Chapter 7 — A Fresh Start And Relief From The Stress
Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides peace of mind and a fresh beginning. It is debt relief and creditor relief provided under federal law for people like you who are in financial trouble with no reasonable hope of ever paying back all of their debt.
Explore Your Chapter 7 Options With Louisiana’s Oldest Bankruptcy Law Firm
The experienced bankruptcy lawyers of Simon, Fitzgerald, Cooke, Reed and Welch, offer a free initial consultation to discuss Chapter 7 and all your debt relief options. Arrange a meeting at one of our five offices across Louisiana:
Shreveport • Alexandria • Lafayette
An Overview Of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7, also known as liquidation bankruptcy or liquidation, in most cases, allows you to eliminate unsecured debts such as credit card debt, medical bills and money judgments. Not all debts are eliminated (see What Debts Are Discharged?), but by eliminating thousands — even tens of thousands — of eligible debt you should be able to get back on financial track. Chapter 7 can also discharge your personal liability on secured debt.
Filing for Chapter 7 forces creditors to stop collection actions and the harassing phone calls. In most cases, you will have to continue to pay secured creditors to retain the collateral.
The greatest fear about Chapter 7 is “losing everything.” This is a common myth about bankruptcy. In reality, most of our clients who qualify are able to keep most or all of what they own through the Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions and other federal exemptions. (Some people do have to forfeit nonexempt property or arrange to “buyback” some of those assets from the bankruptcy trustee.)
Do You Qualify? The Chapter 7 Means Test.
Federal bankruptcy law changed in 2005 to add an eligibility test, based on the median income in each state and other factors. Our attorneys will take a thorough look at your financial picture to determine if you are a candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and advise you on the pluses and minuses of Chapter 7.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be preferable or your only option if:
- You earn too much under the means test
- You are behind on mortgage or vehicle payments on property you want to keep
- You have nonexempt assets you are not willing to lose
- You prefer to pay a portion of the debt that you can afford
- You want to lower or restructure vehicle or other secured loans
- You have nondischargeable taxes you would like to pay over time