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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Questions To Ask An Attorney

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1. Do I Qualify

Wondering if you will qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy? Before filing any bankruptcy, you will meet with your attorney face to face to discuss whether a chapter 7 is the best filing for you. While there are exceptions, a “Means Test” is usually required to determine eligibility for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the majority of your debt is non-consumer debt, you may not be required to comply with the means test.

2. What is a Means Test?

A means test, is a form used by the government to determine whether the debtor can afford to repay his or her debt. The form requests information on your income and expenses. 

3. What is a 341 Meeting?

A meeting of the creditors, or 341 meeting, is required to be held before a chapter 7 bankruptcy can be discharged. Attendance by the debtor is mandatory, as the debtor must answer questions the creditors may have.
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4. Is My Spouse Included?

Some debts are shared. If the spouse is not included in the bankruptcy, they can be held responsible to pay the debt regardless of whether the debt is listed in the bankruptcy. Attorneys will review the unique situation, but may advise both spouse to file together for protection from creditors.

 

 

 

5. What is the Cost?

Every Bankruptcy petition filed must be accompanied by the filing fee payable to the court clerk. In rare instances, this may be paid in limited installments, or completely waived. There are forms to submit to apply for either option. If the filing fee is a problem, discuss this with your attorney. If the installments are not completely paid in the allotted time, the court may dismiss your bankruptcy. The Attorney will also charge for his or her services.

6. Surrender, redeem or reaffirm?

Secured Property, such as a car, home, or some types of furniture or financed electronics may be surrendered in a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy if you do not feel you can afford to pay for and keep those collateralized items.(Collateralized means there is a lien against the property to guarantee the debt.) You have the option on any secured property to surrender, redeem, or reaffirm. If you think you can afford the car, you can reaffirm that debt to keep the car and continue to make the payments. Redeeming means to pay the debt off. Surrendering the items can clear the liability for that debt.
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