Rockville Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Helping You Navigate the 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. 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 case is filed, it is illegal for most debt collectors to
call a person, garnish wages, file a lawsuit, or seize property from the
person who files Chapter 7.
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.
Property That 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 other property. 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, funds in retirement, pension, IRA, or 401k can be exempted
without counting toward the total value of a Debtor’s general exemptions.
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