Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code governs the process of liquidation under the U.S. Bankruptcy Laws. Chapter 7 is the most common method of bankruptcy filing in Nevada and the United States. The Bankruptcy Code will cause most of your debt to be discharged, which means you do not need to repay what you owe. A trustee will be appointed to your case, however, to collect and liquidate certain assets that are not protected by Nevada law or the Bankruptcy Code.
The cost to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not expensive. From the day you file your case, it takes only 3 months for entire Chapter 7 process to conclude. Many of our clients need 4 to 6 months to complete the process from the time they hire the firm, until the case is filed, and then completed. The costs for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case with our office start at $995 for individuals, or $1395 for couples, which include the attorney’s fees, court filing fees, a copy of your credit report, and the debtor education and post-filing financial management courses you must complete to complete your case (they are typically done on the internet).
Eligibility for chapter 7 bankruptcy is based on a variety of factors including income, the number of people living in your home, and whether you filed bankruptcy in the past. Also if the bankruptcy court finds that you did not file your bankruptcy case in good faith, you may not be able to obtain a discharge from bankruptcy. Examples of bad faith include misstating your income, or concealing assets.
In order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we will fill out a voluntary petition and a number of other forms. The forms basically ask you to describe:
If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it immediately puts into effect the ‘Automatic Stay’ – which is an injunction that immediately stops creditors from collection activities, wage garnishments, and lawsuits. Creditors cannot continue to garnish your wages, go after your house, car or other property without Bankruptcy Court authority.
Approximately 30 days after you file your case, you and your creditors will receive a notice from the Bankruptcy Court stating that a “meeting of creditors ” was scheduled. For most debtors, this is the only visit you will have to make to the courthouse, where you will meet with the Chapter 7 trustee to discuss your case. For most debtors, the meeting takes only 5-10 minutes. Once the meeting is concluded, you should automatically receive your discharge in 60 days.
If you have some secured debts (commonly real estate, vehicles, specialized business equipment, etc.), and if you are behind on your bills, the creditor may ask the court to lift the ‘automatic stay’ in order to repossess or foreclose on your property. The Court may also give you an opportunity to get current on your debts, which can also be accomplished with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, which includes a payment plan.
Once all the bankruptcy procedures are complete, the court discharges your debt, except: