Rockville Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Helping You Navigate the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process in Maryland
When you bring your financial matter to
The Diamond Law Group in Rockville, we will treat you with the respect, dignity, and compassion
you deserve. With nearly two decades of experience, founding attorney
Seth Diamond understands that some of the hardest working people can easily become
overwhelmed by debt.
Whether your situation is the result of a few simple mistakes or a catastrophic,
unforeseen event, we are ready to help you get back on your feet in as
little time as possible.
At The Diamond Law Group, we understand the ins and out of Chapter 7 and
are ready to guide you through every step of the process. Don’t
wait to get back on your feet, get started by contacting us today!
(301) 417-5855 or
send us a message online to book your free consultation with our Rockville Chapter 7 bankruptcy
attorney. Se habla español.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides an individual the opportunity to “walk
away” from their debts, with certain exceptions. In most cases,
an individual or married couple can file a
bankruptcy petition and go through a simple process to eliminate most unsecured debt.
As soon as the Chapter 7 case is filed, it is illegal for most debt collectors to:
- Call a person
- Garnish wages
- File a lawsuit
- Or seize property
At the end of the case, the individual receives a “discharge”
which is an Order from the Court forbidding any collection efforts for
debts included in the bankruptcy. It also prevents a mortgage lender from
suing for money that is owed after a foreclosure takes place.
The case usually takes about three and a half months from the time it is
filed until the discharge is issued. In most cases, the person who files
the case gets to keep all their property and most people never set foot
inside of a Court room.
How do you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
In order to qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy, your family’s gross
income must be lower than the median income for a similar sized family
in Maryland. The best way to know if you qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy
is by doing a means test.
What Property Can Be Kept In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Many people believe that if they declare a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, they will
lose all their property. This is not a correct assumption.
All states have exemption statutes or have incorporated federal exemption
laws which allow Debtors to retain some property. When a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
is filed, the Debtor must list all his or her personal belongings and
The Debtor must determine the value of each item. In most states, the law
allows the Debtor to keep, or “exempt”, a certain cash value
of property. When an exemption is used, the Debtor can retain whatever
portion of the value of the property that has been exempted.
For example, if a Debtor owns a vehicle worth $8000 and wants to keep the
vehicle, the full $8000 value can be exempted (if allowed by the applicable
law), and the Debtor can retain the vehicle. The $8000 that was exempted
would count toward the total amount of exemptions that are allowed by
the law that is applicable to the Debtor’s case.
Laws on what can be exempted vary from state to state. In some states,
a primary residence can be exempted as a matter of law, with certain requirements
including requirements related to the length of residency in the state.
In other states, the following funds can be exempted without counting toward
the total value of a Debtor’s general exemptions including:
It is important to have a good concept of what you can retain if you do
file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Failing to exempt your property correctly
could result in the loss of belongings that may have been retained if
the case were filed properly.
A good attorney can tell you more about the property that you could retain
if you file for bankruptcy.
How Often Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In Maryland, if you’ve already filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the
waiting period between filings is eight years. This waiting period starts
from the date of your previous bankruptcy filing. However, if you file
for chapter 7 again before the waiting period is up, you won’t be
entitled to another discharge. This means you will still be liable for