Who Is Best Suited For A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Lower-income earners who don’t have many assets benefit most from Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, if the person has already filed a Chapter 7, they’re barred from filing another for eight years. That doesn’t mean we can’t help! Call us to see if there is anything we can do for you.
What Type Of Debts Are Dischargeable In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Almost every type of debt is dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, except for child support, certain taxes, alimony, willful and malicious injuries, thefts and student loans.
What Assets Can Be Kept In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In Iowa Chapter 7 bankruptcies, you can keep your house if you keep paying for it. Additionally, you can keep one car as long as it doesn’t exceed $7,000 in equity.
Additional assets you can keep include:
- Retirement plans,
- Child support,
- Household goods,
- and other belongings.
Usually, you can’t keep your speed boat or RV, though there are scenarios where you could keep your RV. When it comes to general items, you can save almost everything you have.
Does Filing Bankruptcy Mean Losing Everything?
At Marks Law Firm, the first thing we do when interviewing clients is begin to figure out if our client belongs in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing by analyzing their income and expenses. We then go over their assets to determine what they get to keep. It’s not until after both steps that we can make any determinations. However, it’s important to remember that filing for bankruptcy does not mean losing everything. The goal of bankruptcy is to take all your debt, wipe it out, and give you a fresh start.
What Is The Means Test?
The Means Test helps determine what chapter best suits the client by examining their income. In the Means Test, we look at the average of the six months of income before filing, then reduce that number by court-permitted expenses and deductions. If you pass the Means Test, meaning you have limited or negative disposable income, you will file a Chapter 7. If you have disposable income over a certain amount, you will file a Chapter 13.
Timing can be a crucial factor in this process. If you pass the Means Test, there’s no presumption of abuse. If you fail the Means Test, there’s a presumption of abuse in Chapter 7. However, it is a rebuttable presumption, and an attorney can help navigate as needed.
What Is The 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
In the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, once you file bankruptcy, the court will immediately schedule a Meeting of Creditors under Section 341 of the bankruptcy code. This meeting will take place over the telephone and will take approximately three to five minutes.
A bankruptcy trustee runs the meeting, reviews everything to ensure that you filled out your petition correctly, and ensures that you answer any questions they or the creditors have. Your attorney is present and creditors are permitted to show up or participate in the telephone conference – though they rarely do. (This is done so that they have the opportunity to ask you any general questions regarding your debt or your filing.)
Though these meetings seem intimidating, they are incredibly mild and civilized. Most of the work is completed before clients attend the 341 Meeting, so it takes minimal effort. The meeting should be taken seriously, but it is not an event that should instill fear as it is pretty simple. In addition, trustees are often some of the nicest people you’ve ever met.
We offer clients the option to participate in the meeting at our firm. We invite them to the office, but they are encouraged to do what is most comfortable. They could sit at the kitchen table or at their workplace to do it. We have even had a client running heavy machinery turn off his machine and participate while sitting in the machine.
How Long Does A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take To Complete?
Approximately 90 days from the day you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to the day you get your discharge. However, the time it takes to get the process finalized depends on your cooperation and determination. For more information on Filing A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Des Moines, an initial consultation is your next best step.
For Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, please click here.