Hartford Chapter 7 Attorney
Put Years of Experience in Your Corner
People experience financial hardship for a number of reasons. Sudden layoffs, medical emergencies, divorce, and many other events can change circumstances for the worse, leaving individuals and families struggling for months or years on end. Whether you’re overwhelmed with debt because of a single event outside your control or because you made decisions that had unanticipated consequences, Boatman Law is here to help.
We may be able to help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which could eliminate your debt in a matter of months. Not everyone will qualify, however, and successfully navigating the procedure requires years of experience and extensive legal skills. Our team of Chapter 7 lawyers serving Hartford County are here to assist you with this process from beginning to end.
How to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Not everyone with debt can file for Chapter 7. You must meet the requirements listed below in order to file a petition:
- You must be able to pass the means test.
- You must complete a credit counseling course within 180 days before your filing.
- If you have filed for Chapter 7 in the past and was granted a discharge, you must wait 8 years to file for bankruptcy.
- If you have filed for Chapter 13 and was also granted a discharge, you must wait 6 years to file for Chapter 7.
If you are fighting against debt and are unsure if you qualify, reach out to an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in East Hartford at Boatman Law. We can take a look at your situation, determine if you qualify, and see if this option is right for you. We have years of experience and we are prepared to guide you to a fresh new start. Reach out today.
How Does Chapter 7 Work?
Of all the different types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is the fastest and simplest. To qualify, you must make less than your state’s median income—although some qualify with higher incomes due to other financial factors. Our attorneys can conduct a thorough evaluation of your situation to determine your eligibility.
Many people refer to Chapter 7 as “liquidation bankruptcy,” which makes it sound as though the court will take everything you own before discharging your debt. In reality, many people who file Chapter 7 receive a debt discharge without losing any of their property. To protect your property from liquidation, you will use state or federal bankruptcy exemptions, which prevent the trustee from seizing and selling certain assets and possessions. The filing of a Chapter 7 case stops your creditors from starting or continuing collection efforts against you while you are in the bankruptcy case.
Once the liquidation process is complete—even if nothing you own is sold—the court can discharge any remaining unsecured debt. You are then free from the legal obligation to pay that debt, and your creditors can no longer come after you. If you don't qualify for Chapter 7, or you would lose some of your property because of the liquidation process, you may want to consider filing Chapter 13 instead.
Unfortunately, the bankruptcy court might not get rid of everything you owe. The key distinction to understand here is secured vs. unsecured debt. The court can discharge unsecured debt, which usually includes utility bills, medical bills, payday loans, and credit card debt. Some older tax liability may also get discharged. While the court can discharge a debtor’s obligation to pay secured debt, to includes mortgages, automobile loans, and other types of debt that are secured by collateral (i.e., the property the lender can take if you fall behind on payments), the court does not remove the security interest in your property, meaning, the lender retains the ability to reach only the collateral if you do not pay the discharged secured loan.
Non-dischargeable debt will not be affected by a bankruptcy discharge. They include:
- Child support
- Fines penalties, or criminal restitution
- Debts incurred from an accident you caused while driving under the influence.
As a general rule with very limited exceptions, student loan debt is nondischargeable.
Get Started on Your Case Today
Chapter 7 can provide immense relief in a relatively short amount of time. We can help you assess your eligibility, determine whether Chapter 7 is the solution you need, and navigate the process with ease and precision. No matter what caused the financial hardship you are experiencing, you don’t deserve to struggle under the weight of crushing debt—and bankruptcy might be the solution you need to overcome this challenge. Tell us your story. We’re ready to listen. Then, together, we can develop a powerful legal strategy.
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