Greenville, NC Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers Guiding Clients Toward a Fresh Financial Start
If you’ve been struggling to pay your bills for years, it can be difficult to get caught up. Paying both current and past-due bills simply isn’t possible for many debtors, especially those without a steady income. Fortunately, you can get a fresh start for your finances when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you’ve never filed for bankruptcy, you should learn how this process works and whether you qualify. Then contact the caring lawyers at Gillespie & Murphy, P.A. for a free consultation so you can begin getting rid of old debts as you go through bankruptcy court with our help.
What Should You Know About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is among the most common chapters available, as it’s a way to eliminate debts that the bankruptcy court believes you will likely never be able to pay off. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation bankruptcy, you do not have to work out a repayment plan for creditors to approve.
Instead, a bankruptcy trustee must consider your assets to determine if they can be sold. If so, the profits will go to creditors before your debts are discharged. While this means you may be required to sell certain assets so some creditors get partial payment, it’s helpful to know that most debtors who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy get exemptions that let them keep the most property. Come to our Greenville law firm if you have questions about bankruptcy laws in North Carolina or want to learn about other debt-relief options.
Can You Keep Your Assets When You File for Chapter 7?
Many debtors worry about a bankruptcy trustee selling their valued assets, but that often doesn’t occur, as most states have exemptions that let debtors keep a portion of their belongings. Among the most important ones is the homestead exemption. In North Carolina, this exemption is worth up to $35,000 in equity if you’re under 65. Married couples can double the homestead exemption, and debtors who are 65 and over get an exemption of up to $60,000 for their home.
North Carolina has additional exemptions for other types of property. You can use the personal property exemption to keep up to $5,000 of household goods, books, clothes, and more. For every dependent, you get another $1,000 in exemptions for personal property, up to $4,000.
You can also keep up to $3,500 in equity on your car so you can still drive after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Additionally, you can typically keep certain insurance policies, retirement accounts, and public benefits after filing your bankruptcy petition.
During your bankruptcy case in North Carolina, your bankruptcy trustee will set aside exempt property before collecting non-exempt assets to sell. If you’re concerned about what property you’ll keep, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney from our law firm to learn how the bankruptcy system handles motor vehicles, houses, and other assets in bankruptcy cases. Call us to set up a consultation with a caring bankruptcy lawyer.
Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right for You?
Before you talk to a bankruptcy attorney, you should have an idea of which debts Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges. In most cases, these types of unsecured debt are eligible:
- Medical bills
- Credit card bills
- Personal loans
- Payday loans
So, if most of your debt includes personal loans, medical bills, and other unsecured debts, filing for Chapter 7 can improve your financial affairs. However, Chapter 7 doesn’t allow certain debts to be discharged, such as student loans, child support, most tax debts, and debt incurred due to fraud. If you need clarification on whether your debts can be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact our North Carolina bankruptcy lawyers.
If filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy would eliminate your debt, you must find out if you qualify. To start, this must be your first Chapter 7 case within the past eight years. Also, the bankruptcy court cannot have accused you of fraud in the last 180 days.
The next step in filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina is checking if your income is under the median household income. If so, your bankruptcy attorney will help you file. If it’s a little higher than average, your attorney will give you the means test to determine how much money you have left after the bills. If the means test makes it clear you can’t afford to send payments to creditors, you’ll likely qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If the means test suggests you can afford payments for the next three to five years, your bankruptcy lawyer will talk to you about Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. The North Carolina attorneys at our office help clients find the right debt relief option, create payment plans, and budget for the filing fee and other legal fees. Contact us to get started.
Are You Ready to Hire Greenville Attorneys?
Before filing for Chapter 7, you should talk to a bankruptcy lawyer who has practiced bankruptcy law in North Carolina for years. At Gillespie & Murphy, P.A., our team has helped countless clients avoid foreclosure, erase debt owed to creditors, sign up for credit counseling, and more. Getting help from a lawyer stops creditors from harassing you and seizing your property, so if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage payments and other debts, we can assist you.
When you come to us to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we will tell you everything you need to know about getting out of debt this way. We want to ensure you’re prepared for the Chapter 7 process, including how to budget for the court filing fee, attorneys’ fees, and other legal fees. If you’re ready to get out of debt through Chapter 7, call us at 252-418-2888 to talk to compassionate lawyers.