You get a fresh start with bankruptcy, but as with most court cases, there’s fine print you must know.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is essentially a fresh start financially. Typically, most debts are discharged, you’re given a chance to get back on your feet, and you won’t be harassed by creditors.
However, there is the “fine print” part to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy hearing. This article highlights 6 things you need to know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. Professional counsel, a bankruptcy attorney in your area, can help with more than documentation and filing: they can also explain all the fine print in simple language.
1-What Discharge Means for Liability and Creditors
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge releases you the debtor from liability for most of your debts, while also stopping collections against you by creditors. If you owe a creditor a large amount of money, they may still get some money, but only via the trustee selling nonexempt assets you have. They will have no basis for collecting past debts.
2-What Debts are Discharged
Typically, you need to talk with professional bankruptcy attorneys to help you with this part of Chapter 7 discharge. You can expect the majority of your debts to be discharged, but some of your assets may be too valuable and could be sold. For instance, if you live alone in your home valued well over $100,000, you lose it. There are ways around that, especially if you work with professional bankruptcy attorneys.
3-How Fast the Discharge Occurs
You can expect a fast discharge in most cases unless a party of interest–someone you owe money–objects to the discharge. This process is usually 60-90 days after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and meeting with the court.
4-Grounds for Rejection of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
You can be rejected for discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy via a variety of means, depending on your particular situation. If you, for instance, failed to keep adequate financial records, couldn’t explain your loss of assets, or committed perjury, you can be denied discharge.
Secured creditors may still have the right to seize property in some cases. This is where counsel is most important. It gets complicated, but if you bought a car and made an outside agreement that you wanted to keep it, you could make payments on the debt. The creditor would have the right to repossess the car if you failed to make payments, even with the discharge.
6-What Debts Aren’t Discharged
You can’t be discharged of all outstanding debts. This includes alimony, child support, some taxes, debts for education or loans, debts for death or personal injury causes by by your motor vehicle, debts for injury to another person, and others.
As you can see, there’s a lot more that goes on in and out of the courtroom when it comes to certain laws involving Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. The best thing you can do is hire a professional Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in your state who can clear up all the fine print, protect you from failing to meet requirements, and help you get a fresh start.