If it ever comes time to make the decision to declare bankruptcy, Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman will walk you through the process and make sure you are aware of all of your options. Our bankruptcy attorneys specialize in cases involving Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy facilitates a liquidation of assets and debt. In many cases, debtors may have the option to keep their home or vehicles.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed for debtors who are in financial difficulty and are unable to pay their existing debts. Debtors whose debts are primarily consumer debts are subject to a “means test,” which is designed to determine whether the case should be able to proceed under Chapter 7. If your income is greater than the median income for your state of residence and family size, in some cases, the United States trustee (or bankruptcy administrator), the trustee, or creditors have the right to file a motion requesting that the court dismiss your case under § 707(b) of the Code. It is up to the court to decide whether the case should be dismissed.
Under Chapter 7, you may claim certain property as exempt. A trustee may have the right to take possession and sell the remaining property that is not exempt and use the sale proceeds to pay your creditors.
The purpose of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to obtain discharge of existing debts. However, if you are found to have committed certain kinds of improper conduct defined by the Bankruptcy Code, the court may deny your discharge. This defeats the purpose for filing bankruptcy in the first place.
Even if you file for bankruptcy, some particular debts are not discharged under the law. These include, and are not limited to, most taxes; student loans; debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable taxes; domestic support and property settlement obligations; most fines, penalties, forfeitures, and criminal restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; and debts for death or personal injury caused by operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. Also, if a creditor can prove that a debt arose from fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or theft, or from a willful and malicious injury, the bankruptcy court may determine that the debt is not discharged.
If you are considering bankruptcy, this is a hard decision to face. Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman knows your legal rights and will support you through the entire process. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.