Being in overwhelming debt is stressful and frustrating. No matter how hard you try to catch up your bills, you just cannot seem to get ahead. For many people, getting behind on their bills means they could face losing their home or their vehicles. However, if you could get a break from some of your debts, you could get back on your feet financially.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can give you the break you need when you have bills that you cannot afford to pay. By filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you can get rid of your unsecured debts so that you can focus on house payments, car payments, and living expenses. However, many people are afraid of filing under Chapter 7 because they have heard that you lose everything when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. This bankruptcy myth has kept many people from seeking the debt relief they need to recover from a financial crisis.
If you have debts you cannot pay, let the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team review your case to determine if filing Chapter 7 can help you. Our Parkville bankruptcy attorneys offer free case reviews so that you can find out if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.
Why is Chapter 7 Referred to as a Liquidation Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is often referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. However, this reference does not mean that debtors always lose property when they file under Chapter 7. In fact, most of the Chapter 7 cases filed in Maryland are no-asset Chapter 7 cases. In a no-asset Chapter 7 case, the debtor keeps all his or her property while getting rid of most or all unsecured debt.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a Chapter 7 trustee reviews the documents filed with the court, interviews the debtor during the First Meeting of Creditors, and determines if any assets have non-exempt equity that the trustee can liquidate for unsecured creditors. The only reason for a Chapter 7 trustee to seize property of is if the property has equity the trustee can use to pay the debtor’s unsecured creditors.
However, most debtors can use bankruptcy exemptions to protect the equity in their property. Bankruptcy exemptions protect the equity in assets from the court and creditors. By using bankruptcy exemptions, debtors can keep their property in a Chapter 7 case.
What Happens to My Home and My Car in a Chapter 7 Case?
If you have liens on your home and your vehicle, you must continue to pay those debts if you want to keep the property. However, you can also surrender those assets to the lender in full satisfaction of the loan. In other words, the creditor receives the property, but it cannot try to collect any more money from you. If you owe more on your home or your car than the property is worth, you might want to surrender the property in Chapter 7 to get out from under the debt without worrying about a deficiency judgment.
A deficiency judgment can be granted when a mortgage company or lender forecloses or repossesses property. The deficiency judgment is the difference between what the lender receives from the sale of the asset and the amount owed on the loan. The lender can take further action to collect the deficiency judgment. The good news is that when you surrender upside down property through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the lender cannot obtain a deficiency judgment.
What Debts are Dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Case?
Most unsecured debts are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. You can get rid of medical bills, credit card debts, personal loans, old utility bills, and other debts that are not secured by collateral. However, some debts are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy case.
For example, child support and alimony are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy case. Most taxes and student loans are also non-dischargeable. However, some old income taxes might be eligible for a discharge in a bankruptcy case.
Do I Need a Parkville Bankruptcy Attorney to File a Chapter 7 Case?
The Bankruptcy Code does not require a debtor to hire an attorney to file a bankruptcy petition. However, our Maryland bankruptcy attorneys urge you to take advantage of our free consultation to learn why hiring a Chapter 7 attorney is in your best interest.
Bankruptcy law is very complex. If you make a mistake when filing your case, you could lose property, or your bankruptcy discharge could be denied. An experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney provides legal advice, deals with creditors, prepares the bankruptcy forms, files all forms, attends court hearings with you, and guides you step-by-step through the process of becoming debt-free by filing a Chapter 7 case.
Contact Our Parkville Bankruptcy Attorneys for More Information
If you are ready to take the first step to become debt free, contact Pinder Plotkin LLC by calling 410-661-9440 to schedule your free consultation with a Maryland Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney.
The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.