Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as a “straight bankruptcy,” is a process that allows individuals or businesses to liquidate their assets to pay off creditors. In Shelby County, Alabama, the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is handled through the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, which has a division in Birmingham, Alabama.
The first step in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Shelby County is to seek the advice of a Pelham bankruptcy attorney. An experienced local bankruptcy lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is completed correctly. They can also help you determine whether Chapter 7 is the best option for your specific financial situation.
To begin the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Shelby County, you will need to complete a means test. This test will determine whether your income is low enough for you to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is above the median income for a household of your size in Alabama, you may not be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will need to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
Once you have determined that you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to complete a series of forms known as the “petition” and “schedules.” These forms will require you to provide detailed information about your financial situation, including your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Your bankruptcy attorney in Helena will be able to help you complete these forms correctly.
Shelby County Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers
After you have completed the forms, you will need to attend a meeting of creditors, also known as a 341 meeting. At this meeting, you will be required to answer questions under oath from your creditors, the trustee, and any other interested parties. Your local bankruptcy attorney in Montgomery, or anywhere else in Alabama, will be able to accompany you to this meeting and provide you with the support you need.
If your case is not dismissed and all the paperwork is in order, the court will issue an order known as a “discharge.” This order will release you from all of your dischargeable debts, meaning that you will no longer be responsible for repaying them. It’s important to note, however, that not all debts are dischargeable. Some examples of debts that cannot be discharged include taxes, student loans, and alimony or child support.
It’s also worth mentioning that a bankruptcy filing will show on your credit report for up to 10 years, and that it might be harder for you to get approved for loans or credit during that time. However, it’s also a fresh start, and you’ll be able to rebuild your credit score over time by making on-time payments, especially if you’re able to keep up with secured debts like a car or a home.
In conclusion, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Shelby County, Alabama can be a complex process, but with the help of an experienced local bankruptcy lawyer, you can navigate the process successfully. A Shelby County Chapter 7 attorney can help you determine whether Chapter 7 is the best option for your specific financial situation, guide you through the process, and ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is completed correctly. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, don’t hesitate to reach out to a bankruptcy lawyer in Alabaster for more information and guidance.