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“QUESTIONS, ANSWERS AND MISCONCEPTIONS”
CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a personal form of Bankruptcy that allows a person to eliminate their personal debt obligations. These debt obligations can include unsecured debts, such as credit cards, medical bills, past utility bills, past lease and rent obligations, personal loans and remaining amounts owed after a repossession or foreclosure, and can include secured debts, such as auto loans and mortgages. In most instances, to be released from a secured debt obligation and any potential deficiency, one is required to surrender the collateral securing the debt obligation.
Benefits of Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
- First, one is allowed to Discharge all debt obligations (with exception to most taxes, student loan and domestic support obligations).
- Second, creditors are immediately stopped from both continuously making harassing and threatening phone calls and sending collection mailings to you, your family, and place of employment.
- Third, all collection law suits are immediately stopped and, in the usual case, are dismissed from the legal system never to again be brought against you.
- Fourth, the bankruptcy process is relatively anonymous. Specifically, the general public will not be aware of your circumstances.
- Fifth, in the usual case, a person’s assets are completely protected from creditors, meaning that you are able to retain your assets, while still ‘wiping out’ your debt and being granted a new ‘fresh start’ in your financial life.
- Sixth, you can file a single case as a married couple (or as a single person – you choose), eliminating the need to file separate cases and reducing costs.
- Seventh, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a relatively brief case in duration. Typically, from the time a case is filed, a case lasts about three and a half months, a Discharge is issued, and the case is closed.
- Eight, you can remove judgements and liens that have been placed on your home and forever eliminate them.
- Ninth, there are no income tax consequences to filing for bankruptcy.
A careful analysis of one’s financial and asset status, along with the skillful preparation of a case is required to assure that these benefits are maximized.
Answers to the most common Myths about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
- It is untrue that you will lose all of your personal possessions and assets (such as your vehicle and home).
- It is untrue that you will never have a great credit score or be able to again obtain credit. Typically, credit cards, personal loans and vehicle loans can be quickly obtained. It takes approximately twenty four months to qualify for a mortgage.
- It is untrue that bankruptcy forever stays on your credit report. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case is completely removed from your credit report after ten years.
- It is untrue that you can only file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy once. If overwhelming circumstances again present themselves in your life, one can qualify to again file additional bankruptcy cases with the same benefits.
- It is untrue that everyone will know that you filed for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing is not listed in the local paper and is not publically announced. Only your creditors and court personnel will be aware of your filing for bankruptcy.
- It is untrue that you will have to lose all of your bank account savings.
- It is untrue that debt consolidation is a better option. In most cases, debt consolidation costs more, lasts longer, and has income tax consequences.
- It is untrue that you will automatically lose your tax refund.
As such, you can truly move forward in life in a new, peaceful and successful direction while swiftly obtaining your financial goals.
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Documents that you can easily gather which are necessary to prepare a case:
- If applicable, a date-stamped copy to the Deed to your home, along with a date-stamped copy of your Homestead Declaration. If you do not have a copy, you can obtain one from either the Registry of Deeds or, if your land is registered land, from the Land Court.
- A copy of your most recent federal tax return. If you do not have one, we can order a tax transcript for you.
- A copy of your credit report. If you do not have one, we can order one for you.
- A copy of any judicial liens and judgments entered against you.
- Either your recent paystubs, or evidence of other income (for example, social security, disability, pension, self-employment income etc….).
- A copy of your most recent bank statement(s).
- We will obtain valuations for your home and vehicles.
Useful website links to get you started.
- New Bedford Registry of Deeds
- Fall River Registry of Deeds
- Taunton Registry of Deeds
- Somerset Registry of Deeds
- Attleboro Registry of Deeds
- To search for your local Registry of Deeds
- To Search the Land Court