Filing bankruptcy in Lakewood doesn’t have to be scary and you can still keep your belongings. Isn’t it time you considered this powerful tool to assist you in eliminating your debts legally and ethically? It’s not the end of the world, it’s a fresh start.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers people the prospect of a complete forgiveness of most debts. The process from filing the bankruptcy petition to the final order of discharge takes about five or six months. To learn more about the fastest and most complete bankruptcy relief available under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Contact the Law Office of Christine A. Kingston for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
Understanding the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test
Not everyone going through financial problems will be able to qualify for Chapter 7 relief. Our lawyers will work closely with you from the time you start thinking about bankruptcy to the finalization of your case in order to help you get the most out of your bankruptcy options. For the purpose of qualifying for Chapter 7, we will explain how the means test works.
Basically, if your adjusted household income is less than the median for California, you will be eligible for Chapter 7 relief. If your income is too high or your adjustments too low to qualify you for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we might show you how to rearrange your budget or use timing considerations to work in your favor. Many of our firm’s clients have assumed that they would not qualify for Chapter 7 only to find out that they could.
What Happens in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In theory, Chapter 7 is the liquidation of an insolvent debtor’s estate under Bankruptcy Court supervision. Nonexempt assets are liquidated and distributed among creditors on a pro rata basis, and the debtor receives a discharge of indebtedness for all remaining unsecured claims with a few important exceptions such as student loans, recent taxes or court ordered family/child support obligations.
That’s the theory. In practice, no liquidation of the debtor’s assets takes place in the vast majority of cases. Most Chapter 7 clients have very little of value to distribute among creditors, and the asset exemptions available in California will usually cover everything you want to keep.
Here’s what really happens:
First, you take an approved financial counseling course (usually online in two or three hours) within six months before filing your petition in Bankruptcy Court.
Next, you file a petition for bankruptcy relief with complete schedules of assets and debts and a statement of income and monthly payments.
Then, the Bankruptcy Court appoints a trustee to supervise your case and notifies your creditors that you are under bankruptcy protection.
The notice of bankruptcy warns creditors not to contact you to collect any debt that existed prior to the petition, advises them of the date of your
Section 341 meeting, and advises them of the deadline for filing claims against your bankruptcy estate.
About six weeks after the date of your petition, you and your lawyer will attend the meeting called under Bankruptcy Code Section 341(a), where the trustee will ask you questions about your bankruptcy schedules and creditors will have the opportunity to ask about particular debts. Few creditors attend Section 341(a) meetings and they usually last a minute or two.
Shortly after the meeting, the trustee notifies you and the court of any intention to object to your discharge, they will file a report with the court of no assets to administer in your case
You must complete an online course on personal financial management at any point during the bankruptcy case.
If neither the trustee nor the creditor objects to discharge under one of the Bankruptcy Code’s specific bases for objection, your order for discharge under Chapter 7 will be entered about 60 days after Section 341(a) meeting.
Simple consumer Chapter 7 cases stick fairly close to this timeline, and it’s our job as bankruptcy lawyers to help you keep your case as uncomplicated as possible.
While your case is in Chapter 7, your creditors need to leave you alone: no phone calls, no letters, no garnishment, no lawsuits, except as specifically permitted by the Bankruptcy Court. You also get the opportunity to designate assets up to a certain value as exempt from your creditors’ claims.
Bankruptcy exemptions mean that very few debtors will need to turn over property to meet the claims of unsecured creditors.
Debt Relief Attorneys Serving Long Beach, Lakewood, Huntington Beach, Cerritos, Bellflower, Norwalk, Downey, Seal Beach, Westminster, Garden Grove, Newport Beach, Los Angeles and Orange Counties California.
At The Law Offices of Christine A. Kingston, we help people use bankruptcy as a tool for turning around a troubled financial situation. That means we help you access the resources you need to regain access to credit, make realistic budgets and even change some fundamental attitudes about money. Contact us in Lakewood to learn more about the way our Los Angeles County lawyers demonstrate our client service values in our Chapter 7 bankruptcy practice.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.