This is an excerpt from the
CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO BANKRUPTCY IN THE FULL GUIDE YOU WOULD GET: A basic understanding of the 2 main types of consumer bankruptcy, valuable insights into evaluating bankruptcy as a debt reduction tool, and practical guidance for finding a quality bankruptcy attorney.
Topics covered: -
An overview of the bankruptcy process. Key bankruptcy terms like: “discharge,” “automatic stay,” and “exemptions.” Chapter 7 bankruptcy: what it is, how it works, and when it is preferred. Chapter 13 bankruptcy: what it is, how it works, and when it is preferred. How bankruptcy can save a home from foreclosure or a car from repossession. 5 good reasons to file bankruptcy. 5 good reasons not to file bankruptcy. 3 alternatives to filing for bankruptcy. 5 questions to ask when interviewing a prospective bankruptcy attorney.
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CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
Chapter 7 is called Liquidation. It is also referred to as “straight” bankruptcy.
HOW IT WORKS •
WHEN IS CHAPTER 7 PREFERRED? •
Most Chapter 7s last about 4 months, from the date you file until the date you receive your discharge of your debts.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DEBTS?
Most if not all of your debts are unsecured.
Your assets are fully protected by state exemptions.
You must qualify for 7 by passing the “Means Test,” which compares your average monthly income to that of a similarly sized household in Tennessee.
You are current on the secured debts you want to keep, or you wish to surrender the secured collateral back to the creditor.
An appointed Chapter 7 Trustee liquidates any of your non-‐exempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay your creditors. PLEASE NOTE: Rarely are there any assets to liquidate, as the laws of the state of Tennessee usually allow you to protect most, if not all, of your assets.
In most cases, your unsecured debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills, signature and personal loans, vehicle repo or home foreclosure deficiencies) will be discharged. Student Loans will most likely not be discharged, though. Most priority debts like income taxes and domestic support obligations survive the discharge, meaning that you will continue to owe them after you receive your discharge. You usually can choose whether and how you want to keep your secured debts (e.g., vehicle with a loan, home with a mortgage) You may choose to surrender a secured asset without owing a deficiency that arises when your creditor resells it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
GORDON BOUTWELL is a bankruptcy and consumer
protection attorney in Franklin, Tennessee. He has practiced law since 2006, with most of that time dedicated to bankruptcy, personal finance, and consumer advocacy. Over the years he has helped hundreds of individuals, couples, and families with their financial problems. He believes in treating other people the way he would want to be treated in the same situation. He takes the time to get to know his clients, and he educates them on their options for getting out of debt, helping them to understand and evaluate them. He believes bankruptcy is a worthwhile tool to help some (but not all) people get out of debt, and, when combined with financial education and counseling, can be a springboard to financial independence. In March 2011, Gordon and R. Keith Gordon formed Gordon H. Boutwell, Atty the Lodestone Legal Group in Franklin Tennessee, Lodestone Legal Group with the purpose of assisting business and private 198 E. Main St., Ste. 4 clients by exploring legal options, navigating the legal Franklin, TN 37064 pitfalls, and providing measurable results through 615-‐807-‐1064 custom solutions and a commitment to the lost art of email@example.com personal care and client service. www.llgtn.com Lodestone Legal Group practices in the areas of bankruptcy, debt negotiation and settlement, financial counseling, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning (wills and trusts), and small business and corporate law. situation or something you read in this guide? 3 Got a question about your Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at 615-807-1064, or visit the website at www.llgtn.com.