Lehighton & Carbon County Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Rid yourself of debt and make a fresh start
People fall behind on their debts for a number of reasons. Some lose their jobs. Others have to deal with a medical emergency or another financial crisis in the family. Some don’t understand the consequences of the credit they’ve been offered until they’re eaten alive by astronomical interest rates, late fees and penalties. No one wants you to fail, and you don’t have to wait until you’re on the brink of total financial ruin to do something about your situation. Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code allows you to cancel out a large portion of your debt so you can start over fresh and live a happier life without the constant threats, worry and creditor harassment that comes from overwhelming debt.
Lehighton & Carbon County Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney Adam R. Weaver is happy to talk to you about making a new start with Chapter 7. Learn more about Chapter 7 below, or call the Law Office of Adam R. Weaver, Esq. today for immediate assistance.
What kinds of debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7?
A wide variety of debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7, but not all. Examples of debts that are not dischargeable include child support arrears, government fines and certain tax debts. Also, debts that are secured by property, such as home mortgages, car loans, and home furniture or appliance loans, may be dischargeable in Chapter 7, but you could lose the property at the same time (if you need to protect a home or car from foreclosure or repossession, Chapter 13 may be a better solution). Most debt that is discharged in Chapter 7 is unsecured debt. Examples of commonly discharged debt include:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Business debts
- Utility bills
- Civil claims and judgments
- Certain tax debts
- Collection agency accounts
- Bad checks
Will I have to sell my property if I file Chapter 7?
Chapter 7 is sometimes known as liquidation bankruptcy, because in theory consumers may be required to liquidate or sell off their property to pay their debts before having any remaining debts canceled in bankruptcy. This fact scares many people away from considering Chapter 7, but it shouldn’t. Both federal laws and Pennsylvania bankruptcy laws allow you to exempt a large portion of your property from sale. In fact, most Chapter 7 bankruptcies are “no asset” cases where the debtor does not have to sell any property in order to have eligible debts canceled.
Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy ruin my credit?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years and continues to impact your credit score during that time. However, if you are in a position where you are considering bankruptcy, it is likely that your credit is not in the best shape already, and it will only get worse over time if you fail to take steps to deal with your overwhelming debt. Keep in mind that you can still get credit, including loans and credit cards, with a bankruptcy on your credit report; you just may have to pay higher interest or accept terms different than if you had a higher credit score. You’ll likely receive offers for credit cards after bankruptcy, and with the credit counseling that bankruptcy offers, you’ll be armed with better information to make wise choices and begin rebuilding your credit right away, even with a bankruptcy on your credit report.
How do I qualify for Chapter 7?
If your income falls below the median average income in Pennsylvania for your household size, then you should be eligible to file Chapter 7. If your monthly income is above the state median, then you will need to take a means test to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7. The means test takes into account essential household expenses and certain other payments to determine how much disposable income you have left over that could go toward paying off your debts, or whether you should be allowed to file Chapter 7. Our experienced Chapter 7 attorney can guide you through the process of completing the means test.
What if I don’t qualify for Chapter 7?
Amendments to the bankruptcy law in 2005 purposely made it harder for people to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you find that you are ineligible, don’t give up hope, because you still have options. For instance, you may instead qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy helps you get on a plan to repay your debts over a three or five-year period. You can also have debts reduced or discharged as part of the Chapter 13 process. You may also benefit from certain alternatives to bankruptcy, such as debt settlement. As a debt solution law firm, the Law Office of Adam R. Weaver, Esq. takes a detailed look at your unique situation and finds the solution that works best for you.
Take Back Control of Your Life by Calling A Lehighton Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
To discuss whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you and the steps to get started, call the Law Office of Adam R. Weaver, Esq. in Lehighton. We serve clients in Slatington, Tamaqua and throughout Lehigh, Carbon and Schuylkill County. Evening or weekend meetings are available by appointment.