It can be difficult to know precisely when to file bankruptcy Chapter 7; but if you find yourself in dire financial straits, asking yourself “Is bankruptcy right for me?” that’s a pretty good indicator that you’re just about there.
If you find yourself at the point of asking yourself when to file for bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or otherwise, you’re probably staring grim financial reality in the face. It’s painful to get to that point, and you may find yourself wondering where you went wrong and how you’ll ever recover from the loss.
That’s where we come in. Not only can we help you plan and process a bankruptcy, we can also help you decide whether filing Chapter 7 is the right path to take on your financial rebuild.
Declaring bankruptcy does not mean you’re a failure. It just means that, for a while, your finances got out of hand. We’ll show you how to rein them in. To learn more, contact Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law today.
When to File Bankruptcy Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
Forget the question of when to file bankruptcy Chapter 7 for now. First you need to decide if it makes financial sense for you to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy at all. Check your status with this little quiz.
- Will a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge sufficient debt to make it worth the bother?
- Are your creditors already legally barred from claiming your property for some reason? If so, you may be “judgment proof.”
- Will you have no choice but to give up property that you want to keep if you declare bankruptcy?
If the answers to these questions are all “Yes”, then Chapter 7 bankruptcy may not be very helpful to you. Then again, if the answers are “No”, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your best path forward. Let’s take a look at a couple of other factors that may apply.
How High Are Your Wages? Do You Have Any Valuable Property?
Sometimes it’s easy to tell when to file bankruptcy Chapter 7, and sometimes it’s not; but even the above questions can’t always save you from your creditors, especially the predatory ones. You can be sure that all your creditors will research your income streams and property thoroughly, so be there ahead of them. If they discover you have no income streams, no worthwhile property to seize, just a few basic household items, and a modest car at best, then congratulations — you’re basically judgment proof. There’s nothing for a creditor to collect from you that would make it worth the effort. You may not even have to file bankruptcy per se. Ditto if Social Security is your sole source of income. Creditors can’t take Social Security income away from you. Your existing property is also exempt if you’re on Social Security.
What If You Do Have Valuable Assets?
It doesn’t matter when to file bankruptcy Chapter 7 or 13, with some debts. You’re not going to be able to get out of paying student loans, child support, or taxes, and probably not alimony either; so don’t even try. There are no exemptions for these particular debts, and the creditors have special collection authority for them. If you think about it, that makes sense. Those are all secured or court-ordered debts. Creditors to whom you owe unsecured debts, however, can still sue you in court — and may even win.
What Can They Do If They Win?
Depending on what the court decides, and what you can afford, you may have your wages garnished, or some or all of your personal property seized and sold off to pay what you owe. This can be a harrowing process, and may lead to financial ruin. Therefore, if you face a creditor lawsuit, you’ll need a bankruptcy attorney like Gregory J. Wald on your side. If you file bankruptcy before the creditor receives a judgment, you can avoid losing everything.
Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
Don’t overreact, and don’t give up if you’re served with a lawsuit notice, claiming that a creditor is about to seize your property. You do have legal recourse, and they don’t have as much power as you think. Don’t let them bully you into anything without consulting us first. Call Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law for a free consultation, and let us take it from there.
As difficult as they are, bankruptcy laws exist to protect you. We’ll help you decide when to file bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or 13 — that’s your call, not theirs.