Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the fastest legal way to discharge unmanageable debt. However, many people who come to me for advice on filing bankruptcy are surprised to learn that they earn too much income to qualify for this form of debt relief. This week, I spoke with a gentleman who was a perfect candidate for a chapter 7 bankruptcy: a recent divorce has left his personal finances in disarray, with a mortgaged house that neither he and his former wife can afford to pay. However, this father of one earns $85,000.00 a year – too much income to qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Understanding Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions is crucial for anyone considering bankruptcy. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is based on a simple agreement with the bankruptcy court: surrender your property and you will receive a complete discharge forever for most debts, including credit card debt, mortgage debt, car loans, personal loans, medical bills and most other forms of debt. People considering bankruptcy ask, does this mean all my property? Will I be destitute, homeless and without any possessions? The answer is absolutely not! Even in bankruptcy, individuals and families are entitled to keep a certain amount of property. This is known as exempt property, and Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions define what you get to keep. What a person filing chapter 7 bankruptcy gets to keep is defined by the law of exemptions, which is different in every state.
I have previously written in this blog about the pernicious impact of medical debt and how it has become a leading cause of personal bankruptcy for American citizens.
Considering that medical bills so often drive people into a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is not surprising that individuals that have been injured in a serious accident often find themselves needing help from a personal injury lawyer and a bankruptcy lawyer.