Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a way to eliminate debt with little or often times no repayment to creditors. It allows an individual to completely get rid of most debt, whether secured or unsecured by receiving a discharge from the bankruptcy court at the completion of the Chapter 7 case. Some examples of debts that are typically discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy include credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, past due utility bills, cash advances, repossession deficiencies, mortgage loans, and vehicle loans. Speak with our Columbus Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer to learn if you may qualify to file for Chapter 7.
At the end of your Chapter 7 case, the court may offer a discharge on all or some of your debt, which means you are no longer required to pay the debts that existed prior to filing your bankruptcy case. Chapter 7 is also known as the liquidation bankruptcy because in exchange for your discharge and relief from paying debt, a court appointed trustee may have the ability to sell some of your assets in order to pay creditors. "Many of my clients are hesitant to file bankruptcy because of a fear of losing their property, however, filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean your assets will be liquidated." Ms. Nesbitt says. Many times, we are able to protect all or most of a debtor's property throughout the bankruptcy and the end result provides our client with a fresh start, free of debt with all or most of their assets retained. Ms. Nesbitt cautions, "This 'risk' of assets is exactly why it is so important to retain experienced counsel." Many times, individuals make the mistake of believing that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is a 'do-it-yourself' project. It most certainly is not. This is why it is very important to retain representation and moreover, to be comfortable speaking with and asking questions and advice to the attorney you retain. In doing so, you will find the process of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a smooth and clear progression toward the fresh start that you need.
"IF I FILE FOR A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY, I WILL LOSE MY HOUSE."
Not necessarily, many debtors retain their homes and continue to pay their mortgage payments during and after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is complete. In fact, retaining your real property and reaffirming on the mortgage debt is a strategy that many Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers use to build credit following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. "FILING FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY WILL RUIN MY CREDIT SCORE FOR 7 YEARS." This is a common misconception. While a bankruptcy filing may cause a temporary downward adjustment of a debtor's credit score, there are many other factors affecting your credit score. The law states that a bankruptcy remark is permitted to remain on an individual's credit report for up to ten years, but the credit reporting agency may drop the remark at an earlier time. Further, the policy of the Associated Credit Bureaus is to remove chapter 13 cases from the credit report after seven years to encourage debtors to file under this chapter. A bankruptcy remark, however, is not as detrimental to your score as are late payments, past due or collections accounts, and several outstanding accounts that lend to the overall picture that you cannot afford to repay the credit that has been extended to you. When this cycle begins, it tends to persist and worsen, which can cause your score to plummet rapidly, making it harder to recover. Many times, the best decision may be to forego considerations of the bankruptcy's effect on your credit score immediately after filing and focus on the financial stability that bankruptcy relief may be able to provide to you. This can, in turn, give you a much stronger opportunity to build and maintain a healthy credit score for your long term future. "MY (FILL IN THE BLANK… AUNT, BROTHER, MOTHER, COUSIN, NEIGHBOR, ETC.) FILED BANKRUPTCY AND TOLD ME NEVER TO DO IT." Advice from a trusted family member or friend is important to consider. My advice would be to remove their personal experience from the conversation and get to the heart of their concerns. Write down the concerns you share in relation to your particular financial situation and share them with your attorney at your initial consultation with The Nesbitt Law Firm. Often, your concerns will be met with relief when you discuss the risks and learn of the relief available which are unique to your own case. "IF I FILE FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY, MY EMPLOYER WILL FIRE ME." Federal law protects the bankruptcy filer from employer retaliation and termination. For most positions, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee based on a bankruptcy filing alone. There are very few exceptions to this protection. If you are struggling with debt and need relief, but are hesitant to seek assistance because you feel your employment position may be in jeopardy, you should consult with a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney at The Nesbitt Law Firm immediately. Often, you will discover that you are not at risk of termination if you file for bankruptcy and that debt relief is available to you. In fact, many employees whose positions require they maintain good credit are at greater risk of termination if their debt is not resolved through bankruptcy or other means. Our professional advice is fully confidential and requires no obligation. Thus, there is no harm in having the conversation, while the alternative could be highly detrimental.