Chicago Attorneys Helping You Seek Financial Relief Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
It’s easy to fall on tough times these days. However, that doesn’t mean you deserve to live with insurmountable debt forever. You can reset your finances and start fresh by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
At Consumer Law Group, we help people like you across the Chicago metro area regain control of their finances, offering tailored legal strategies to help them seek debt relief. Contact us today to learn if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and better understand the process involved.
What Is The Means Test?
The means test is what determines your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The means test will look at things like your:
- Income: There are specific income limits when filing Chapter 7. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court typically evaluates your income from the last six months and uses that information to determine your ability to repay your debts.
- Expenses: Bankruptcy courts will look at your income and how much of it goes toward paying for your essentials, like housing, food and bills.
Our attorneys can help you review your finances to see if you would pass the means test. From there, they can help you evaluate your options.
What Is The Automatic Stay?
Once you file Chapter 7, the automatic stay temporarily stops creditors from contacting you, suing you or garnishing your wages to obtain payments. Creditors can only continue collection efforts once your automatic stay ends.
How Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
After passing the means test, there are additional steps you’ll need to take to file Chapter 7. They include:
- Taking a credit counseling course: Before filing for Chapter 7 or any other type of bankruptcy, you must complete a qualified credit counseling course. You must complete this course 180 days before beginning the bankruptcy process.
- Collecting and filing bankruptcy paperwork: To begin the filing process, you must collect and file the appropriate documents with the bankruptcy court. Those include any documents that show your income, debts and assets. Once you gather the documents, our lawyers can help you submit them and ensure that they’re accurate.
- Reviewing your bankruptcy paperwork: Once you submit everything with help from an attorney, a trustee usually reviews your financial documents and hosts a meeting between your creditors and you and your attorney. The trustee and your creditors may ask questions about your financial documents and your current financial situation. Afterward, the trustee will either approve or deny your request to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Determining exempt and nonexempt assets: Once approved, the trustee will take inventory of your assets and determine which assets they could sell to pay off creditors. However, in many consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, assets are considered exempt, and the trustee will send a “no asset report” to the bankruptcy court. At the same time, if you have any secured debts held as collateral, you could have to give those back to the creditors.
- Taking an additional personal finance course: Before you’re allowed to discharge your debt, you usually must take an approved personal finance course.
Once you complete these steps, you can have your debt discharged three to six months after filing your bankruptcy petition. However, the path to financial relief is only sometimes linear for everyone. Our lawyers understand that your situation is unique, and they are here to help. Call 312-766-7777 to speak with one of our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys today.
Are There Debts You Can’t Discharge In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Typically, debts you can’t discharge as part of Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Government student loans
There may be some cases in which you can discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy. However, you must typically prove that your student debt is causing you and your family undue hardship.
Will You Lose Everything After You File Chapter 7?
In most cases, you won’t. However, it is possible to lose belongings and properties that are nonexempt.
Give Your Finances A Fresh Start – Call Today
Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t mean that you’re irresponsible or a failure. It’s easy to fall into financial trouble, and you deserve to find a way forward. Our Illinois bankruptcy attorneys are here to help. Call 312-766-7777 or complete our contact form to schedule an initial consultation today.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.