Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a legal action in which you file a petition with the
Federal Bankruptcy court listing all of your debts and assets. Your debts and
assets are made available to the Creditors you owe money to in exchange for
eliminating the debt you owe your Creditors. As a general rule, you will be able
to protect and keep most of your property including your home, car and
personal possessions. As your Bankruptcy Attorney, my job is to ensure that
you keep as many of your possessions as the law allows. What you can keep
and cannot keep is determined by both State and Federal Law. The good news
is there are exemptions. Exemptions are set dollar amounts of property that
you can keep. California State Law determines which property is exempt.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy gives you protection from your Creditors under what is
called the Automatic Stay. Once your Bankruptcy petition is filed with the court,
your creditors will receive notice of your bankruptcy filing by the court. Once
they have been notified they cannot legally continue with their collection,
foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishments or lawsuits against you. They
are not allowed to contact you in any form without court approval or written
approval by your attorney.
Within about 45 days of filing your petition you and your spouse (if one) will be
required to attend a court hearing called the “First meeting of Creditors.” I will
represent you at this meeting or hire someone to appear on my behalf for you.
During the hearing, a Trustee, who represents all the Creditors, will ask you
specific questions regarding your financial affairs. There will not be a judge
present in the room. The Trustee’s job is to ensure that you don’t have any
additional assets not listed in your bankruptcy petition that may be sold and
given to your Creditors to help pay off your debts. This is why it is imperative
that you disclose all of your assets in your bankruptcy petition. Within three
months of your court hearing, generally, you will receive your final discharge
and it will be entered with the court. Discharge means that your bankruptcy
filing has been approved and you are no longer required to pay the creditors to
whom you previously owed money to. This also explains why it is imperative you
list all of your Creditors in your bankruptcy petition so all of your allowable debt
is discharged. Once you receive your discharge letter, you can breathe a sigh
of relief and move on with your life to a new beginning!
If you are considering bankruptcy, Please fill out the attached
questionnaire to your left to the best of your ability, and call our
office for a free consultation at 866-411-6659.
The Law Offices of Melissa Raskey