Bankruptcy

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Individuals

Individuals who have an unmanageable amount of debt and few assets can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy.  It is liquidation bankruptcy.  An individual's assets are liquidated and the proceeds are provided to his/her creditors.  Many individuals who file for chapter 7 bankruptcy have little or no assets and large unsecured debts.

Certain basic, exempt property is allowed to be retained by the individual as are some secured items such as an automobile along with its related loan obligation.  All other remaining debts are are cancelled by the court.

Some debts are exempt from bankruptcy discharge.  Such debts include child support, student loans, taxes, municipal fines and court ordered restitution imposed for criminal activity.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy filing remains on the credit record of an individual for 10 years.  Generally, a bankruptcy on one's credit record is a negative although the debts and defaults that may be on the record prior to the bankruptcy may be equally or more negative since the individual now has a new lease on his/her financial life.

If it can be shown that the individual used the bankruptcy laws in an abusive way, where he/she had a substantial source of income and been able to pay a large amount of the discharged debt within three years, the bankruptcy may be reversed by the court and converted to chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization).

Furthermore, if the individual hid or recently transferred assets that were not divulged to the court the court may elect to restructure or reverse the bankruptcy.

 

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Facts of Law explaining how chapter 7 bankruptcy works for individuals

Facts of Law - Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Individuals