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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers and Attorneys Buffalo and Rochester

how do you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy

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Our Chapter 7 lawyers will help you eliminate your credit card debt, and loans

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Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as a “liquidation bankruptcy.” This misleading term unfortunately has the effect of scaring people into believing that all their assets will be liquidated and sold if they file Chapter 7. This is absolutely not true. In reality, only a very small percentage of clients are forced to give up any assets when they file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. and in most cases, these clients are happy to turn over non-essential assets (like a boat or jetski) in exchange for the discharge of significant debts. Also, we believe that our protection rate of client assets is much better than the average because of the diligence utilized by our chapter 7 lawyers in spotting potential problem cases ahead of time and giving our clients accurate advice on pre-bankruptcy exemption planning .

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Procedure

The Chapter 7 process in Western New York is starting by filing a bankruptcy petition with the Court (either in Buffalo or Rochester, depending on your county of residence). As soon as the petition is filed, your creditors must to stop all collection activity against you. This means creditors cannot call you, send you bills, sue you, garnish your wages. or harass you in any way. It is illegal for them to do so, and in almost all cases, creditors willingly cease collection efforts because they can

be held in contempt of court and fined if they do not.

If you have a car loan, mortgage or other collateralized loan, you will continue to pay it as you did before the bankruptcy. However, in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have the right to give up any property that you do not want to pay for any more, and by doing so, you will eliminate any remaining liability on the collateralized loan.

Approximately one month after the bankruptcy filing, you will have to attend a short administrative hearing conducted by a Chapter 7 Trustee. One of our chapter 7 lawyers will be present with you. The Trustee is not a judge and has no independent judicial powers. He is simply an appointed representative of your creditors, and it is his job to review your bankruptcy case to determine if you have any non-exempt assets that may be available to pay creditors or if you have too much income to qualify for Chapter 7 (this is rarely a problem because most people who have significant non-exempt assets or who have enough income to pay their debts generally do not want to file bankruptcy). In most cases, the Trustee will simply ask you a few questions, review a few documents (such as tax returns and car titles) and then close the hearing. The average hearing lasts no more than 10 minutes and you will, of course, be represented by a bankruptcy attorney from our office to make sure the hearing goes as smoothly as possible.

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