Experienced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers
Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code allows individuals to discharge most debts and prevents creditors from taking legal or collection actions against the debtor. At Urban & Burt, Ltd., our Illinois lawyers guide clients through the Chapter 7 process, helping them achieve their financial goals through bankruptcy. Led by experienced attorney Edmund G. Urban III, our bankruptcy team is committed to identifying the best legal strategy for each client.
Determining Eligibility for Chapter 7
In 2005, the Bankruptcy Code was amended to require individuals to demonstrate their eligibility for this type of bankruptcy by completing a means test. Individuals who do not meet the financial requirements of Chapter 7 can still file under Chapter 13 to reorganize their debts to make payments over a period of time from 36 to 60 months. Our lawyers help clients understand the means test and how it affects their bankruptcy options.
Stopping Collection Efforts and Harassment: The Automatic Stay
Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy stops all creditors’ collection efforts. Known as the automatic stay, this feature of the bankruptcy law requires creditors to cease phone calls, wage garnishment, demand letters, lawsuits and any other collection activities. Our attorneys help enforce the automatic stay when necessary, notifying creditors that they can no longer try to collect a debt.
We also answer questions about other issues, including:
- I’m upside down on my house. Can I walk away?
- Someone told me to consider a short sale. Will I incur tax liabilities?
- What about debt consolidation services?
- Can I discharge my student loans? My back taxes? Child support arrears?
Guiding Clients Through the Process
Our lawyers advise clients about the process that typically includes:
- Filing the Chapter 7 petition that includes lists of assets and debts, income and expenditures, financial statements, pay stubs, copies of tax returns, lists of creditors and other documents required by the bankruptcy court
- Certifying that the petitioner has completed required credit counseling
- Paying the fees (currently around $300)
- Meeting with the bankruptcy trustee for a 341 meeting, named for the relevant section of the Bankruptcy Code, to review papers and answer creditor questions (if any)
- Selling of property (if any) not covered by bankruptcy exemptions
- Completing a required financial management class
- Reaffirmation of secured debt or property you wish to retain
- Signing the discharge order
Contact the Oak Forest Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys at 708-381-5426 to learn more about our Illinois law firm and how to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As a full service law firm, we are also able to help clients with legal matters that may have a bankruptcy component.