Northbrook Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Nearly Two Decades of Experience in Bankruptcy Law
Are you swimming in consumer debt, such as credit card debt, medical or dental bills, personal or payday loans, or other unsecured debt? Are your creditors hounding you to collect? Have you spent sleepless nights due to the stress and anxiety of your debt? Under state and federal law, you may be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is designed to give honest debtors a fresh start.
The first step in handling your debt is to find out if a Chapter 7 is right for you. You can accomplish that in a free, initial consultation with our Northbrook Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney at Fridman Legal. Our firm has been helping clients achieve their financial goals for close to 20 years. We have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to help you get back on your feet and attain the peace of mind you need.
Illinois Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is a legal process that starts with a petition filed with the bankruptcy court. First, you must meet the prerequisites in order to file. When filing, you must include a detailed list of all of your assets, income, expenses, and debts. Under the law, any non-exempt assets will be liquidated to provide funds to pay off your creditors. In most cases, however, most of your property will be exempt from this liquidation per either the Illinois or federal list of exemptions.
Once your bankruptcy case is filed, you will be assigned to a bankruptcy trustee whose job is to manage your case and oversee the proceedings. They will sell or liquidate your nonexempt property so you can provide partial payments to your creditors.
At this point, the court will order an automatic stay, which prohibits your creditors from seeking collection. This puts a stop to any type of creditor harassment. Following this, a meeting with your creditors will be scheduled, during which your creditors may appear, although this rarely happens. At the meeting, the trustee will review your case and most likely will recommend a discharge of your unsecured debt.
Debts that cannot be discharged include:
- Student loans
- Child support
- Taxes, such as federal, state, or local
- Personal injury debts
Qualifications for the Means Test
In order to qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must be able to pass the means test. The Means test is used to help figure out how much disposable income you have after paying for your basic living expenses. The disposable income is then used to pay off creditors. If your income is high and above the median income you will fail the means test. If your annual income is below the median income you may be able to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you do not qualify, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline
Below is a rough timeline of the Chapter 7 process:
Before you file, attend a mandatory credit counseling course by phone or online.
File for bankruptcy.
A month after you file, attend a creditor’s meeting. It is conducted by the trustee and it is rare for the creditors to appear.
No later than 60 days of the creditor’s meeting, attend a mandatory budget counseling by phone or online. File a form and a copy of your certificate of completion with the court to confirm the counseling was completed.
60 - 75 days after the creditors’ meeting, you should receive a letter from the court that discharges your debts. At this point, the trustee will arrange with you to liquidate your nonexempt property if you have any. Be aware that during this period, creditors are still able to object to you discharging your debt.
Proven Results from Fridman Legal
Bankruptcy can be a complex legal matter. Due to this, it is essential that you have experienced representation to ensure that your case is handled professionally and thoroughly. At Fridman Legal, you always work directly with our attorney from start to finish. We urge you to take advantage of our personalized client service, exceptional legal skills, and strong history of successful results.
Call our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Northbrook at (847) 278-0665.