What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a process where a debtor’s non-exempt assets are liquidated in order to pay off debt. Debtors who utilize the Chapter 7 process could be individuals, but they may also be a business organization, such as a partnership or corporation.
Once the court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to oversee the case, the trustee sells the debtor’s assets, and the sale proceeds go to pay off the various creditors. Not all of the debtor’s assets are subject to sale, and those assets are called ‘exempt assets.’ The debtor gets to keep these exempt assets throughout the process.
What debts can you get discharged?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge a variety of unsecured debts. Unsecured debts are those debts that are not secured by assets or some type of collateral, such as a home or motor vehicle. Types of debts that are dischargeable via a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding include outstanding:
Credit card debts
Department store charge cards
Electric, water, and other utility bills
Certain personal loans
Your lawyer can help you determine whether a particular debt qualifies as an ‘unsecured debt’ under the Federal Bankruptcy Code – and whether or not it is dischargeable via a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.
No prior bankruptcy in the
last 6-8 years
You qualify under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy Means Test
Who can file?
Various individuals and business entities are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, depending upon their circumstances. The United States Bankruptcy Code, which is a federal law, sets out the qualifications to file.
Specifically, to qualify for Chapter 7, you must not have filed for bankruptcy within the preceding six to eight years. Moreover, to be eligible, you have to qualify under the Chapter 7 Means Test.
Our experienced legal team will be able to determine if you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, given your financial circumstances. We can then carefully guide you through every step of the Chapter 7 filing process.
Advantages & Disadvantages
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona, and the bankruptcy court approves your filing, your non-exempt assets can be sold to satisfy some or all outstanding debts which you owe to your creditors.
In Arizona, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing remains on your credit report for a period of 10 years. Once that 10-year time period is over, the filing falls off your credit report automatically.
The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $385.00. This fee includes the cost to file, as well as copies of your credit report and attendance at mandatory credit counseling sessions. The attorney’s fee is $0 down, and pre-arranged monthly payments once you have filed.
Prior to filing, you will meet with your attorney, who will help you determine if Chapter 7 is right for you – and if you are eligible. Your lawyer can then help you complete the paperwork and meet with the trustee. Once you receive approval from the court, any non-exempt assets you have will be sold, and your debts will be discharged.
Individuals and business entities in Arizona may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy every six years. The clock starts to run on the date of your first bankruptcy filing. It does not start on the bankruptcy discharge date.