When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court relieves most of your outstanding debts. Finance company loans, credit card debt, and medical bills usually meet the requirements for Chapter 7 debt relief. You remain responsible for student loans, recent income taxes owed, and outstanding child support. These types of debt are not covered by Chapter 7.
Generally, you can keep all of your property after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including retirement and pension plans. However, the rules for retaining property are complicated and you should meet with an attorney to discuss. With secured debts such as a mortgage or vehicle loan, Chapter 7 allows you to keep the property or surrender it to the lender. If you choose to keep it, you must continue making payments. Surrendering property removes your legal obligation to pay the debt.
1. Do I qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Illinois?
Your annual income and outstanding debt determine whether you can file Chapter 7. Occasionally, people cannot file Chapter 7 because the court feels their income is sufficient for them to repay their debts in full within a reasonable time period (usually a few years). Also, you can only file Chapter 7 every eight years.
2. What happens after I file?
Once you file your Chapter 7 petition, your creditors must stop attempting to collect from you, including calling you.
Approximately thirty days after you file, you make a short court appearance before a court-appointed trustee. The trustee examines your assets to determine if any could be sold to pay your debts. Illinois law may not protect these larger assets. This appearance usually lasts around ten minutes.
Finally, eight to ten weeks after your court appearance, you receive a formal discharge of your debts in the mail.
3. Will creditors still call me after I file?
Calls from creditors should stop once you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Peoria, IL. Your attorney should can handle any calls you do receive, so refer creditors to us. Keep track of any creditors who repeatedly contact you after you file in case additional legal action becomes necessary.
4. How does Chapter 7 affect my regular payments?
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with an attorney in Peoria, ILdoes not eliminate liens on your house or car. To retain any property associated with your debts, keep making these payments, including second mortgage payments. Also continue paying utility and insurance bills. However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy returns your utility bills to zero and cancels any shutoffs.
5. How is my Chapter 7 bankruptcy reported?
Your credit report will show your Chapter 7 bankruptcy for 10 years.
6. How do I get started?
Call our office at (309) 673-5535 or 1-800-248-7212 for a free, no obligation consultation. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney from our Peoria, IL office will answer your questions and help you determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option for you.