The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

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Published: January 18, 2021

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must fully disclose your property, debts, and financial activities over the past several years. Approximately three months later you receive a discharge (cancellation) of most types of debts and you will emerge with all or most of the property you owned going in, except luxury items and investment real estate in which you have equity.

The following types of debts are not discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable taxes
  • court-imposed fines and restitution
  • back child support and alimony
  • debts owed to an ex-spouse as a result of a divorce or separation
  • loans owed to a retirement plan
  • student loans
  • federal and state taxes
  • debts for personal injuries resulting from your drunk driving

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a three-month process that usually only requires the filing of some paperwork and one brief appearance before the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee is the person the court appoints to handle your case. You might have to make brief additional appearances before a bankruptcy judge if you seek approval of a reaffirmation agreement you singed in order to keep a car or other property you are making monthly payments on. Please call our office to meet with an experienced attorney to help you navigate the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.