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Bankruptcy Information- The Pros And Cons Of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Oct 24, 2007
Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy, and is sometimes referred to as liquidation bankruptcy or straight bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy and is available to individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships. Chapter 7 is one way for you to begin reestablishing your credit by eliminating the bulk, if not all, of your unsecured debt dramatically reducing your debt to income ratio.

Creditworthiness and the likelihood of receiving a Chapter 7 discharge are only a few of many issues to be considered in determining whether to file bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is used most often by people who are unemployed or very deeply in debt due to medical expenses or unexpected financial circumstances.

The process for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is relatively easy. After a meeting with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your financial situation, a bankruptcy filing may be recommended. In the case of a Chapter 7 filing, you will need to attend a creditors meeting, which generally takes place 30 days after the filing of the bankruptcy petition.

Creditors, who you have debt with, may appear and ask questions regarding the debtor's financial affairs and property, but creditors rarely attend. Creditors, by law, are no longer permitted to initiate or continue their lawsuits, wage garnishments, attachments or other collection activity. This activity includes telephone calls from collection agencies demanding payment. Attorney's fees for Chapter7 filings vary depending upon the complexity of the case, but generally hover around the $700 to $800 range.

In determining what debts will be discharged, or forgiven, by the courts there are certain types that can not be waived in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Debts for most taxes are not cancelled. Debts for educational benefits and student loans are not discharged unless a court finds that not discharging the debt would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and his or her dependents. Debts or obligations under a divorce or support decree are not usually cancelled, and debts due to fraud, dishonesty or misconduct are not cancelled.

Debts that you incurred a result of an intentional or even negligent misrepresentation on your part are not dischargeable in Chapter 7. Certain debts that the courts deem questionable may also be outside the scope of debt discharged. Debts owed to a single creditor totaling more than $500 for luxury goods will not be discharged if acquired up to 90 days prior to filing. Cash advances of $750 acquired within 70 days will also not be discharged.

Property is one of the biggest areas of concern for those considering bankruptcy. Consulting your attorney will make it clear whether or not your property is at risk when you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Sometimes property can be taken by the bankruptcy official (trustee) and sold to pay on your debts. Property or asset exemptions are determined based upon your situation, income and the laws of your state.

Chapter 7 is a complete and total liquidation of a debtor's assets in order to pay off their creditors. Chapter 7 is designed as an orderly, court-supervised procedure by which a trustee collects the assets of the debtor's estate, reduces them to cash, and makes distributions to creditors, subject to the debtor's right to retain certain exempt property and the rights of secured creditors, such as mortgage companies and auto lenders.

Chapter 7 may be your best option however, if you are not eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if Chapter 7 will not meet your specific needs and goals, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a useful alternative. Chapter 7 may not be available to debtors who have enough income exceeding their basic living expenses. For those who are deemed to have an excess of disposable income, the court will determine that they can afford to repay a portion of their debts through a Chapter 13 payment plan.
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BetterCreditSecrets is a resource site for those considering chapter 7 bankruptcy or need bankruptcy information. Visit us or check out our article directory for free article distribution.
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