Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Appleton
Get Experienced Legal Help from an Appleton Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are experiencing difficulties keeping up with your bills and you don’t have enough income to get out of debt, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an option. Also called liquidation bankruptcy or straight bankruptcy, Chapter 7 eliminates some or all of a person’s debts.
If you want to see if this option is right for you, I am more than happy to review your financial situation and figure out your available legal options to help you get a fresh start in life. With more thantwo decades of experience in bankruptcy law, I have helped thousands of clients regain control of their finances and make sure they stay that way.
Contact us to speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Appleton, WI during a free case review.
Do You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
To determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test. You must determine your average gross income during the six months prior to filing. If it is at or below Wisconsin’s median income, you can file under Chapter 7.
However, if you are above the state’s median income, the second part of the test entails figuring out if you have enough disposable income—after paying your allowed monthly expenses (i.e. rent, food, clothes, and health costs)—to pay off a portion of your unsecured debts. If your disposable income exceeds the maximum amount, you fail cannot file. Fortunately, it is still possible to seek debt relief from Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
When you file, an automatic stay goes into effect, temporarily stopping creditors from attempting to collect your owed payments. This means they cannot garnish your wages, gain access to your bank account, repossess your vehicle or home, or cut off your utilities.
The process takes four to six months to complete, which involves filing paperwork, attending a meeting with a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee and creditors, and having most of your debts discharged (except child support, student loans, and tax debt).
Chapter 7 Process
Are you considering filing for Chapter 7? Below, we take an in-depth look at the filing process. In general, there are 6 steps when it comes to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Attend a credit counseling course (online or via phone) before filing.
- File for bankruptcy. Forms are available online or seek guidance from a bankruptcy lawyer.
- Mail a copy of your last tax return to the bankruptcy trustee.
- Attend a creditor's meeting 30 days after you file for bankruptcy. Mail a copy of the certificate of completion to the court.
- Attend a budget counseling course (online or via phone) no later than 60 days after filing.
- Don't sell or give away any property. 60 - 75 days after the creditor's meeting, you will receive a letter from the bankruptcy court that discharges your debt.
When filing for bankruptcy, be sure to include pertinent information about your property, creditors, and any financial transactions you have had over the last 2 years. If any additional information is required, the bankruptcy trustee will contact you. The bankruptcy trustee is assigned to handle your case by the bankruptcy court.
What Happens During a Creditor's Meeting?
The creditor's meeting only lasts 5 minutes or less and is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee. The creditor may or may not appear, but it is rare that they attend. During the meeting, the trustee will ask questions about the documents you provided in your bankruptcy case. You must answer their questions truthfully, as you are under oath.
What Happens When I Receive a Letter Discharging My Debt?
When your bankruptcy case goes through and you receive a letter from the bankruptcy court that your debts have been discharged, the trustee will arrange with you regarding the liquidation of your nonexempt property.
Ready to Help You Start Over Today
Chapter 7 bankruptcy has many advantages that may help you get out of debt once and for all. I can file all of the necessary paperwork, meet all the deadlines, protect your rights, and ensure you are on the right path toward financial freedom.
If you are interested in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Appleton, request your free consultation today. You can reach us at (888) 298-1041.
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