Process
It is important to note that there is a mandatory credit counseling process in which every debtor who wants to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Northern Virginia must participate. This session happens before the case is filed and can be attended in person, via phone, or online. You can take the help of your bankruptcy attorney to locate a counselor in your area or use the interactive search tool provided on its website by the US Department of Justice for the same.
The counseling session aims to educate debtors about the bankruptcy process and the options available to them to keep away from bankruptcy. Debtors must also take a course in financial management before they receive a discharge from Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy helps eliminate most of your debts by a process of liquidation of assets. This is managed by a court-appointed trustee. The best part is that you don’t lose all your assets. The court permits you to keep what is defined as ‘exempt property’. This provides you with some grounds for starting your life post-bankruptcy afresh. A discharge will be granted automatically if your debtors and the trustee do not have any objections or claims.