A Salt Lake City Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Can Work Toward A Fresh Start For You
Chapter 7 bankruptcies are also referred to as straight bankruptcies, or sometimes liquidation bankruptcies. It is also the process most people associate with the word bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee is a appointed to your case. The trustee sells off certain assets and uses the proceeds of those sales to repay your creditors. At the end of the process you are freed from your dischargeable debts.
Chapter 7 is generally the fastest type of bankruptcy, and it is available to private citizens, partnerships and corporations. But not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcies, and recent changes to bankruptcy law reduce its general availability. However, if you think Chapter 7 might be right for your situation, contact an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your area, like Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer Carl N. Anderson, III.
The Means Test
To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a means test. Essentially, you must prove you earn less than the median income in your state for families or businesses similar to yours. If you fail to qualify for Chapter 7, you may still be able to file for bankruptcy, but under a different chapter of the bankruptcy code such as Chapter 13.
Also, before you can file for any form of bankruptcy in Utah, you must first take certain credit counseling and budget analysis classes.
Experienced Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers, such as Carl N. Anderson, III can help determine if you meet the qualifications for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Chapter 7 Process
Once you and your Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney decide to proceed with your filing, you begin with an official bankruptcy petition that spells out your financial situation in great detail. Once this petition is filed, all of your creditors must cease collection efforts to collect their debts. The court then appoints a trustee to your case, who assumes control of your non-exempt property.
Many types of properties are considered exempt from Chapter 7 liquidation and cannot be sold to repay your creditors. These exempted properties usually include:
- Primary residences
- Professional tools or books
- Social Security, disability and other such benefits
- Health aids
In fact, many Chapter 7 cases do not find non-exempt property to sell.
Twenty to 40 days after filing your petition, the trustee holds a first meeting of creditors, called a 341 meeting. This meeting is often just a formality, but creditors then have a window of opportunity to argue to the court that you should be forced to repay your debts to them. In many cases, your debts are expunged within 60 days of this meeting.
Carl N. Anderson, III can help residents of Utah, Colorado and Nebraska through the complex and sometimes frustrating Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Contact him online or at 801-285-0303 to arrange a free consultation today.