Chattanooga Bankruptcy Lawyers, Clark & Washington, Explain What to Know about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
NORCROSS, GA, March 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Bankruptcy laws are confusing, and just the thought of filing for bankruptcy can be daunting - not to mention just plain scary. Chattanooga bankruptcy attorneys Clark & Washington, LLC say that Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be the easiest debt relief solution for many people.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 (also known as "straight bankruptcy") is named for the chapter of the federal Bankruptcy Code where it is described. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows an individual or business to walk away from credit card, medical and other debt, and start over.
When someone files for Chapter 7, the bankruptcy judge appoints a trustee who looks at their bankruptcy schedules, which list all the assets and liabilities of the debtor. The trustee then sells any non-exempt assets at auction, with the proceeds going to creditors. Most Chapter 7 cases are "no asset" cases, so there is nothing to seize and sell. These non-exempt assets can include items like clothes, household goods, retirement money, jewelry, and even a car and equity in a home.
Is Chapter 7 the Right Choice?
You can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 if you earn less than the median income in your state. If you earn more, then you are required to pass a "means test" where the court uses a formula to determine your monthly income after necessary expenses such as food and housing.
According to Chattanooga bankruptcy law firm Clark & Washington, this form of bankruptcy is best for people who are willing to give up hard assets and start over, and for people whose debt is primarily unsecured. This includes credit card debt, medical bills, delinquent rent from an old apartment, old cell phone bills, and car repossession deficiencies. Chapter 7 discharges this debt.
Certain kinds of debt cannot be discharged under Chapter 7. This includes government-funded student loans, some tax debt, federal tax liens, child and spousal support, and fines and penalties for legal violations.
Is There Life After Bankruptcy?
The short answer is, "Of course!" Many people think that they will be left with almost no possessions, and will never again be able to get credit. That is not true. You can keep your exempt property and anything you obtain after the bankruptcy is filed. However, if you receive an inheritance, property settlement, or life insurance benefits within six months after your bankruptcy, that will need to go to your creditors unless it qualifies as exempt.
As far as your credit rating, if you are considering Chapter 7, your credit is probably not in good shape anyway, and bankruptcy will not likely make it worse. A bankruptcy can appear on your credit record for ten years.
Why You Need a Local Attorney
With three offices in Chattanooga, bankruptcy lawyers who work for Clark & Washington know Tennessee exemption law and can protect as many assets as legally possible. Their fees are reasonable, and they offer flexible payment plans. They will help gather all of the necessary documentation to file the bankruptcy. Unlike many bankruptcy attorneys in Chattanooga and elsewhere, Clark & Washington will represent people even if they have previously filed a case.
The best way to determine if Chapter 7 is the right decision is to meet with a qualified Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney. Clark & Washington offers a free initial consultation so that you can sit down and discuss your situation to determine the best path going forward. To arrange for an appointment with one of the bankruptcy lawyers in a Chattanooga office of Clark & Washington, call 423-634-1910 or visit http://www.chattanooga-bankruptcy-attorney.com.