Chapter 7 – Personal Bankruptcy - Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is used by individuals to discharge their credit card debt, personal loans, and other claims and to obtain a “fresh start.” Under chapter 7, a person retains their exempt property such as their homestead and certain personal property and retirement benefits.
How does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding work?
A chapter 7 filing allows you to get a discharge of all your dischargeable debts. Some debts are not dischargeable such as student loans and income taxes which last became due in the past three years. In a chapter 7 a trustee is appointed to liquidate all your non-exempt property. You are entitled to exempt a lot of your property including-
- $21,500.00 of equity in your residence, $43,000.00 for two spouses filing jointly
- 100% of money in a qualified retirement account
- $5,000.00 of equity in motor vehicles
- $5000.00 in household goods, furnishings, and appliances held for personal use
Can I keep my home if I file a chapter 7 proceeding?
It is possible to keep your home after filing a chapter 7 case if the equity in your home does not exceed your exemption amount (above) and you are able to keep yourmortgage payments current. If you are not able to pay all your past due mortgage payments current you may be able to keep your home by filing a chapter 13 case and paying your mortgage arrearage over time.
I filed chapter 7 years ago can I file again?
You can only get a chapter 7 discharge once every 8 years but you may qualify for a chapter 13 filing after 4 years from receiving a chapter 7 discharge.