Helping You Manage Debt With a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In the complex landscape of financial challenges, many individuals in Missouri are pondering, “Can I file Chapter 7 in Kansas City, MO?”. If you’re seeking clarity on Chapter 7 bankruptcy and its eligibility criteria, you’re in the right place. Jeppson Law, our reliable law firm, is here to explain the nuances of Chapter 7 and assist you throughout the process.
We offer a quick summary concerning the eligibility of an individual in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Chapter 7, known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” helps individuals and businesses eliminate specific debts through the liquidation of non-exempt assets.
- Qualification involves passing a means test by demonstrating income below the state median.
- Credit counseling from an approved agency is required before filing.
- Consideration of time restrictions between previous bankruptcy filings is also considered.
- Understanding which debts, like taxes and child support, may not be dischargeable is important in processing bankruptcy.
- Dischargeable debts include credit card balances, medical bills, personal loans, utility bills, collection agency accounts, and certain lease and contractual obligations.
- Non-dischargeable debts encompass child support, certain tax debts, student loans (unless proving undue hardship), court-ordered restitution, debts from fraudulent activities, and those not listed in the bankruptcy petition.
- Processing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves filing a petition triggering an automatic stay, means test assessment, appointment of a trustee, liquidation of non-exempt assets, and eventual debt discharge.
- Situations to consider bankruptcy include the inability to make monthly debt payments, facing foreclosure or eviction, being sued or having wages garnished, and struggling with medical debt.
- An experienced bankruptcy lawyer is essential in processing Chapter 7, providing personalized guidance, ensuring eligibility through means test understanding, and preventing costly mistakes in legal procedures and paperwork.
Our commitment to explaining the intricacies and providing guidance ensures that you can confidently navigate the complexities of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Don’t tackle financial challenges alone—allow Jeppson Law to lead you towards a future free from debt.
What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, commonly known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” is a legal procedure enabling individuals and businesses to eliminate specific debts. The main aim of Chapter 7 is to offer a renewed financial beginning through the liquidation of non-exempt assets, repaying creditors, and subsequently discharging remaining eligible debts.
Am I Eligible for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
“Can I file Chapter 7 in Kansas City, MO?” Absolutely. Your eligibility for Chapter 7 in Missouri depends on specific factors. To qualify, consider the following criteria:
- Means Test
This assessment gauges your income and expenses, ensuring it falls below the state median. Meeting the means test makes you eligible for Chapter 7.
- Credit Counseling
Before filing, undergo credit counseling from an approved agency. Jeppson Law can assist you, ensuring you follow all necessary steps.
- Previous Bankruptcies
Time restrictions exist between bankruptcy filings. If you’ve filed before, Jeppson Law assesses your situation and advises on the best course.
- Debt Type
Certain debts, like taxes and child support, may not be dischargeable under Chapter 7. Understanding your debts is crucial, and Jeppson Law can guide you through these complexities.
What Debts are Covered by a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Depending on the bankruptcy type, various debts can be discharged. Here’s a broad overview of the debts typically covered by Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Credit Card Debt
Most unsecured consumer debts, including credit card balances, can be discharged under Chapter 7.
- Medical Bills
Unpaid medical expenses, considered unsecured debts, are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Personal Loans
Unsecured personal loans, lacking collateral, are eligible for discharge.
- Utility Bills
Unpaid utility bills, such as electricity or water bills, are generally dischargeable in Chapter 7.
- Collection Agency Accounts
Debts sold to collection agencies, including charged-off debts, can be discharged.
- Lease and Contractual Obligations
Certain lease and contract obligations, especially if unsecured, can be discharged under Chapter 7.
What Debts are Not Covered by a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Not all debts can be discharged through bankruptcy. Some debts are required to be settled in other ways:
- Child Support and Alimony
Debts linked to child support and alimony cannot be discharged under Chapter 7.
- Certain Tax Debts
Some tax debts may remain non-dischargeable, especially if recent or associated with fraud.
- Student Loans
Typically, student loan debts are not dischargeable, unless the debtor proves “undue hardship,” a high legal standard.
- Court-Ordered Restitutions
Fines or restitution ordered by a court in a criminal sentence are generally non-dischargeable.
- Debts Incurred through Fraud or Misrepresentation
Debts from fraudulent activities or misrepresentation may not be dischargeable.
- Debts Not Listed in Bankruptcy Petition
If a debt isn’t listed in the bankruptcy petition, it may not be discharged.
How Do I File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Here’s a simplified breakdown of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process:
- Filing the Petition
It begins with the debtor filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with the court, triggering an automatic stay that stops most creditor actions like collection efforts and foreclosure.
- Means Test
Chapter 7 filers must undergo a means test to check if their income is below the state median, determining their ability to repay debts.
- Appointment of Trustee
The court appoints a trustee upon filing. The trustee reviews the debtor’s assets, sells non-exempt property, and distributes proceeds to creditors.
- Liquidation of Assets
Non-exempt assets, varying by state, may be sold to repay creditors. However, many Chapter 7 filers keep exempt assets, preserving essential property.
- Debt Discharge
After liquidation, eligible debts are discharged, freeing the debtor from legal obligations. Some debts like child support, alimony, and specific taxes may remain non-dischargeable.
When Should I File for Bankruptcy?
Since bankruptcy can help people reclaim their financial stability, different reasons can be given for filing one, such as:
- Being unable to make your monthly debt payments.
- Being behind on your mortgage or rent payment.
- Facing foreclosure or eviction.
- Being sued by creditors.
- Having your wages garnished.
- Having filed for bankruptcy in the past and are still struggling with debt.
- Having medical debt that you cannot afford to pay.
Why Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Kansas City, MO?
While the internet offers abundant information, the skills of an experienced attorney are invaluable when tackling the question, “Can I file Chapter 7 in Kansas City, MO?” Jeppson Law delivers personalized guidance suited to your unique situation. Here’s why our assistance is crucial:
- Navigating Legal Procedures
Bankruptcy laws are complex and challenging to navigate. Jeppson Law possesses a profound understanding of these laws, ensuring strict adherence to all necessary procedures.
- Individualized Assessment
Every financial situation is distinct. Jeppson Law dedicates time to assessing your specific circumstances, providing tailored advice and solutions.
- Means Test Guidance
Understanding the means test is pivotal for Chapter 7 eligibility. Jeppson Law offers comprehensive guidance, aiding you in presenting an accurate financial picture.
- Preventing Costly Mistakes
Bankruptcy filings entail a multitude of paperwork and legal requirements. Mistakes can be expensive and potentially result in case dismissal. Jeppson Law safeguards you from these pitfalls.
Call Our Bankruptcy Lawyer Today!
While Chapter 7 offers a new beginning, it’s essential to grasp its potential impact on credit scores and future credit access. Seek advice from our experienced bankruptcy lawyer at Jeppson Law in Kansas City, MO, for personalized guidance, ensuring a seamless bankruptcy filing process. We provide free consultations for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Break free from the debt spiral! Contact us now.