Centennial Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Compassionate Legal Guidance in Lone Tree and Douglas County
If you have limited income but are facing mounting debt, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you protect your assets from creditors and obtain a discharge. A discharge effectively functions as forgiveness for qualifying debts. For many, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be the preferred path to financial recovery.
No matter the extent or severity of your financial difficulties, relief is possible. Our Centennial Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at Norton Law, P.C. can determine if filing is the right choice for your situation and guide you through each step of the process. We have over 15 years of experience and provide our knowledgeable services without pressure or judgment. Our number one goal is to help our clients overcome financial difficulties, and we will do everything possible to deliver exceptional results.
“Norton Law will treat you with respect and advise on the best course of action.” - Larry L.
“I really appreciate the knowledge, professionalism, and sincerity of Norton Law. April and Dori have really helped make this experience of going through bankruptcy a lot more bearable.” - Shelly C.
“The entire process went smoothly thanks to April’s knowledge and professionalism.” - Jeni W.
Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In addition to helping you discharge certain types of debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can prevent and stop damaging collection actions, including foreclosure, repossession, and wage garnishments. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you benefit from the automatic stay, a court order that freezes all collection efforts. In many cases, you will be protected from collection actions until your bankruptcy has concluded.
Completing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically entitles you to a discharge. This will allow you to eliminate credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans, and unpaid utility bills. In some specific circumstances, you may also be able to discharge or consolidate tax debt. Though you cannot discharge secured debts, eliminating other kinds of debt can free up resources that allow you to effectively reorganize your finances.
Should I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Colorado?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is intended and designed for parties with little to no current income. To qualify to file, you must pass the Colorado Means Test. The Means Test weighs your household’s current gross income and disposable income. If your household’s income level is too high and you have a disqualifying level of disposable income, you will likely instead be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Even if you do pass the Means Test and qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the process is not necessarily right for everyone. Our firm will always be direct and forthright when evaluating your case and advising whether this approach will be the most effective in combatting your debt.
We can help you consider the following factors when determining whether to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Your current household income level. If your current income is below the median average for your household size, you will automatically qualify for Chapter 7. If you exceed the median average, you may still qualify if you have a sufficiently low level of disposable income.
- Any previous bankruptcy history. If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, you may have limited options for filing again.
- How long you have resided in Colorado. Your state residency will determine whether you qualify to file and what exemptions are available to you.
- The types of debts you need to be addressed. Not all types of debts are eligible for discharge, while others can often be completely forgiven.
- Your assets and holdings. Many types of assets can be exempted from Chapter 7’s liquidation process, but others may need to be sold to qualify for a discharge.
- Presence of other mitigating factors. Items like mortgage arrears, second mortgages, and back tax liability can make the process less effective.
Understanding the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy ProcessTo qualify for a discharge under Chap
ter 7 bankruptcy, you first must go through a liquidation process. This involves selling (“liquidating”) nonexempt assets to partially repay outstanding financial obligations.
Liquidation sounds scarier than it is, and it is important to understand that bankruptcy is not intended to punish filers or leave them without the possessions they need for a fresh start. With careful guidance and strategic utilization of state exemptions, many filers lose very little to liquidation. Some do not lose anything at all.
Our Centennial Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can help you exempt many types of property, including:
- Your home. You can exempt up to $75,000 of equity in your home. If you, your spouse, or your dependent is disabled or at least 60 years old, you can exempt up to $105,000 of equity.
- Up to 2 vehicles. You can exempt up to 2 motor vehicles or bicycles valued up to $7,500 in total. If you, your spouse, or your dependent is disabled or at least 60 years old, you can exempt up to $12,500 in total.
- Household goods. Up to $3,000 in furniture, appliances, electronics, dishes, and other household items can be exempted.
- Tools of your trade. You can exempt up to $30,000 of value in tools, supplies, business property, and other items relevant to your primary occupation. You can exempt up to $10,000 in value in items for a secondary occupation.
- Necessary clothing. Up to $2,000 can be exempted.
- Books. Up to $2,500 can be exempted.
- Watches and jewelry. Up to $2,500 can be exempted.
- Wages. A minimum of 75% of your disposable income can be exempted from liquidation.
- Retirement and Pension Accounts. All pension, retirement, and deferred compensation plans are exempted from liquidation. This includes 401(k) plans, Roth IRAs, IRAs, and ERISA plans.
Our Centennial Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at Norton Law, P.C. will work to maximize the benefits of your filing while minimizing the impact of liquidation. We are compassionate to the challenges that come with excessive debt and are committed to helping you secure the fresh financial start you deserve.
A Supportive & Compassionate Approach to Bankruptcy
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