Chapter 7 is designed to help individuals and/or businesses liquidate assets and repay creditors to resolve financial issues. You do not necessary lose all of your assets. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is administered by Trustees appointed by the Bankruptcy Court. These individuals are responsible for reviewing your bankruptcy schedules, your supporting documentation and your financial documentation, and are responsible for the distribution of any proceeds or non-exempt assets to creditors. The process can be quite complicated, which is why people are advised to seek consultation from bankruptcy lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland.
The automatic stay: Upon the filing of a new bankruptcy case, most lawsuits are put on hold, either temporarily or permanently. This includes most lawsuits, collections, repossessions, garnishments, tax collections and for many and perhaps most importantly foreclosures. Creditors generally may not harass Debtors, call them, correspond or take other collection actions during the pendency of the bankruptcy case.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form chosen by individual consumers. The Chapter 7 proceedings begin with the debtor’s filing of a petition with the bankruptcy court, which triggers the “automatic stay.”
While filers are relieved of most debts, some debts are not dischargeable, such as certain taxes, damages resulting from the debtor’s willful or malicious acts, debts incurred by giving false financial information, domestic support obligations, and some debts incurred just prior to filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is available to businesses that are unable to pay their debts. Chapter 7 business bankruptcies are conducted in the same manner as Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcies. However, when the debtor is a corporation, it ceases to exist after liquidation and distribution, and there is no reason for discharge because the creditors cannot seek payment from an entity that no longer exists.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can also help to delay the foreclosure process. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy would temporarily stop a lender’s right to foreclose a debtor’s home. A temporary stop can give a debtor a chance to find alternative solutions to their problem, such as finding means for extra money, obtaining additional time to make alternative living arrangements and possibly being able to avoid foreclosure altogether.
Nonetheless, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be more appropriate if you can resume payments on the mortgage and you can fund a plan to pay the arrears. Thus, it is advisable to seek the help of a bankruptcy attorney in Baltimore, Maryland to help you determine the better option to take.
After the filing of the bankruptcy case, creditors who are secured (i.e., have collateral for their debt such as mortgages or auto liens) may seek permission to foreclose or repossess these assets, or they can wait until after the case is complete to take action. A debtor may also enter into an agreement to resume payment on these assets in order to save these assets.
If you need an experienced debt settlement or bankruptcy attorney in Baltimore, Maryland to help you with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, please contact Richard Hackerman for a free initial bankruptcy consultation.