Elk Grove, California Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 7 is a type of personal bankruptcy that can eliminate many of your debts, giving you a clean slate to start anew. Other benefits of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Elk Grove include protection from creditors and debt collectors, postponement of foreclosure and repossession, and the invaluable peace of mind that comes from knowing your financial difficulties have been resolved.
If you live in Elk Grove or the Elk Grove area, and have been struggling to stay on top of monthly utility bills, medical bills, or other payments, the Elk Grove Chapter 7 attorneys of The Bankruptcy Group can help you get relief. For a free legal consultation about erasing debt with Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California, contact our law offices at (800) 920-5351 today.
Should You File Chapter 7 or 13?
If you live in Elk Grove and are thinking about declaring bankruptcy, you have several filing options to consider. While there are various types or “chapters” of bankruptcy, most debtors in Elk Grove opt for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a liquidation bankruptcy, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is a reorganization bankruptcy. It is exceedingly rare for individual debtors to use other chapters of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 11, which is more common among business entities.
There are both similarities and differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The similarities are that:
- Both can reduce or wipe out multiple sources of debt.
- Both can give you protection from debt collectors while the bankruptcy is pending.
- Both can give you opportunities to protect your property from being repossessed and sold.
- Both require you to file various bankruptcy forms, pay a filing fee, and comply with bankruptcy regulations, such as the requirements for credit counseling and debtor education.
While both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 can help you get excessive debt under control, they approach this goal in very different fashions. Chapter 7 involves asset liquidation, though most property can be protected in many cases. By comparison, Chapter 13 involves a long-term repayment (“reorganization”) plan with your creditors. Though it is impossible to make a determination without first discussing your circumstances in detail, Chapter 7 could be a better option than Chapter 13 if:
- You are not a homeowner who wants to prevent foreclosure.
- You don’t have enough disposable income for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- You don’t have substantial assets.
- You want to complete the bankruptcy process as soon as possible.
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 can have advantages and disadvantages depending on your debts, your goals, and your financial resources. While it is typically possible to convert a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13, or a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7, it is more efficient to make the appropriate selection at the beginning of the bankruptcy process. At The Bankruptcy Group, our legal team includes Chapter 7 lawyers, Chapter 13 attorneys, and Chapter 11 attorneys, giving us practical insight into each process and enabling us to help you make a detailed comparison to find what’s best for you.
What Debts Can Be Discharged in Chapter 7?
Many people have different goals they would like to achieve through bankruptcy. For some people, bankruptcy is about salvaging or ending an unsuccessful business. For other debtors, the primary objective is to prevent property from being repossessed or foreclosed on. For others still, the main benefit of bankruptcy is pure stress relief. However, no matter what their individual reasons for filing bankruptcy may be, all debtors share the same goal: obtaining a bankruptcy discharge. But what is a discharge, and why is it so important?
When your Chapter 7 case is discharged by the bankruptcy court, the effect is that you will no longer be liable for debts that are included in the discharge, known as “dischargeable debts.” The debts will continue existing, but you will no longer be responsible for paying them. In short, the discharge is what gives you debt relief.
Fortunately, many sources of debt are dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Dischargeable debts in Chapter 7 include, but are not limited to:
- Business Debts
- Credit Card Debts
- Medical Debts
- Older Income Tax Debts
- Past-Due Utility Bill Debts
- Personal Debts
While most debts are dischargeable, several debts are not. Debts which cannot be discharged are known as “non-dischargeable debts.” With rare exceptions, common examples of non-dischargeable debts include:
- Child Support Debts
- Spousal Support Debts (Alimony Debts)
- Student Loan Debts
- Tax Debts Owed to the IRS
If you violate bankruptcy regulations, miss legal deadlines, or disobey the court’s rules, your case risks involuntary dismissal. If your case is dismissed by the bankruptcy court, none of your debts will be discharged, and you will not receive any relief from your debts. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case could be dismissed for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Committing or attempting to commit bankruptcy fraud.
- Failing to complete debtor education and/or credit counseling as required.
- Providing incomplete or inaccurate information to the bankruptcy trustee, or on your bankruptcy forms.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers of The Bankruptcy Group can help you avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that commonly lead to case dismissals. Our goal is to see that you complete the California bankruptcy process successfully, so that you can get a fresh start on your finances.
Elk Grove Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving Sacramento County, CA
The Bankruptcy Group brings nearly 30 years of legal experience to every case our law firm handles. With conveniently located offices in Roseville and Folsom just a short drive from Elk Grove, our trusted team of Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys is prepared to assist with all aspects of your bankruptcy case, from helping you choose which chapter to file to explaining your legal responsibilities to representing you at the meeting of creditors.
We are proud to serve residents of Elk Grove and other communities in the area, such as Florin, Galt, Herald, Vineyard, and Wilton. If you need help getting relief from debt, contact our law offices at (800) 920-5351 for a free bankruptcy consultation right away.