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What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a proceeding under federal law in which a debtor turns over his or her nonexempt property, if any, to a trustee who then converts the property into cash and pays the debtor’s creditors. In return, the debtor receives a discharge, and is released from paying most debts.

Understand Your Options For Debt Relief

If you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, you can have all of your unsecured debts discharged.

Unsecured debts that can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

  • Credit card debt
  • Medical bills
  • Collection agency accounts.
  • Personal loans from family and friends
  • Past due utility bills
  • Business debts
  • Auto accident claims
  • Certain civil court judgments

At Smith and Messina, LLP, we know that financial difficulties can occur in a number of different situations, and we offer our time and attention to help you through your complex debt situation.

What Happens In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing?

Chapter 7 is also called “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy because you may need to liquidate some of your property in order to pay back creditors. The whole process takes between four to six months to complete and will likely require at least one trip to the courthouse. Contact our bankruptcy lawyer in Buffalo for assistance at each step of your case.

Before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to complete credit counseling with an agency approved by the United States Trustee. You will then need to take the means test to determine if you are eligible to file under this chapter. If your income does not meet the requirements, you can still file under Chapter 13. Another restriction is if you have previously received a discharge within the last six to eight years.

Protection From Creditors

When you file under Chapter 7, the automatic stay immediately goes into effect. This will stop most creditors from trying to collect the money you owe. Creditors will not be able to garnish your wages and most cease their attempts to go after your house or other property. Call our firm today to receive legal assistance at each step of your case at 716-648-1400 or complete our online intake form.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.