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LaRoche Law
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Competent Legal Assistance with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Orange, Fitchburg and Gardner

Everything you need to know about filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7

If you feel buried in debt, filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7 may be for you. LaRoche Law bankruptcy attorneys in Fitchburg, MA have the experience and resources to walk you through a bankruptcy proceeding from beginning to end.

With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, all creditors immediately must stop debt collection efforts. This automatic stay goes into effect the moment creditors are notified of your filing and any further attempts to collect must be made through the court, under the supervision of a bankruptcy judge. When you file bankruptcy under Chapter 7, the court liquidates some of your assets to pay off certain creditors and dismisses other creditors’ claims completely. Some specific property items are exempt from liquidation.

Chapter 7 eliminates:

  • Credit card debts
  • Medical debts
  • Personal loan debts
  • Lawsuit debts
  • Judgments - Except for fraud or criminal-related debts
  • Deficiency debts on repossessed autos and foreclosures
  • Personal injury debts - except driving while intoxicated and criminal injury
  • Certain other exceptions may apply

Chapter 7 does not eliminate student loans except in undue hardship cases; debts from certain types of taxes; alimony, spousal maintenance, or support payments; fines, penalties and criminal restitutions; debts incurred through fraudulent conduct; debts incurred through intentional injury to person or property; debts from personal injuries caused by driving while intoxicated.

Exempt and non-exempt assets in a Chapter 7 liquidation

Federal bankruptcy laws are intended to help people facing serious economic challenges. Many hard-working people end in disastrous financial situations through no fault of their own. The government recognizes that you need certain personal assets, so no matter how large your debt, some properties are exempt from liquidation by bankruptcy courts and creditors. Non-exempt property can be sold to satisfy debts.

Property that is usually exempt includes:

  • Motor vehicles
  • Necessary clothing, household goods and furnishings
  • Household appliances
  • Jewelry
  • Pension payments and retirement accounts
  • Equity in your home
  • Tools of the trade
  • A portion of unpaid but earned wages
  • Public benefits such as welfare, Social Security and unemployment
  • Damages awarded for personal injuries

Every determination in a bankruptcy case reflects the individual needs of the debtor. It is crucial to have a competent Massachusetts Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney by your side to advocate for you and protect the most important assets in your life.

You may want to consider Chapter 7 if you have little or no money left over after you pay your basic living expenses.

How Chapter 7 differs from Chapter 13 bankruptcy

There are two main distinctions between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. A Chapter 7 filing remains on an individuals credit report for ten years, while a Chapter 13 filing is usually extinguished after seven years. The other main difference lies in the debt elimination process. Chapter 7 wipes out debt. In contrast, Chapter 13 involves a reorganization of debts, while the debtor remains in possession of all of his or her assets. If you are considering bankruptcy to alleviate your debts, learn how to file for bankruptcy in Massachusetts from the single largest filer in Worcester County.

Get on the road to debt relief today

If you want to be treated as an individual and not as a case number, contact LaRoche Law today. Attorney LaRoche personally meets with each client in one of our three convenient office locations. Your confidentiality is assured. Contact us online or call 978-632-1633 today to set up a free initial consultation.

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