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Chapter 7 FAQ

Some answers to frequently asked questions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The recent economic downturn left many financially responsible individuals facing debt they cannot repay. Although many legal options exist to provide relief, the details can be confusing.

The Scottdale bankruptcy lawyers at Jeff Field & Associates have over seven decades of combined experience guiding clients through the options available for their unique circumstances. Our Chapter 7 bankruptcy overview page can educate you on how we help with the filing process. Alternatively, click a question below for answers to some of the most common questions we hear from our clients.

  • What is the means test?
  • What is an automatic stay?
  • What are some types of debt dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  • What are some types of debt that Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate?
  • How long does a Chapter 7 case last?
  • How long does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy remain on my credit report?
  • Will I lose my home if I file for Chapter 7?
  • Do I really need a lawyer if I want to file for bankruptcy?

What is the means test?

Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, in order for a debtor to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, that applicant must pass a means test that requires his or her income to fall below the median income for the geographic region. It is the first determination as to your eligibility to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

 

What is an automatic stay?

When you file for bankruptcy in Marietta, Scottdale, Athens or elsewhere in Georgia, an automatic stay is issued. This puts an immediate stop to all collection activity, including foreclosure proceedings and harassing telephone calls concerning unpaid debts.

 

What are some types of debt dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Following are some of the debts you can potentially discharge:

  • Unsecured personal loans
  • Auto accident claims
  • Credit card debt
  • Medical bills
  • Veterans Assistance loans and overpayments
  • Certain civil court judgments
  • Collection agency accounts
  • Past due rent
  • Utility bills past due
  • Social Security overpayments
  • Repossession deficiency balances

 

What are some types of debt that Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate?

Some examples include the following:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Student loans
  • Most income tax debt
  • Sales taxes
  • Criminal restitution orders
  • Accident claims involving DUI/DWI

Sometimes you cannot discharge recently-incurred credit card debt.

 

How long does a Chapter 7 case last?

A Chapter 7 case usually takes four to five months to complete.

 

How long does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy remain on my credit report?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for ten years from the date of filing.

 

Will I lose my home if I file for Chapter 7?

Every case is different, so until you speak with a lawyer, there is really no way to answer this question. However, filing for Chapter 7 doesn’t mean you automatically lose your home, car or other personal assets. The State of Georgia provides certain exemptions which protect your property. Once we speak with you, we can tell you what those exemptions are and how they apply to your case. For more information on what property may be exempt, speak to one of our bankruptcy lawyers in Lawrenceville as soon as possible.

 

Do I really need a lawyer if I want to file for bankruptcy?

You are not required by law to hire a lawyer to help you with your bankruptcy case. However, retaining an attorney may be the best decision you can make if you are in debt and considering bankruptcy. An experienced lawyer at Jeff Field & Associates can promptly review your case, determine which chapter is most appropriate for you given your situation and help you with the filing process.


Contact our Georgia Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys for answers to your unique questions

Call Jeff Field & Associates at 404-499-2700 or contact the firm online to schedule an initial consultation and explore your unique situation. From offices conveniently located in Scottdale, Athens, Douglasville, Lawrenceville, Marietta and Gainesville, Jeff Field & Associates serves clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, including Douglasville, Dallas, Loganville, Duluth, Decatur and Buford.

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