Chapter 7

Chicago Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Experienced Legal Counsel for Debt Relief Solutions in Illinois

In the face of crushing debt and creditor harassment, it is easy to think you have no options. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Federal bankruptcy law allows debtors like you to file for bankruptcy to get a fresh start. By taking the proper steps and contacting a bankruptcy lawyer, you could have your debts discharged through bankruptcy.

Attorney Joseph P. Doyle is an expert in bankruptcy law in Chicago, providing a wide range of legal services to clients in the city and the surrounding areas. He can thoroughly assess your financial situation, determine your options to eliminate or reduce your debt, and help you get a clean slate and get your life back on track.

Having a Chicago Chapter 7 attorney with a thorough knowledge of bankruptcy law to help you determine your best option for debt relief is essential. With our bankruptcy law experts in Chicago, you can benefit from time-tested advice and dedicated counsel.

Call Attorney Joseph P. Doyle at (312) 957-8077 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Chicago! Se habla Español.

What Happens When You File Chapter 7?

Filing under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code is a way to obtain immediate debt relief and regain financial stability with a fresh start. The Chapter 7 process involves liquidation and discharge of any remaining debts. It is a viable solution for many individuals who cannot escape their troubling financial situation.

When you file for Chapter 7, you eliminate your legal obligation to pay unsecured dischargeable debt and some secured debts.

How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

Think of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a fresh start. In this type of filing, all of your debt is listed on the schedules of your bankruptcy petition. There is a schedule for secured debts, like your house and car, and a schedule for your unsecured debts, like medical bills and credit cards. If the case is successful, these unsecured debts are all discharged in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which makes this type of filing a fresh start. Secured property can also become an unsecured debt and thus be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy if repossessed or foreclosed upon. All that remains is a deficiency balance or if the client decides they would like to surrender their interest in the secured property ahead of time.

Since a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of your assets, there is also a schedule for listing all of your assets. This includes anything from bank accounts to life insurance policies, cars, and other significant assets. Most of the time, these assets can be exempt; thus, there will never be any issues with the case. However, it is still vital to your case to consult with your attorney to ensure that your assets are properly shielded from the liquidation that occurs in every Chapter 7 case.

Finally, an individual can only receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 case every eight years. If you need bankruptcy protection and are ineligible for a Chapter 7 due to this rule, there are other options for you, such as a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In this case, consult an expert in Chapter 7 attorney in Chicago to decide the best course of action your situation requires.

What Happens Next?

After you have completed bankruptcy and debts have been discharged, you may no longer be liable for those discharged debts. Sometimes, debtors can reaffirm secured debts to reinstate their previous legal obligation. For example, they may be able to reinstate a prior mortgage, making regular payments as they stay in the house. Some types of debt, however, cannot be discharged.

Classic examples include:

  • Child support
  • Student loans
  • Particular taxes

Are There Disadvantages to Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides debt relief for many, but it also has its drawbacks. One significant disadvantage is the potential loss of assets. When you file for Chapter 7, a trustee may liquidate non-exempt property to pay off creditors. This could mean losing valuable possessions or even your home if you have substantial equity.

Additionally, Chapter 7 remains on your credit report for ten years, affecting your ability to secure credit or loans. It can make it challenging to get new credit cards or loans, and if you do, they may come with high interest rates.

Furthermore, not all debts are dischargeable through Chapter 7. Non-dischargeable debts like student loans, child support, and certain tax debts will remain your responsibility.

Lastly, the process can be relatively quick, with your case typically taking a few months to complete. However, it's essential to remember that not all debts can be discharged. Therefore, it's essential to consult with a chapter 7 attorney Chicago to determine if Chapter 7 is the right choice for your financial situation.

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Contact our team to learn more about Chapter 7. Speak with a skilled bankruptcy attorney in Chicago at Attorney Joseph P. Doyle. Our services are available in Spanish.

Will I Lose My Property If I File?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Chicago involves liquidating a debtor's nonexempt assets. In this situation, the trustee will take possession of the debtor's property and liquidate any unprotected assets. During this process, the assets will be sold, and funds will be paid to creditors. Under the bankruptcy code, the debtor can retain certain basic assets, exempt property.

Below are properties that might be exempt from bankruptcy:

  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Personal Injury Payment
  • Wild Card
  • Homestead
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Pensions and Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Alimony and Child Support
  • Social Security, Unemployment, and Public Assistance
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Illinois College Savings Pool Accounts
  • Certain Personal Items (Clothing, School Books, Family Photos)

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Stop Creditor Harassment and Protect Your Assets

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide you with immediate relief from creditor harassment. Once you file, an automatic stay is put in place, preventing creditors from contacting you, garnishing your wages, or repossessing your property. This allows you to regain control of your finances and focus on rebuilding your future.

Our experienced bankruptcy attorney, Joseph P. Doyle, can guide you through the process and help you understand which assets you can keep.

Benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • Elimination of most unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills
  • Opportunity for a fresh financial start
  • Relief from creditor harassment and collection efforts
  • Protection of exempt assets
  • It is a relatively quick process, typically lasting a few months

The Cons of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You cannot keep your credit cards, and you will lose property not exempt from sale by the trustee, in addition to other luxury items that were not exempt.

If you declare bankruptcy now, it will be harder to declare it later if you find yourself in an even worse financial situation. Make sure that filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is necessary. Once you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot file again under that chapter for another eight years.

If you previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and less than 70% of your unsecured debt was paid to creditors in good faith, you must wait six years before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What Type of Debt Relief Is for Me?

There is only one way to know whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for you: to discuss your options with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney to understand the benefits and disadvantages of each fully. If you initiate the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process blindly, you could be in trouble later. At our firm, we fully understand the scope of bankruptcy law and can even dispel some common bankruptcy myths you may have heard.

Contact Attorney Joseph P. Doyle today to schedule a consultation with our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago!

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