Chapter 7 Lawyer Helping You Wipe Your Financial Slate Clean
Providing counsel and guidance throughout the process
Invictus Law, P.C. helps individuals and businesses find needed financial relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. We serve clients in Irvine and other communities in Orange County, including Orange and Santa Ana, in addition to those in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Our goal is to resolve your legal matters with efficiency and effectiveness.
What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called liquidation bankruptcy because it can discharge most of your debts through the sale — or liquidation — of your assets. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires certain documentation, such as:
- Your assets and liabilities
- Current income and expenses, including the source and frequency, detailed by category (such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation and medical care)
- Statement of financial affairs
- Contracts and leases
- A list of creditors, the amount you owe each one and the nature of each claim
- A list of all your property, including exempt property, such as your car, home, household furnishings, life insurance policies, retirement plans and deposit accounts
We advise you on California and federal exemptions and how they apply to your specific situation. We also dispel any bankruptcy myths so you have realistic expectations about your future.
Once your case has a trustee, you must also provide a copy of your federal income tax return. If you file as an individual, you must provide:
- A certificate of credit counseling
- A copy of the debt repayment plan developed during counseling
- Evidence of payment from your employers for the last 60 days prior to filing
- Statement of your monthly net income
- Any expected increase in income or expenses after filing
- Record of interest in federal or state education or tuition accounts
During your proceedings, your trustee may request additional documentation.
The means test determines eligibility
To be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income must fall below the California median income for the year. This is called the means test. If your income surpasses the state median, you must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
An automatic stay protects you from creditors
Once you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay stops creditors’ and collection actions. Creditors can’t pursue wage garnishment after that. Each creditor receives notice of your bankruptcy case. Your trustee holds a meeting, called the 341 meeting, of the creditors. You attend this meeting and answer questions from your creditors.
Liquidation of your assets pays the debt owed to your creditors
The trustee sells your nonexempt property to pay your creditors if the property is clear of liens or if its value is greater than a security interest or lien attached to it. Most of your debts can be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Secured creditors can still seize your car or home unless you reaffirm the debt; this is a special agreement between you and the creditor through which you remain liable for payments and the creditor does not pursue repossession. If you wish to stop or avoid foreclosure, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option for you.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the discharging of debt is available only to individuals. Discharge does not include:
- Alimony and child support
- Debts caused by fraud
- Debts caused by criminal acts
- Personal injury or death of another caused by your operation of your motor vehicle while driving intoxicated
- Certain taxes
- Educational benefit overpayments or loans made by a governmental unit
Bankruptcy and divorce may go hand in hand. You can rely on Invictus Law, P.C. to counsel you on your options and guide you to a brighter future even if certain divorce-related debts cannot be discharged.
A qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the nuances throughout the bankruptcy process. Our goal is to get you on firmer financial ground so you can deal with life after bankruptcy.
Find out if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you in your free initial consultation
Invictus Law, P.C., with offices in Santa Ana and Ontario, California, helps individuals and businesses find financial relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can call us around the clock at (949) 287-5711 or contact us online to find out if Chapter 7 is the best debt relief option for you. We offer flexible hours for scheduling your risk-free, complimentary consultation.