Frequently Asked Questions*
Chapter 7 is a federal Bankruptcy procedure designed to eliminate all but a few kinds of debt. Once every eight years, the U.S. government will give you a fresh start, without any unsecured bills. It is considered the best Bankruptcy because you only go to one short meeting that usually lasts less than ten minutes. When you file your papers, you receive a powerful federal restraining order that protects you. Chapter 7 Bankruptcies are also called “fresh start” or “liquidation” Bankruptcies. In general, you will qualify to file under chapter 7 unless your monthly disposable income is too high or if you have too much property. You and your spouse can both file a joint case at no extra fee.
To qualify for a Simple 7, there are limits as to how much property or money you have. We will calculate the amount of income and property you can protect and still eliminate your debts.
- Prior cases
If you have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy before, you must wait 8 years to file again.
Presently, the credit card companies are offering credit cards to you right after you file your bankruptcy. They want to get you on the “hook” again because you can’t file again for 8 years.
After filing bankruptcy your credit rating, is above 680. After two years, if you have the income, you may qualify for a home loan, guaranteed by F.H.A (the U.S. government). The down payment on this loan is only 3½ percent of the loan.
After you have prepared and filed your Bankruptcy paperwork, the court clerk will notify all of your creditors of your Bankruptcy filing and inform them that they may no longer contact you. When your case is filed with the Court, the Court issues a court order called the “automatic stay” that says nobody can do anything to collect a debt from you. They can’t sue you, they can’t garnish, repossess, foreclose or anything else. They can’t even talk to you, and they certainly can’t harass you. If they violate the automatic stay, you can sue them for Contempt of Court. The creditors will leave you alone after the case is filed. If they don’t, the Court will fine them.
If your creditors continue to pursue you after receiving notice of your Bankruptcy, they may be fined heavily by the Bankruptcy Court. For example, one bankruptcy court recently fined Bank of America millions for violating the restraining order. One lawyer was fined $100,000 for making one collection call to a protected debtor.
The fee our company charges for Bankruptcy preparation is as follows:
- In California, $125 in Eastern District, $150 in Northern and Southern Districts, and $200 in Central District.
- In Wisconsin, $75.00.
- In North Carolina, $80.
- In Minnesota, $90.
- In Maryland, Michigan (Eastern District), and New York, $100.
- In Ohio, $125 (Northern District) and currently up to $200 in Southern District.
- In Oklahoma, $150.
- In Nevada, $150 for first 25 creditors. If there are more than 25 creditors, $100 plus $2 per creditor up to $200. (A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer must also send the Region 17 Guidelines.)
Generally speaking, you can eliminate all debts but the following:
- Student loans guaranteed by the U.S. government.
- Newer tax bills.
- Fraudulent debts.
- Employer type taxes.
- Debts secured by property if you want to keep the secured property.
- Criminal fines or restrictions in criminal cases.
- Fill out the brief questionnaire by opening Start my Evaluation or email it to: email@example.com
- After acceptance by us, obtain a credit report, as instructed.
- Email the credit report and our simple intake questionnaire. You must ink out your social security numbers. They must not be sent through the mail or email.
- You must pay the fee we have requested and sign our contract.
- While we are preparing your documents, you must do a brief credit counseling class, on line, or by telephone.
- Sign and file your documents with the clerk of the Bankruptcy Court.
- After you get a meeting date, get certain financial information to the trustee, usually last year’s tax returns and two months of paycheck stubs.
- Attend a brief hearing with a trustee along with other filers. Usually it lasts less than ten minutes. We will brief you on the usual questions.
- Do the second counseling class.
- Email us that you have completed your tasks and are ready for your “debriefing.”
- Send you an “intake” questionnaire
- Screen your case and not let you proceed if you do not qualify for a simple Chapter 7.
- Prepare the bankruptcy paperwork you need to file your case
- Send you specific detailed instructions on how to file the paperwork.
- After the brief meeting of creditors we will do a “debriefing” explaining how not to get into trouble again and congratulate you on your “fresh start.”