Chapter 7 FAQ
Dixon & Johnston Can Answer Your FAQs about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Dixon & Johnston Law Office represents Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients in and around Belleville, IL. Our bankruptcy attorneys are highly-experienced with a focus in bankruptcy law. Given that it is such an intricate process, you should have a lawyer with experience practicing the type of bankruptcy your circumstances require. Do not get overwhelmed or intimidated by the legal jargon or potential implications. Let the bankruptcy attorneys at Dixon & Johnston be your guide. We will help you understand any concerns or issues that puzzle you. Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy that we hear in our Belleville, IL office.
What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an element of the Bankruptcy Code that is in place to provide debtors with a fresh start. It is the most common form of bankruptcy. An individual who files for this form of relief must turn any nonexempt property over to a trustee. However, you get to protect your property with exemptions established by the state. Because most debtors who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy have minimal nonexempt property, the majority end up keeping all of their property. Our office will help you determine whether any of your property is at risk. If you have too much property to protect, you can still file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to discharge your debts.
What is a Chapter 7 discharge?
When a court order releases a debtor from all dischargeable debts, he or she is issued a Chapter 7 discharge. As a result, creditors may no longer seek to collect payment from the debtor in most instances, regardless of the amount. However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not discharge the following debts:
· Debts for certain taxes, including those due in the last three years
· Debts for obtaining money, services, credit, or property under false pretenses or fraud, as determined by a court following a creditors’ complaint
· Debts not listed on the debtor’s bankruptcy filing unless the creditor knew of the case with sufficient time to file a claim
· Debts for fraud, theft, or embezzlement if the creditor files a claim
· Debts for alimony, maintenance, support, or certain other divorce-related debts
· Debts for intentional or malicious injury if a creditor files a complaint
· Debts for certain penalties or fines
· Debts for student loans that became due in the last seven years unless a court rules not discharging the debt would result in an undue hardship for debtor and his or her dependents
· Debts for personal injury or death caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated
· Debts that were or could have been listed in a previous bankruptcy case in which the debtor did not receive a discharge
Who is eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge?
Any person who lives in, owns property in, or does business in the U.S. may file Chapter 7 bankruptcy unless he or she was involved in another bankruptcy case that a court dismissed on certain grounds during the previous 180 days. However, our bankruptcy lawyers at Dixon & Johnston do not advise debtors to file under Chapter 7 if they are not eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge. Persons in the following categories are ineligible for a Chapter 7 discharge:
· Those who have been granted a Chapter 7 discharge in a case within the last eight years
· Those who have been given a Chapter 13 discharge in a case within the previous six years unless certain conditions are met
· Those who conceal, destroy, or transfer property in an attempt to defraud their trustee or creditors
· Those who conceal, falsify, or destroy financial records
· Those who make false claims or withhold recorded information from the trustee in their Chapter 7 bankruptcy case
· Those who do not satisfactorily explain losses or deficiencies of their assets
· Those who refuse to respond to questions or obey orders presented by the bankruptcy court
Contact Dixon & Johnston Today for Legal Advice
Declaring bankruptcy can be a staggering decision. Do not make it alone. Contact Dixon & Johnston in Belleville, IL so our bankruptcy lawyers can walk you through the process and ensure the best possible outcome. Let us help you retain your property and minimize the disruption to your life that filing bankruptcy can cause. Our team of knowledgeable, skilled attorneys is standing by to help you. Call us today.