Riverside Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
We Are Here to Help You Tackle Unmanageable Debt
Kostopoulos Bankruptcy Law has the team of reliable and dedicated attorneys that you need in your corner to help you find viable solutions for your debt issues. The recent economic downturn has forced millions of Americans to file for bankruptcy protection to help regain financial stability and stop creditor harassment. If you are considering your bankruptcy options, then reach out to our Riverside bankruptcy attorneys so we can help you determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right option for you.
If you have little or irregular monthly income and a significant amount of unsecured debt from medical bills and credit card debt, then filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the right move to achieve financial freedom from debt. No matter what your circumstances are, our compassionate lawyers are here to listen to your questions and provide answers so you can take swift and effective action.
With our firm, you will never be treated as just another case number or file. We tailor our approach to reach a completely customized solution that can help bring the best possible outcome to your unique situation.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called a “liquidation bankruptcy,” the debtor gets their debt discharged (or cleared) in exchange for having their non-exempt (unprotected) assets liquidated. During the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, the bankruptcy trustee sells off the debtor’s non-exempt assets and uses the profits to repay debts owed to creditors. In most Chapter 7 cases, the debtor owns few nonexempt assets that are subject to liquidation.
Debtors who complete Chapter 7 bankruptcy are often eligible to get a substantial portion (if not all) of their debt discharged. The bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain types of debts, which means the debtor is no longer legally obligated to pay any debts that were discharged in bankruptcy.
The discharge also acts as a permanent order that prohibits creditors from trying to collect discharged debts and communicating with the debtor about such debts. With a Chapter 7 case, the discharge generally happens about four months after the bankruptcy is filed with the clerk of the bankruptcy court.
Why Kind of Debts Are Dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows debtors to discharge the following unsecured debts:
- Past-due utility bills
- Auto repossession
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
- Medical bills
The following types of debt cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Court-ordered fines
- Child support
- Spousal support or alimony
- Victim restitution
- Certain taxes
- Debts for personal injury having to do with DUI accidents
- Debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees
- Debts for most government-funded educational loans
What Happens After Filing Chapter 7?
After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Riverside, California (or anywhere else in the United States), a series of steps will follow in the bankruptcy process. Here’s an overview of what typically occurs:
- Automatic Stay: Once you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect. This immediately halts most creditor actions, such as collection calls, lawsuits, and wage garnishments.
- Appointment of Trustee: A bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case. The trustee’s role is to review your assets, verify your eligibility for Chapter 7, and oversee the liquidation process (if applicable).
- Meeting of Creditors: You’ll attend a “341 meeting” or Meeting of Creditors. During this meeting, you’ll answer questions about your financial situation under oath. Creditors have the option to attend and ask questions, though they often don’t.
- Asset Liquidation: If you have non-exempt assets, the trustee may sell them to repay your creditors. However, California has exemptions that may allow you to protect certain assets. Many Chapter 7 cases are “no-asset” cases, meaning there are no assets available for liquidation.
- Debt Discharge: Most unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills, will be discharged. This means you are no longer legally obligated to repay them.
- Financial Management Course: You must complete a financial management course before your bankruptcy can be finalized.
- Bankruptcy Discharge: Once all requirements are met and any non-exempt assets are addressed, you’ll receive a bankruptcy discharge. This officially eliminates your obligation to repay discharged debts.
It’s important to keep in mind that bankruptcy laws and procedures can be intricate, and your specific circumstances might involve unique factors. Consulting with a knowledgeable Riverside bankruptcy attorney from Kostopoulos Bankruptcy Law who is well-versed in California bankruptcy laws is crucial to navigate the process effectively and ensure your rights are protected.
Schedule a Case Consultation with Our Riverside Bankruptcy Team Today
If you are interested in finding out if Chapter 7 is right for you, then it is vital that you seek counsel from a qualified attorney. We urge you to contact our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys at Kostopoulos Bankruptcy Law right away so we can explain how Chapter 7 bankruptcy works, help you take the means test, and assist you in properly weighing the pros and cons of this type of bankruptcy.
Since we opened our first law office, we have represented clients in over 8,000 bankruptcy filings! Attorney Rita Kostopoulos is a certified bankruptcy specialist by the American Board of Certification, and our firm has been named as one of the Top 100 Firms by the Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF). Contact us right away so we can talk about all of your debt relief options.