Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help protect individuals who are unable to repay their existing debts. This type of bankruptcy is also known as a liquidation bankruptcy. While it requires liquidation of certain assets, it also can be used to help filing parties discharge many unsecured debts.
Depending on your circumstances, Chapter 7 might be your best available option. This process could allow to you shed certain overly burdensome debt obligations so that you can move forward with your life. To find out if Chapter 7 is right for you, you should consult with an experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney today. We have offices in Glendale, Surprise, and Peoria, AZ.
Qualifying for Chapter 7
Not everyone will be able to meet the qualification standards associated with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Indeed, even some people who are in severely distressed financial situations will be unable to qualify.
Since 2005, Chapter 7 eligibility has required a person to pass a “means test.” Essentially, this test is used to disqualify many borrowers who have moderate and high incomes from eligibility. Specifically, to pass this test, your gross income over the previous 180 days must be less than the median income in Arizona.
The Top Three Benefits of Chapter 7
- Efficiency: In most cases, a Chapter 7 liquidation can be completed within six months of a person’s bankruptcy filing. For many with crushing debt, Chapter 7 is the fastest and simplest way out.
- Protection: Chapter 7 also provides filing parties with considerable protection against overly aggressive debt collectors. When you file, you can get protection against those harassing phone calls as well as pending legal actions such as wage garnishments.
- Retain Important Property: Finally, in many cases, debtors can protect some of their property by using Chapter 7. Indeed, you may be able to keep your home, your vehicle and even the assets within your retirement accounts through the conclusion of the Chapter 7 process.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Filing?
While Chapter 7 bankruptcy undoubtedly provides valuable legal protections, there are some downsides. First, the Chapter 7 filing can remain on your credit report for up to ten years. That sounds daunting, but rebuilding your credit is easier than ever. In fact, if you have three credit lines reporting current for 24 months, you will normally qualify for a government backed mortgage. If you are a Veteran, you can qualify for a VA home loan after just one year. Additionally, you should not have to give up any property to file. You can get rid of your debt and keep you assets, including your home and car. However, there are limitations on this. The protected property is listed in state statute. The protected property is called exemptions. Few people actually lose property in a chapter 7. Finally, it is also important to note that Chapter 7 cannot remove all types of debt. Some types of debt, such as child support, back taxes, and student loans, are not able to be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Of course, drawbacks are present with any type of bankruptcy. There are always trade-offs. You need an attorney who will be able to help you assess the trade-offs and make the right decisions for you and your family.
Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right for You?
Our team can help you find out. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to set up a comprehensive review of your case. Our Glendale, Surprise, and Peoria Chapter 7 attorneys will review your claim and determine your best path toward financial solvency.