Chapter 7 Attorney in Cape Coral

Chapter 7 Attorney in Cape Coral: Rothrock Law Firm

Chapter 7 attorney Cape Coral

Radha Rothrock is a chapter 7 attorney in Cape Coral

Radha Rothrock is a chapter 7 attorney in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples with 21 years of experience.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges your unsecured debts after you pay your unsecured creditors the value of your non-exempt assets.  Unsecured debt is debt that has no collateral attached to it.  Examples of unsecured debt include most credit cards, medical bills, some tax debt, and deficiency judgments resulting from deeds in lieu of foreclosure, foreclosed property or short sales.  Certain unsecured debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7.  This includes debt incurred as a result of fraud.  Most people who file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can keep their home, their car, and their furniture while wiping out credit card debt and medical bills.

Eligibility and Qualifications for Chapter 7

It is imperative to hire a chapter 7 attorney in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, or Naples who understands the local rules and requirements of the trustees in this area.  Radha Rothrock is an experienced chapter 7 attorney in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples, and has appeared before the local trustees and judge many times.  

If your debts are primarily consumer debts (meaning that they are not investment or business related debts), your income for the six moths prior to filing bankruptcy determines whether you are able to file.  Chapter 7 has no debt limitations.    The specific income limitations are published twice per year by the  Department of Justice.  If your income is higher than the published guidelines, we will fill out a “means test” to see if you can still qualify for chapter 7 relief.  The means test considers the number of people in your household and factors the amount of household expenses that you are expected to have.  If you pass the means test, you are eligible to file chapter 7 even if your income exceeds the published guidelines.  If you don’t pass the means test, you cannot file chapter 7.  Instead you must file a chapter 11 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, and you must  pay the amount of your disposable income over  a period of five years.  If your debts are mostly business debts, you are not required to fill out the means test form.

Classification of debt in bankruptcy

In your initial consultation with a chapter 7 attorney in Cape Coral, we will analyze your case to see if you are eligible to file chapter 7.  Provided you are eligible to file chapter 7 bankruptcy based on your income, you will then have to classify your debts into one of three categories. 
In bankruptcy, debts are classified into three categories:  secured debt, unsecured debt, and priority debt. 
  • Secured debt is debt that has collateral attached to it.  Examples of secured debt are your home and your car.  Some department store cards are secured by the items you purchased. When you file chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to tell the court what you want to do with those items.  You have the option of keeping the property and paying for it or giving the property back to the creditor and not paying for it. 
  • Priority debt is debt that has no collateral; however, even if you file bankruptcy, you still have to pay the debt.  Examples of priority debt are IRS debts that are less than three years old and child support. 
  • Unsecured debt is debt that has no collateral.  Examples of unsecured debt are most credit card debt, medical bills, deficiencies arising from foreclosed properties and short sales, and old tax debt.  If you file chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep your exempt property, and you only have to pay your unsecured creditors an amount equal to the nonexempt assets that you have.

Reaffirmation agreements

You must file a reaffirmation agreement for all secured personal property that you want to keep within 60 days of the first scheduled meeting with the trustee (the meeting of creditors or 341 meeting).  If you do not sign the agreement, the automatic stay lifts and the creditor is permitted to repossess the property.  Signing the reaffirmation agreement means that you will be personally liable to pay the debt after the bankruptcy is over.  It also means that the creditor will report your payments on your credit report, which will help you re-establish your credit.

Redemption

Bankruptcy gives you the option to “redeem” secured property, such as furniture, computers, and automobiles.  Redemption allows you to purchase property from the creditor at its current market value rather than paying the amount owed.  If your items are worn or old, this option is a good option.

Debts that are nondischargeable

Not all unsecured debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy.  These debts include debts resulting from fraud, embezzlement, larceny, child support, or alimony.  Click this link to see a list of property that is nondischargeable in chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Discharge

Approximately three to four months after you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will get an order of discharge in the mail.  The discharge means that your unsecured creditors can no longer collect money from you.

 

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About Radha Rothrock

Radha Rothrock is a bankruptcy attorney in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. Call today for your free consultation at (239) 206-1948.