Helping Individuals Erase Debt Since 1997
Filing for bankruptcy can be a potent method for erasing many kinds of consumer debt. It is a legal process that millions of Americans take advantage of every year.
At Salah Legal, we have helped countless individuals and couples clear their overwhelming debt through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process since 1997. Our goal is to assist you through the entire procedure to avoid mistakes and to increase your chances of a successful outcome and a fresh financial start.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called the liquidation bankruptcy because the process involves the bankruptcy trustee in charge of your case selling off certain assets in order to pay off your creditors. However, many of your assets may be exempt from the process.
Like all states, Illinois provides exemptions to Chapter 7 liquidation such as equity in:
- Your home and car
- Exemptions for insurance benefits
- Personal belongings
- Pensions and retirement benefits
- And more
Our firm can review the specifics of your case to determine how exemptions will apply to your case.
This type of bankruptcy filing is generally applicable to eliminating unsecured debt such as:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills/dental bills
- Payday loans
- Personal loans
- Overdue utility bills
It may also help you with repossessions, foreclosures, and wage garnishment. Once you file your Chapter 7 petition with the court closest to you, the court will issue an “automatic stay.”
This stops all creditors and collection agencies from making any further attempts at payment and ends the stress and disturbance of their:
- Harassing letters
- Phone calls
- And emails
This can give you time to catch up on secured debt payments such as mortgages and car loans.
Once the Chapter 7 liquidation process is concluded through the courts, whatever unsecured debt you have listed in your filing will be discharged (eliminated) which will give you a clean start.
Certain debts cannot be eliminated through a Chapter 7 such as alimony and child support, personal injury judgments, and student loans. Secured debt also cannot be eliminated.
Chapter 7 Eligibility Requirements
Not everyone is eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Generally, you are eligible if your income falls below the state’s median income for a household of your size.
If your income is higher than that, you will be required to pass a “means test,” where monthly expenses are deducted from your income to determine if you have sufficient disposable income to pay back some of your debt. If you “pass” the means test, meaning you do not have enough income for repayment, you will generally be eligible for a Chapter 7 filing.
Otherwise, you may file a Chapter 13 that allows for a repayment program. While our firm does deal with Chapter 13, we commonly focus on Chapter 7 relief.
Let Our Experienced Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Guide You
At Salah Legal, we can determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7, answer all of your questions, guide you through the important steps needed to avoid any risks when filing, and represent you in court.
While filing for Chapter 7 is not a solution for everyone, for some people it is a viable and legal way to get a fresh start and back in control of their financial scene.