The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is the start of a process to get your life back and out from under financial burdens. It also marks the end of calls from debt collectors, lawsuits, eviction proceedings, and other dire consequences of unfortunate and unanticipated economic circumstances.
The Firm To Turn To If You Need a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
The Ottenheimer Law Group recognizes the practical, financial, and emotional struggles that come with seemingly insurmountable debt. With a focus on positioning our clients for post-bankruptcy success, we provide experienced representation for individuals and businesses throughout Chicagoland who are seeking to regroup and rebuild.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7, often called straight bankruptcy, is the most frequently taken avenue for bankruptcy protection because those who qualify will ultimately be relieved from paying many of the common unsecured consumer or household debts that contributed to their current situation. Obligations that are typically “discharged” in Chapter 7 proceedings include:
Obligations Arising From Judgments and Lawsuits
Certain Tax Debts
Not all debts are discharged in Chapter 7 proceedings. Student loans, child support payments, and certain tax debts will remain the debtor’s responsibility after their case ends. But Chapter 7 does provide debtors with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that, in most cases, they will be able to keep their home, their car, and other exempt assets if they commit to paying these obligations going forward. All non-exempt assets, however, are put in the hands of a court-appointed trustee who will use those assets to pay down the debts that will be discharged at the conclusion of the proceedings.
Chapter 7 Can Put Collectors, Lawsuits, and Foreclosures On Hold
Another advantage of meeting with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney is that they can put a stop to the stress, anxiety, and harassment caused by debt collectors, lawsuits, foreclosures, or evictions if Chapter 7 is a suitable and available option.
When a debtor files a Chapter 7 petition, an “automatic stay” immediately goes into effect. The automatic stay applies to a broad range of actions against a debtor. It is, in effect, a “time-out” that can allow you, your attorney, the court, and creditors to develop the plans to move forward.
Under Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, most creditors are forbidden at that point from doing anything that constitutes an attempt to collect a debt. This includes phone calls, letters, foreclosures, repossessions and seizures of property, set-offs of funds, perfection of liens, garnishments, and civil collection lawsuits.
Just as not all debts can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the automatic stay does not bar all creditors from continuing in their efforts to collect amounts owed from the debtor.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy For Businesses
In addition to assisting individuals, Ottenheimer Law Group’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers also represent businesses in these proceedings, which can be well-suited for companies that are going out of business, have substantial debt, and wish to liquidate their assets to pay down those debts.
Sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies can all avail themselves of Chapter 7. However, the decision to proceed can be complicated, especially for corporations and partnerships. Business owners, partners, and shareholders may not agree on whether filing is the best course of action given their personal interests, such as whether they have personally guaranteed any of the company’s obligations.
It is critical that you work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can give you a holistic view of your options and evaluate the impact that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would have not only on your business but your personal interests as well.
Meet With a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer To Explore Your Options
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not right for everyone, and not all individuals or businesses qualify. When you meet with us, we will examine your financial situation, discuss your options, and determine the most appropriate course of action.
Please contact the law offices of Ottenheimer Law Group at (847) 520-9400 or fill out our online form to arrange for your consultation.
Contact Us For A Free Case Evaluation
Reach out to Nicole or Les today to discuss your case. Our consultations are always free.