If you've decided to file a bankruptcy case, the next decision to make with your attorney is which Chapter is most appropriate for your situation. Our office files cases under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 is the most commonly-filed chapter for consumer debtors. Most cases take 5 - 6 months, start to finish. Although it is technically referred to as "liquidation" bankruptcy, most of our clients are able to protect all of their property through the use of "exemptions." After review of your information, our attorneys will warn you if any of your property is at risk, and they will discuss with you at great length whether filing under Chapter 7 is a good decision. But again, most Chapter 7 debtors are able to protect everything they have from liquidation.
Eligibility for filing under Chapter 7 is determined by means testing - generally, in order to file a Chapter 7 case, debtors must have a household income that is less than the median income for a household of the same size in the debtor's county.
A successful Chapter 7 case serves to discharge (eliminate) debts like credit cards, unsecured loans, medical debt, etc. In general, Chapter 7 does not help with tax debt (except older tax debt), student loans, domestic support obligations, and a list of more obscure exceptions.