Cedar Lake Chapter 7 Attorney
There is a reason Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy filed in Indiana. This type of bankruptcy discharges unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, while still allowing you to keep the majority of your assets.
While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most preferred by those that have a lot of debt, not everyone is eligible for it. Those who are eligible must understand the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, what debts are discharged, and which are exempt. A Cedar Lake Chapter 7 attorney can help those that want relief from their debt file this type of bankruptcy.
Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Cedar Lake
To determine if you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must consider three factors. These are:
- Previous bankruptcies: If you have filed for bankruptcy in the last eight years, you are likely not eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Income tests: Also known as the means test, you must prove that you do not have enough income to repay your debts.
- Assets: In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you are asking the court to discharge your unsecured debt. In exchange, you also agree to liquidate, or sell, your assets in order to repay as much of your debt as possible.
While the first two eligibility requirements are fairly straightforward, people often become concerned when they learn they will lose most of their assets. However, this is not usually the case. Indiana law has many exemptions that allow people to keep most, if not all, of their assets after Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Exemptions in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Cedar Lake
The exemptions under Indiana law are those assets that you will keep when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They include:
- Home equity up to $19,300
- Household items, including vehicles, up to $10,250
- Cash up to $400
- 100% of retirement accounts savings including 401(k)s and IRAs.
- 100% of your Social Security benefits
Once a Cedar Lake Chapter 7 lawyer and you have decided that this type of bankruptcy is right for you, it is then important that you understand the next steps of the process.
Steps to Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Cedar Lake
After an attorney reviews your financial documents with you, they will then file the bankruptcy documents with the courts. As soon as this is done, the courts issue an immediate court order known as an automatic stay. This immediately stops all collection action against you including phone calls, lawsuits, garnishments, and other creditor tactics.
A few weeks after filing the initial documents, there is a Meeting of the Creditors, also called a 341 Meeting. Creditors are rarely in attendance. Instead, it is a meeting with the Trustee assigned to your case. A Cedar Lake attorney should always guide you through this meeting, although they are typically fairly quick and informal.
Approximately three months from the date of filing, you will officially be discharged of your debt. You will receive an official notice from the court and are relatively debt-free. It is important to understand however, that not all debts are discharged after Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Debts Not Dischargeable
While Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate much of your debt, there are some types of debt it will not affect. These include:
- Divorce expenses including child support, settlement debts from division of property, and spousal maintenance
- Student loans
- Some tax debts
- Debts incurred as a result of fraud
- Debts incurred as a result of theft or intentional injury
- Debts incurred as a result of a DUI
Speak to a Cedar Lake Chapter 7 Attorney to Find Out if it is Right for You
If you are facing an enormous amount of debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can bring some much-needed relief, and a Chapter 7 attorney in Cedar Lake can help. At the Law Office of Kevin M. Schmidt, P.C., we want to get you back on the road to financial freedom. Call us today for your free consultation and an honest legal opinion about all your options.