Explore Your Legal Options

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Secure your financial future by understanding your rights and options under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Our experienced legal team is here to guide you every step of the way.

Comprehensive Evaluation

We thoroughly assess your financial situation to determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Expert Guidance

Our legal experts provide personalized advice to help you navigate the complexities of bankruptcy law.

Take Control of Your Debt

Why Addressing Debt Early Matters

Ignoring growing debt can lead to severe financial consequences, including loss of assets and legal actions from creditors. By addressing your debt early, you can explore legal options such as Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which may offer you a fresh start. Contact us online or call (301) 891-8485 to discuss your situation with our experienced attorneys and find out how we can help you regain control of your finances.

Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Who Qualifies for Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed for individuals with little to no disposable income, providing a way to eliminate unsecured debts and start anew. To qualify, you must pass the Means Test, which compares your income to the median income for your household size in Maryland. If your income is below the median, you qualify. If it exceeds the median, you may still qualify by demonstrating limited disposable income after deducting allowable expenses. Our legal team can help you navigate this process and determine your eligibility.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Understanding the Means Test and Disposable Income Evaluation

The Importance of Legal Assistance

Why You Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be daunting. A bankruptcy lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in evaluating your eligibility, ensuring all necessary calculations are accurate, and guiding you through the entire process. Their expertise can help you avoid costly mistakes and maximize the benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

Steps Involved in Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves several key steps. First, you will need to file a bankruptcy petition with the appropriate court, which triggers an automatic stay to halt all collection actions. Next, you must submit schedules and statements of financial affairs detailing your assets and debts. Approximately one month later, you will attend a meeting of creditors where the trustee will review your case. Non-exempt assets will then be liquidated to repay creditors. Finally, after about four months, you will receive a discharge that eliminates certain debts, allowing you to move forward with a clean slate.

The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

Lien Avoidance in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A judgment lien is created when a court issues a judgment against you, and the party that received the judgment records a lien against your property to pay for the judgment. If you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you may be able to protect your home, your car, or other property from being taken to pay off this lien. This process is known as lien avoidance. You can avoid a lien if you could apply a bankruptcy exemption to some or all of the equity in the asset, and triggering the lien would prevent you from getting the benefit of the exemption to which you are entitled. (In other words, the lien would cause you to lose some of the equity that would otherwise be exempt.)

Lien avoidance can be total or partial. Total lien avoidance is especially helpful to a debtor because it results in wiping out the lien completely and giving the debtor ownership of the asset free and clear. Partial lien avoidance involves reducing the amount of the lien to the extent required by the exemption. You still will need to pay off the rest of the lien, probably as a lump sum, to avoid foreclosure or repossession. In general, a debtor should use lien avoidance whenever they can, even if they do not plan to keep the asset attached to the lien. This allows them to sell the asset and receive funds that they can use for something else.

Complete the Bankruptcy Intake Form

Take Control of Your Financial Future

Don’t let debt control your life any longer. Reach out to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at The Law Offices of Brian C. Williams for a personalized consultation. Contact us online or call (301) 891-8485 to discuss your options and take the first step towards financial freedom.