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PRO’S AND CON’S OF FILING CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

Chapter 7 is the most commonly filed bankruptcy proceeding due to the fact that many people are drowning in credit card debt, medical bills and/or personal loans just to name a few. Robbing Peter to pay Paul has left both Peter and Paul broke.

There are numerous circumstances that can cause loss of income: health and/or medical issues, loss of employment, bad investments, separation and/or divorce, or even death of a partner. These unexpected changes in income do not only cause financial hardship but cause additional stress, tension and anxiety.

The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition automatically stops collection efforts against you and can provide financial relief by “discharging” or getting rid of unsecured debt, providing a “clean slate” and peace of mind.

The first questions many people want to know is:

• I have a mortgage. Will I be able to keep my home?
• I have a car payment. Will I be able to keep my car?

The answer to both questions is “yes.” As long as your monthly payments are current and you continue making your monthly payments on a timely basis during bankruptcy you can keep your home and your vehicle.

Like all other decisions in life, there are pros and cons associated with filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A few of the pros and cons could include:

Pros:
• stops the relentless collection calls;
• stops wage garnishments (collection of judgments);
• stops pending lawsuits; and
• wipes out your unsecured debt to give you a clean slate.

Cons:
• stays on your credit report for up to 10 years;
• future credit card offers will have high interest rate and low credit limits;
• ineligible to obtain a home mortgage for at least three (3) years;
• may be difficult to obtain apartment if they run credit check;
• Does not discharge unpaid taxes; and
• Does not discharge child support payments.

There are many more factors to consider before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.  You should contact a knowledgeable, experienced bankruptcy attorney who can determine whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7, whether or not your assets can be properly protected, and if the filing is in your best interest.

This is not intended to be legal advice.  You should contact an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.


Linda Rodriguez is a Paralegal with Jacobowitz and Gubits LLP and concenrates on estate planning, corporate, and bankruptcy. She can be reached by phone at our Walden, NY office at 845-764-9656.

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