Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will cause the liquidation of nonexempt assets by the United States Trustee. The bankruptcy trustee will evaluate and sell off the debtor’s nonexempt assets to pay off creditors. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you claim exemptions on the majority, if not all, of your assets during the liquidation process. This can protect a person’s car, home and other important possessions.
There are several more state exemptions that may be available and some valuables can be exempted using multiple exemptions, increasing the amount of protection. One example would be a married couple filing jointly could potentially protect $32,800 of equity in a car. Just because something is not completely protected does not mean that you will lose it. You can often buy items back from a trustee and in many cases a trustee will abandon items that are not worth selling.
Currently, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs $500 and up.
Credit counseling and Debtor Education courses:
Debtor Education and Credit Counseling courses cost between $0 and upwards for $150, depending on where the course is taken. Some Chapter 7 filers take free online courses; however, some bankruptcy attorneys will add a charge as part of their overall fees. At the law firm of Randall & Waldner, clients are offered various options for taking these courses, most of which range between $0 to $20 per course.
Credit report with public records search.
An extensive credit report is critical when preparing a consumer bankruptcy petition. Many attorneys try and save money by using a basic 2-bureau credit report. This is risky because simple credit reports leave out important debts that must be included in the paperwork for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To ensure that clients receive the most helpful credit report for filing bankruptcy, the Randall & Waldner Firm provides an ultra-comprehensive 3-bureau credit report as well as a thorough public records search. This report is undoubtedly one of the absolute best when filing for Chapter 7, however, it can be very expensive. The Firm does not charge clients for this service, and individuals who are represented by it receive this extensive credit report free of charge.
Pro Se filings or bankruptcy petition preparers.
The costs associated with representation and preparation depends on whether you file pro se (without an attorney), with an attorney, or pay a petition preparer to put your petition together.
If you are looking for the cheapest way to file for bankruptcy, you can file pro se or without an attorney. If you prepare your own paperwork the process is free. If you have a petition preparer prep your case it will not be free. Ironically, individuals who try to save money by filing for bankruptcy by themselves or by hiring a “Bankruptcy Petition Preparer” to do the paperwork often encounter unforeseen fees, lost assets, and debts that are not discharged by the Courts which cost far more than what you would have spent in an attorney’s fee. Additionally, the paid Preparer will not be able to represent your interests should you desire to correct some error.
How much will it cost to hire an attorney?
Most attorneys charge a flat fee or offer flexible payment plans. However, the cost of hiring an attorney depends on the lawyer. There are low-cost bankruptcy attorneys in your state that offer exceptional service at affordable prices so shop around and see whether you relate to any particular attorney who you would entrust this important service to. Please provide to all competitive pricing to see if we are able to match or otherwise reduce your ultimate out- of-pocket costs. Just remember that usually you get what you pay for and, when it comes to our brand of bankruptcy services, you’re paying for that measure of mental stress relief that perhaps isn’t included in the cheapest price.
When you file for bankruptcy, it will become a public record. A letter declaring your bankruptcy from the courts will be sent to your creditors, and the discharge will go on your credit report, but other than your creditors and future creditors, typically the only people wo will find out are the ones you choose to tell. You may feel embarrassed if you have to file bankruptcy but you shouldn’t. In actuality, filing for bankruptcy is the responsible step in solving your financial problems and restoring your worth to society. A competent and hard-working person should feel that it is his/her duty to eliminate their disabilities to the extent possible and drowning in debt is one disability that can and should be eliminated.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, your credit score is probably not so great to begin with. It is a myth that filing for bankruptcy will ruin your credit score and make you unable to secure any loans in the future. In fact, the average credit score after Chapter 7 discharge is better than the credit score before filing for bankruptcy. Before filing it is unlikely that any creditor would lend you money with all of your outstanding debt owed to other creditors. After filing you are a better bet to future creditors because there is no one else you owe money to and that you are precluded from again filing for bankruptcy for ___ years after discharge.
Because of the financial recession that started in 2008, many financially responsible people were forced into filing for bankruptcy. With Chapter 7 being more common, lenders are not as wary of lending to someone with a Chapter 7 discharge as they may have been in the past.
Some debts cannot be discharged by filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Typically these types of debt include child support or alimony, government fines, student loans and most taxes.
One of the biggest benefits of hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is in the protection of your property and other assets like your home and car. Randall & Waldner will help you use legal exemptions to keep your property exempt to the fullest extent available under the law. We will also inform you in advance of any property or possessions that may be at risk of liquidation by the trustee.
This type of situation is the reason to let a competent bankruptcy lawyer review your case and advise you of your rights. So, while there are some people that cannot qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge, we are versed in other Chapters of the Bankruptcy code that you might qualify for.
Not necessarily but the possibility of a liquidation by the trustee is a reasonable concern. Under both state and federal law there exists exemptions from liquidation when filing for Chapter 7 relief. This highlights one of the biggest advantages of hiring a reputable bankruptcy lawyer. Having a knowledgeable attorney in your corner will ensure that you will be able to protect your property to the fullest extent of the law and most of your property is typically protected from liquidation. Historically, most people who are represented when filing for Chapter 7 hold on to their house, car, family heirlooms, and other valued items. Learn more by reading: Do I Get to Keep My House and Other Assets in Bankruptcy?
In order to qualify for Chapter 7, a debtor must pass the means test. The test is a two-step income and expense analysis that is very complicated to calculate. Our office will evaluate your situation to determine if you can qualify for a Chapter 7 or any other alternative (like a Chapter 13) to get the help you need. Just call us for that free consultation and you won’t be sorry.
Absolutely. Once you retain Randall & Waldner, we’ll timely file your Petition and deal with your creditors so that you won’t have to do so yourself. Once collection agencies are informed that our office represents you, they are no longer allowed to harass or even contact you. Other collections, such as wage garnishments, are also halted once your case if filed. Furthermore, Bankruptcy can stop foreclosures and repossessions of your property.
Certainly, but it may not be a good idea for you to do so. It might be a devasting mistake for you to represent yourself, hire a petition preparer, or even retain an inadequate attorney. Remember the very old saying that “A man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Or to put it another way “Don’t try to step out of one mess by stepping into another.”
A Chapter 7 is ideal for individuals struggling with unsecured debt, such as credit cards, medical bills, or personal loans.
Filing for Chapter 7 will cause the liquidation of nonexempt assets by the United States Trustee. The bankruptcy trustee will evaluate and sell off the debtor’s nonexempt assets to pay off creditors. However, there are exemptions and an knowledgeable attorney can help a client filing for Chapter 7 protect their home, car, and other valuable items from being liquidated.
Before an individual files for Chapter 7 they must complete a credit counseling session from a court approved agency. If you retain Randall & Waldner you will be connected with a suitable credit counseling agency.
This is the most complicated step when filing for Chapter 7 and the part where having a good bankruptcy lawyer becomes most appreciated. In order to file for Chapter 7 you must prepare a Voluntary Petition, schedules, and numerous other forms that detail your income and expenses, debts, exempt property, creditors, and other information. Those forms must then be filed with the bankruptcy court clerk.
Once you have filed a voluntary petition with the court an automatic stay is imposed upon your creditors that immediately halts their efforts from trying to collect from you. This stay on collection efforts include:
The Court will appoint a trustee to oversee your case. The trustee takes control of your nonexempt property and could potentially liquidate it to compensate your creditors as much as possible. The trustee will also examine your forms to make sure everything is correct.
Before your debts are discharged you will be required to complete a course on financial management.
The Court issues a discharge order, eliminating your unsecured debt. You are no longer responsible for them and creditors can no longer seek repayment or to take any of your property.