Get a Fresh Start with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland

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Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy,” offers individuals and families a way to discharge most of their unsecured debts. This process allows those burdened by overwhelming financial obligations to start anew. For residents of Maryland, The Law Offices of Kim Parker, P.A. can help you understand Chapter 7 bankruptcy and determine if this legal remedy is the right choice.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Process & Eligibility

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of non-exempt assets by a court-appointed trustee. The proceeds from this liquidation are used to pay off creditors. The remaining eligible debts are then discharged, meaning the debtor is no longer legally required to pay them. This process typically takes about four to six months from filing to discharge.

Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To determine eligibility, individuals must pass the “means test,” which compares their income to the median income in Maryland. Those who earn below the median income generally qualify for Chapter 7. However, those with higher incomes may need to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves a repayment plan.

Benefits of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide significant relief and a fresh start for individuals struggling with overwhelming debt. This legal remedy not only helps in eliminating most unsecured debts but also offers immediate protection from creditor harassment and the possibility of retaining essential assets. Here are some key benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • Debt Relief: Most unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills, are discharged, freeing you from the obligation to pay these debts and allowing you to rebuild your financial life.
  • Immediate Protection: Upon filing for Chapter 7, an automatic stay goes into effect, which halts most collection activities from creditors. This means no more harassing phone calls, wage garnishments, or lawsuits.
  • Asset Retention: Maryland law provides certain exemptions that allow individuals to keep essential assets like their home and car, depending on their value and equity. This means you can maintain a stable living situation while resolving your financial issues.

Steps to Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Step 1. Consultation: Schedule a consultation with a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer to
assess your financial situation.

Step 2. Means Test: Complete the means test to determine eligibility.

Step 3. Filing: Prepare and file the bankruptcy petition and schedules.

Step 4. Automatic Stay: Benefit from the automatic stay, which halts most collection actions.

Step 5. Trustee Meeting: Attend the meeting of creditors conducted by the bankruptcy trustee.

Step 6. Discharge: Receive the discharge order, eliminating eligible debts.

For a detailed guide on the filing process, visit the bankruptcy section of our website.

The Role of a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be challenging without the right guidance. A Maryland bankruptcy attorney provides invaluable support by helping individuals understand legal procedures, complete paperwork accurately, and represent their interests in court. This professional assistance ensures all steps are followed correctly, reducing the risk of errors and increasing the chances of a successful outcome. For residents of Maryland, The Law Offices of Kim Parker, P.A. offers dedicated services to help clients regain financial stability. With a client-centered approach, we address unique circumstances and provide tailored solutions.

Myths About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are several misconceptions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy that often deter individuals from seeking this form of debt relief. Here are a few common myths debunked:

Myth 1. You Will Lose Everything: Many believe that filing for Chapter 7 means losing all personal property. However, Maryland law allows for exemptions that protect essential assets like your home, car, and retirement accounts.

Myth 2. Bankruptcy Permanently Ruins Your Credit: Although a bankruptcy filing stays on your credit report for up to ten years, it doesn’t prevent you from rebuilding your credit. Many individuals see credit score improvements within a year or two after discharge.

Myth 3. Only Financially Irresponsible People File for Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy is often due to unexpected life events such as medical emergencies, job loss, or divorce, rather than financial irresponsibility.

Understanding these myths can help individuals make more informed decisions about their financial future.

Take the First Step Toward Financial Freedom

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a pivotal step towards financial stability. The Law Offices of Kim Parker, P.A. is here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring you understand your options and make informed decisions. If you’re struggling with debt, don’t wait any longer. Contact our bankruptcy attorney in Baltimore, MD today to schedule a consultation and start your journey to financial freedom.

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If you or someone you care have been treated wrongly or injured, let a knowledgeable, experienced attorney will guide you and fight for your case. Don’t miss out on the justice you deserve. Contact us today at 410-234-2621. Let’s talk about your needs and how we can help.

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