What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legal process authorized by federal law that allows some people to eliminate their debts by liquidating (selling) their non-exempt assets. After the liquidation is complete, most, if not all, remaining debts are discharged, which means that people who file are under no legal obligation to pay them back.
Will I Lose All of My Assets if I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
When people hear that Chapter 7 involves liquidation of their assets, they often worry that they will lose everything if they file. As mentioned above, only non-exempt assets are liquidated, and many people who file are able to keep all of their assets. There are many exemptions available under Missouri law, including those for your home, your vehicle, your bank accounts, and your personal belongings.
Will I Be Able to Keep My Home?
Whether or not you will be able to keep your home depends on the amount of equity you have in your home. Generally speaking, if your equity exceeds the amount of the exemption by a substantial amount, it makes sense for the trustee to liquidate your home and use the proceeds to pay off your debts. In cases where a person is considering bankruptcy in order to save their home, Chapter 13 may be a more appropriate option.
Do I Need an Attorney to File for Bankruptcy?
While there is no legal requirement to file for bankruptcy with the assistance of an attorney, it is highly advisable to do so. In fact, the federal government itself recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney when filing for bankruptcy. Some of the ways a lawyer can help you include the following:
- Advise you as to whether bankruptcy is appropriate in your case
- Determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you
- Advise you about which of your debts can be discharged
- Help you complete and file the required paperwork
- Explain the bankruptcy process to you in detail
Call a St. Louis Bankruptcy Lawyer Today to Find Out Whether Bankruptcy is Right for You
Financial problems can often be resolved through legal means that do not result in significant hardship. If you are struggling with meeting your monthly obligations, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation with Kenneth P. Carp, call our office today at 636-947-3600 or send us an email through our online contact form.