Declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides immediate relief from your creditors and allows you to discharge most of your debts within 4-6 months. In most cases, you will be able to keep the assets you want and start again with a clean slate. Contact Barry & Feit, Attorneys At Law, to find out if Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Toledo, OH, is right for you.
Your Get-Out-of-Debt Card
When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are asking the Court to discharge or wipe out your personal obligation to pay your creditors, so that you never have to pay these bills. You might think of Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a get-out-of-debt card. But you can only file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years, so use it with caution.
There are some types of debts that you may not be able to discharge. When we review your list of creditors, we will discuss any problems we anticipate regarding these so-called non-dischargeable debts. These debts may include:
Certain Student Loans
Fraudulently Incurred Debts
Child Support Obligations
Certain Types of Taxes for Certain Periods of Time
When you file for bankruptcy, the discharge order signed by the judge discharges or wipes out your personal obligation to pay the debt, but liens remain. Your creditors may have mortgages or liens on your property, such as home mortgages or automobile liens. In these cases, your creditor retains the right to sell the collateral. However, after the collateral has been sold, the creditor will not be able to pursue you for any remaining balance.
Keeping Your Property
Clients often wish to make an agreement to keep property that was pledged to a creditor as collateral, such as your home or automobile. This is possible through a reaffirmation agreement — a written contract with the creditor to reaffirm or take the debt back on. These reaffirmation agreements are voluntary on your part and on the creditor's part. Once you sign a reaffirmation agreement, you have a minimum of 60 days to change your mind and rescind or back out of a reaffirmation agreement. After that time has elapsed, you are legally obligated to pay the reaffirmed debt as if you did not file bankruptcy against that particular creditor. We will discuss reaffirmation agreements with you when we review your list of creditors and answer any specific questions that you may have.
Limitations on Keeping Property
When you file bankruptcy, there is a limit to the amount of property that you may keep. Items of property that are exempt from the bankruptcy court are called "exemptions." We will discuss the exemptions with you as they relate specifically to your situation, but you should know that over 90% of the people who file bankruptcy keep everything they have.
An Experienced Lawyer on Your Side
The bankruptcy laws of the United States are very complex, and you should have a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in this area of the law to counsel you and guide you through this process. At Barry & Feit, Attorneys At Law, we have been providing these services to our clients for over 40 years, and we have the necessary knowledge and experience to help you solve your financial problems. If you would like to schedule an appointment to evaluate your debt problems and formulate a plan to solve them — at no cost or obligation — please contact us. We will be happy to schedule a free initial consultation at your convenience.