Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for consumers or individuals who are trying to pay off more debt than they have income. If you feel that you may need to file a Chapter 7, there are a number of Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys from which you may choose. The key here is in finding an attorney with the experience and credentials that are needed to handle a bankruptcy.

Understanding Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is also known as a liquidation bankruptcy. This is when your assets are taken and sold in order to satisfy your debt. Married couples, individuals, businesses and even partnerships can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The court will appoint a trustee who will gather any property that is not exempt in the bankruptcy filing and sell it to pay your creditors. You are allowed to keep any property that is deemed to be exempt.

Property That May be Exempt

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys in your local area should have more information about what is considered to be exempt property in your state. Typically, there are federal guidelines that will gauge whether or not property is considered to be exempt. Property such as your primary residence, professional books and other tools, life insurance contracts that have not yet matured, any social security, disability, veteran's or other benefits, prescription medical aids and proceeds from past judgments are typically considered to be exempt from bankruptcy filings. Your personal clothing and other belongings and possibly your vehicles may also be exempt.

Determining Eligibility

Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys will be able to determine whether or not you qualify to file a Chapter 7. Normally if you have a recurring income and you have the means to pay back your creditors over time you will be advised to file a Chapter 13 instead of a Chapter 7. If you earn less than the average wage for your state however you are typically eligible for a Chapter 7. Your attorney should be able to provide you with a means test that will determine your eligibility.

Choosing an Attorney

When searching for Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, experience is very important. You may also want to see if you can find an attorney that belongs to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. This is an organization that is designed to provide updated information to attorneys on the latest laws and regulation regarding all bankruptcy chapters. Experienced attorneys will be much more able to handle your case and ensure that your assets are protected. The actual cost of your bankruptcy attorney will depend on the specific attorney that you choose as well as your local area. You will be required to pay filing fees, normally before the bankruptcy can begin. You can talk with your attorney about the fee structure to determine when fees should be paid and the overall cost for the process. Most will require that all fees be paid before the bankruptcy is discharged. Many may offer the ability to pay a retainer and then pay a monthly amount as long as the entire fee is paid before the discharge date.

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