Filling a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition can be complex, but the attorneys at Savage Villoch Law, PLLC are equipped to ease the burden and guide you through the process with care.
As we’ve previously covered in our chapter 7 bankruptcy blog series, determining chapter 7 eligibility can be complicated in itself, as can properly balancing the benefits and drawbacks unique to your circumstances. Advice from trusted, experienced legal counsel can help you smoothly navigate these obstacles and ensure you get the relief you deserve as quickly as possible.
Once you have made these crucial pre-filing decisions, Savage Villoch Law can also assist you through the process of filing your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition. This petition will be filed in your local bankruptcy court and consists of several Official Bankruptcy Forms which detail information such as your current assets and liabilities, a record of your current income and expenditures, a statement of your financial affairs, and any open contracts or unexpired leases.
As a consumer debtor, you’ll also need to provide the court with a record of recent credit counseling, along with the debt repayment plan develop therein. In addition, the court will need a detailed list of all of your current creditors, and a list of all of the property you own.
The filing fees for a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition include $245 to file the case, a $75 administrative fee, and a $15 surcharge for your assigned case trustee. That brings the total cost of filing to $335, which is generally due to the clerk at the time of filing.
Once your petition is officially filed with the bankruptcy court, a trustee will be assigned to your case. This case trustee will be an impartial third party who administers your case through the process and facilitates the liquidation of any of your nonexempt property and assets. In the event that all of your property is exempt, as is typical of chapter 7 cases, the case trustee will simply file a “no asset” report, and none of your assets will be taken from you and sold to pay your debts.
Within 21 and 40 days of filing, your case trustee will hold a creditor meeting, during which you’ll be put under oath and asked questions regarding your financial standing and property interests. This meeting helps the court determine whether your petition can properly be filed under chapter 7, similar to the chapter 7 means test.
So long as the court finds no “abuse,” and no interested party files an objection to your discharge, a chapter 7 discharge should be granted within 60 to 90 days of your first creditor meeting. Of course, there are many exceptions to receiving relief under Chapter 7, which illustrates why working with trusted legal counsel is so critical from the outset.
Once a chapter 7 discharge is granted, you will be released from any liability for your unsecured debts, and your creditors will no longer be able to attempt to collect those debts, nor bring legal action against you.
Although chapter 7 will only grant relief from unsecured debts, it can be a powerful way to responsibly get your finances back on track. If chapter 7 bankruptcy sounds like a solution for your current situation, please contact us. The attorneys at Savage Villoch Law, PLLC have the experience and expertise to guide you through this process and help you regain your financial footing.