Chapter 7 FAQ
Do not let the term “liquidation” scare you because the law has many exceptions in place which allows debtors to keep their personal belongings and in most cases their home and cars (these are called “exemptions”). Contact us for an appointment to discuss your situation. Learn more about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy below:
Will I Qualify for A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
To get into a San Mateo Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to pass the “means test” which requires that your income be below a certain level. The means test is a formula designed for debtors with qualifying or lower income who need immediate relief within 90 days of filing. Generally speaking, the means test takes a debtor’s gross monthly income for the last 6 months and approved expenses into consideration. Though you might not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your income is “above” the means test, you may still be eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
The means test may sound scary but you do not have to be completely poor to qualify for a Chapter 7. Many people with significant income can still get into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they have sufficient legitimate expenses such as daycare and medical costs. The lower your disposable income (money left after deducting approved expenses), the more likely you can file a Chapter 7. That is why an attorney is so helpful because each means test must be reviewed on a case by case basis.
If you would like more information on the means test and whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, please give us a call or fill out our submission sheet online and we will discuss these issues with you.
Now that I Have Filed, How Am I Protected?
The law protects you from creditors after the bankruptcy is filed. The creditor may not call you, your workplace, your friends or family to ask for money. This protection is called the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay is so powerful that lawsuits, wage garnishments, bank levies or repossessions all must stop immediately. Until you file, our firm will filter calls by your creditors so you can complete the process in peace.
Now that I Have Filed, Will I Have to Go to Court?
Only a few debtors ever have to go to “Court” for their bankruptcy. Every debtor must attend a 341 meeting of creditors. The meeting is in court but is run by the Chapter 7 Trustee. The Trustee will review your case with you and ask questions to make sure you did not miss anything. We will be with you every step of the way in the meeting.
After the Bankruptcy, Are All My Debts Discharged?
Almost. Credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans are usually discharged. However, certain taxes, mortgages, car loans, student loans, and child support or alimony arrears will survive the bankruptcy and need to be repaid. To get answers for your situation, contact us for a free consultation.
I Got My Discharge but The Creditor Is Still Calling, Help!
Your creditor is breaking the law. Creditors are not allowed to continue to contact you or collect any money except under very specific conditions. If creditors continue to contact you, each incident is an egregious violation of the law. Our office can help you take the law and fight back. Depending on your case, we can start a lawsuit against the creditor and make them pay for these violations.
If you would like more information on post-discharge collection violations, please give us a call or fill out our submission sheet online and we will discuss these issues with you.