7 Things to Know Before Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Tell the Truth. Tell the Truth. Tell the Truth.
The most important thing is to be completely transparent with your attorney. He is on your side and can only protect you if he knows absolutely everything about your income, debts, assets, etc. You swear to tell the truth in your bankruptcy paperwork – lies and omissions in the paperwork may be a crime.
- There are income eligibility requirements
Not everyone can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A person who makes a million dollars a year and has nominal expenses is generally NOT allowed to file a bankruptcy to wipe out a few thousand dollars in credit card debt. Of course, this is generally not an issue, as people who can easily afford to repay their debts do not seek bankruptcy protection.
- Certain debts cannot be wiped out in bankruptcy
Child support obligations, criminal restitution and most student loan debts can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Many tax obligations are also non-dischargeable.
- Your life is not over because you filed for bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is not the end of the world. You would be surprised how many options are still available to you. Many people find that they can qualify for a home loan as soon as 2 years after their bankruptcy is over. Many people find that they can qualify for a car loan immediately after their bankruptcy is over, though the interest rate may be high. Credit cards are also often available shortly after a bankruptcy.
- The decision to file is purely a business decision, not a moral decision
Some people tend to feel ashamed or embarrassed by the possibility of filing for bankruptcy. Your creditors do NOT feel a moral obligation to you; you are STRICTLY business to them. You need to approach the decision to file or not to file bankruptcy from the same standpoint – it is merely a business decision regarding what is in your best interests and that of your family. Filing for bankruptcy does NOT make you a bad person.
- There is a Constitutional and Biblical basis for bankruptcy
As stated in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution: “Congress shall have Power to establish…uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States”
Even the Bible provides for the forgiveness of debt. “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release.” Deuteronomy 15:1-2
- Meet with an experienced attorney
Bankruptcy is complex but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The right attorney will gently guide you through the process. You are feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders – we are here to relieve some of the pressure. At Fears Nachawati our experienced team can handle your bankruptcy case with care and understanding.