Chapter 7


A Chapter 7 is commonly referred to as a "straight" bankruptcy. It is designed for individuals or corporations who cannot pay their debts. It discharges most of your debts. The most common debts discharged in a Chapter 7 are credit card bills, finance company loans, medical/hospital bills, automobile repossession debts, foreclosure debts and judgments from lawsuits. There are some debts that cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 cases, such as child/spousal support obligations, student loans, most taxes, court fines and restitution orders, debts for damages caused while driving under the influences of alcohol or drugs and fraudulent debts. Certain taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy however, the standards for discharge are quite complex and require a review by my office.


Upon the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, the Court issues an Automatic Stay, which prohibits all creditors from contacting you or proceeding with any collection action against you, including foreclosures, levies and wage garnishments. Any such actions that may have already begun prior to the filing of your case are immediately halted.


The Chapter 7 process takes about three to four months. There is usually only one required hearing about a month after your case is filed. This hearing is conducted by a court appointed trustee and usually lasts about five minutes. Approximately 60 days after your hearing, the Court will mail the Discharge directly to you. Shortly thereafter, your case will be closed by the court.