Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which may be used by both individuals and businesses, calls for the sale of assets to pay off debts, and is often preferred by clients since it can be much quicker and less expensive than other forms of bankruptcy. However, Chapter 7 is based on the debtor’s income, so not everyone qualifies. You may qualify for Chapter 7 if your monthly income is not greater than the median monthly income for Arizona – currently between $3,646 and $9,700, depending on the number of people in your household. It is important to consult with your Phoenix bankruptcy attorney to determine your eligibility. Indeed, your Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer may be able assist you in qualifying for Chapter 7 even if your income exceeds these limits.
While the Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that a debtor sell assets to pay off debts to the greatest extent possible, a debtor will be able to keep exempt assets. Chapter 7 provides a fresh start to individual debtors by allowing the debtor to discharge certain debts. Businesses, however, cannot discharge debts through Chapter 7. A discharge means that the debtor has no further obligation to pay the debt, and individual debtors find that they can discharge many, if not most, of their debts. Your Phoenix bankruptcy attorney will assist you in determining which assets are exempt, and which debts are dischargeable. Debts which are generally not dischargeable include alimony and child support, certain criminal restitution orders, and student loans made by, or guaranteed by, the government.
Another advantage of a Chapter 7 filing is that it will automatically halt debt collection activity. While this time-out is in effect, creditors generally cannot begin or continue any lawsuits, telephone calls demanding payment, or wage garnishments.
Chapter 7 is not the answer for everyone, though. For example, businesses that wish to continue to conduct business, and individuals with a regular income may prefer an alternative to Chapter 7 liquidation. Moreover, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may result in the foreclosure of a debtor’s home, another form of bankruptcy filing, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, may save that home from foreclosure.