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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Attorneys in Frankfort, Kentucky

If you are struggling to pay your debts and feel like you are unable to catch up on your bills and mounting expenses, you are likely considering the idea of filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While filing for bankruptcy can help get you started on rebuilding your financial health for a better future, this decision should not be made lightly nor should you embark on it on your own. At Howard Law Group, PLLC, our Frankfort bankruptcy attorney and legal team are dedicated to assisting those we serve get a fresh start in life. No matter what your financial circumstances might be, we have the advice and insight that can make a difference in your situation.

Find out if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you and contact the legal team at Howard Law Group, PLLC at (502) 309-2740 and schedule a consultation!

What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of consumer bankruptcy and is an effective tool to resolve unmanageable debt under the protection of a federal court. Filing for this type of bankruptcy will allow most of your unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and personal loans, to be forgiven. Some forms of debt, including student loans, back taxes, alimony and child support are usually not eligible.

Declaring a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will also have a serious impact on your credit score and will remain on your credit report for 10 years. However, your credit score is probably not in good shape if you need to file for bankruptcy. The difference is that, once you get your debts discharged, you will finally have the opportunity to rebuild your credit over time. Remember, your credit score can improve even with a bankruptcy on your credit report, so this should not be a decisive factor in whether you choose to file for bankruptcy or not.

Who Qualifies for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Not everyone is eligible for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To qualify for this form of bankruptcy you:

  • Will have to pass the means test, which examines your income, assets, and expenses.
  • Cannot have previously completed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the past 8 years or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the past 6 years.
  • Cannot have previously filed either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition within the past 180 days that was dismissed due to a failure to appear in court, a failure to comply with court orders, or because you voluntarily dismissed your own filing after creditors sought court relief to recover property they had a lien on.

How Do I File for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The process of filing for and completing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally takes about 6 months. To help get you started, here is a quick overview of several steps you should take:

  • Get credit counseling: Within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy, you must complete pre-file bankruptcy counseling from a qualified nonprofit credit counseling agency.
  • Hire an attorney: Find an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters is crucial early on in the process. This is not the type of situation you will want to handle yourself. If you are missing any paperwork or something is incomplete, this can lead to your case being thrown out or result in certain debts not being dismissed.
  • File the necessary paperwork: This is where your attorney can already begin assisting you since he or she will be able to help with what needs to be filed and on advising you on what documentation must be gathered.
  • Trustee will take over: After your petition is filed, the court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee who will manage the process.
  • Meet with your creditors: Your trustee will arrange a meeting with you, your bankruptcy attorney, and your creditors where you will be expected to answer questions regarding your bankruptcy forms and finances.
  • Determine your eligibility: Your trustee will confirm if you are eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after reviewing your paperwork.
  • Handle nonexempt property: Nonexempt property includes jewelry or equity in a home or car if it is higher than the state’s exemption limit. Your trustee will determine if any of these assets are worth selling and give the proceeds to your creditors.
  • Secured debts: There are a few ways to manage secured debts. The property being held as collateral can be returned to the creditor, or you can redeem the collateral by paying what it is worth now. You also have the option of reaffirming the debt by arranging to exclude it from the bankruptcy so you can continue to pay it.
  • Education course: You will also be expected to take a financial education course from a qualified nonprofit credit counseling agency before your case is discharged.
  • Discharge: About 3 to 6 months after you file your petition, your case will be discharged. This means all eligible debts will be forgiven and your case will be closed.

Giving You the Chance to Start Over

Overwhelming bills, credit card debts, and interest will continue to add up and become unmanageable. If you feel you cannot get out from under your debts, now is the time to seek the assistance of a Frankfort bankruptcy attorney. At Howard Law Group, PLLC, our skilled bankruptcy attorney is here to help you get a fresh start and the chance to rebuild your credit.

Call our office today at (502) 309-2740 to schedule a consultation and determine if filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for your situation.

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