Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Allows Consumers to Discharge Debt
Monroeville bankruptcy attorneys counsel individuals seeking relief
Sometimes situations beyond your control can profoundly impact your earning potential and lead to overwhelming debt. If you find yourself unable to pay your bills, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Designed to give debtors a fresh start, Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you and your spouse relief from debts while in the vast majority of cases still keeping all of your assets. Once you have filed for bankruptcy, creditors must immediately cease and desist from any and all collections efforts, including collection letters, phone calls, and lawsuits.
Means test for qualifying debtors
To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, you must satisfy a “means test”, which involves comparing your gross (pre-tax) income to the median income in Pennsylvania for your household size. For example, a single filer residing in Pennsylvania may have up to $49,400 in gross income, while a married couple with no kids (household size 2) may gross up to $58,256, and a couple with one child (household size 3) may have up to $73,322 in gross income. If you are only slightly above these figures, you may still qualify for Chapter 7 under the means test depending on your expenses. If you are not eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 may still be available. David Romito, Esq. can help you determine whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and if it is the best solution for dealing with your debts.
Protection of Assets; Discharge of most debts
First and foremost, our attorneys will carefully compare all of your assets to the applicable exemption limits to ensure that none of your assets are placed in jeopardy. After first determining that your assets are safely protected, our offices then file a Chapter 7 petition seeking a discharge of your debts. Certain debts are generally not discharged in bankruptcy, including child support and alimony payments, student loans, and certain taxes. The good news is, however, that the majority of unsecured debts – including, most commonly, credit card and medical debts – will very likely qualify for discharge and will thus be eliminated in their entirety. In any event, our attorneys will advise you in advance exactly which of your debts will be dischargeable, so that you can make an informed decision about whether to pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Preparing for your appointment
So that we can immediately begin analyzing your case, it is necessary that you bring certain information to your appointment with David Romito, Esq., including:
- Pay stubs for the most recent 2 month (60 day) period
- All 1040’s, W-2’s, and 1099’s for the most recent two tax years
- List of monthly living expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance, phone/cable/internet, food, clothing, medical, etc.)
- List of creditors, including dollar amount and account number (if possible, include most recent statement or invoice)
- Monthly mortgage statement (if applicable) and appraisal (if available)
- Monthly car loan statement or coupon book (if applicable)
- Most recent 401K / 403(B) / PSERS retirement plan statement (if applicable)
- Most recent statement for any insurance policies having cash/surrender value
- Information on any lawsuits (if applicable)