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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | Medical Bills, Personal Loans, Credit Cards & Auto Debt

In general, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most popular choice for those seeking an expedited FRESH START.  A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a person to eliminate most or all unsecured debt, while retaining their assets.

At Foster Law Offices, LLC we pride ourselves in FOCUSING EXCLUSIVELY ON THE PRACTICE OF BANKRUPTCY. In general, our firm charges ONE FLAT FEE for most routine Chapter 7 cases.

Additionally, you can call in whenever you want throughout the process without fear of being billed for every phone call and email.

As YOUR bankruptcy attorney, our job is to see that you get “in and out” of Chapter 7 as fast as possible, so that you can move on with your FRESH START and REBUILD YOUR CREDIT QUICKLY.

Eliminate Credit Cards & Medical Debt

For individuals who meet specific income guidelines, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would eliminate:

Credit Cards
Personal Loans
Medical bills
“Walking away” from a troubled property
Potential Wage Garnishments
Utility Shut-Offs
Deficiency balances from previously repossessed vehicles

Keep Your Stuff – Your Car, House, Pension

In our experience, most individuals suffer with debt longer than necessary. Further, they fear they will lose their home or vehicles if they choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are used to PROTECT your assets. With proper exemption planning, you can KEEP your:

Tax Refunds
Pension or 401K
Household Possessions

If you are suffering with medical bills, credit card debt, judgments or harassing calls from creditors, YOU SHOULD ACT NOW.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania

The electronic filing of the bankruptcy petition triggers the Automatic Stay under 362 of the Bankruptcy Code. Arguably, the Automatic Stay is one of the most important provisions of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. The Automatic Stay protects a debtor from all collection activities including: lawsuits, wage garnishments, foreclosure, sheriff sales and general harassment.

Bankruptcy Laws Provide Protection

Keep in mind that MOST common assets are EXEMPT or PROTECTED. For instance, the Federal Bankruptcy Code provides exemptions for your primary residence, vehicle, household goods and pension. On the other hand, proper exemption planning can be difficult at times and improper usage can be disastrous. That said, it is critical to have experienced counsel review the available exemptions PRIOR to the filing of the case.

We invite you to use the menus within our site to learn more about Chapter 7 bankruptcy or contact one of our local bankruptcy offices directly.

What Debts are NOT discharged (eliminated) in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The following debts are NOT typically discharged in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

• Debts incurred through fraud;
• Child and spousal support;
• Debts incurred as a property settlement in a divorce;
• Some taxes including income and real estate. However, this area of law is somewhat complicated and can be discussed in detail at the initial consultation;
• Most student loans;
• Debts for personal injury and death caused by your driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated;
• Debts for personal injury and property damage incurred through willful or malicious harm;
• Criminal fines and penalties.

How long does the filing process take?
In general, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process takes APPROXIMATELY 5 months from filing to discharge. However, here can be a variety of circumstances which can trigger further investigations by the Court, which would obviously lengthen the process. At the initial consultation, I am usually able to tell my clients how long a case will last based on my past experience. You can be sure that my office will walk through this process step-by-step. We realize you have never been in this situation before and we take each client’s case slowly to ensure all questions are answered in a timely manner.
Do I need an attorney to file for bankruptcy?
It is important to keep in mind that there is no true “typical” or “routine” bankruptcy filing. I have seen many advertisements on the internet indicating that the process is “easy” or can even be done without an attorney. I can tell you that this could not be further from the truth. The Bankruptcy Courts and the Federal guidelines are very stringent and there is very little “wiggle room” associated with the deadlines and procedure. Unfortunately, I have seen many individuals waste hundreds, if not thousands of dollars following a “do-it yourself” bankruptcy plan. More importantly, I have seen individuals lose assets with improper exemption planning. Most problems I have seen could have been avoided altogether with competent legal representation. Normally my clients enter my office with a life full of chaos, the last thing they need is to lose assets or pay several hundred dollars for a dismissed bankruptcy case.
Filing Chapter 7: The Process Step-by-Step

First, look at the reality of the situation. Have you been “treading water” with high interest rates and minimum payments for years?

Have you experienced a dramatic change in your financial situation due to a job loss, divorce, or medical condition?

<h5> Free Initial Consultation </h5>

If so, you should ACT NOW. The first step in the process is scheduling a FREE BANKRUPTCY CONSULTATION.

Scheduling a free consultation is easy – CALL 877-673-3282 or use our contact form to request an appointment.

At the initial bankruptcy consultation, a licensed bankruptcy attorney will complete an inventory of your assets and determine your household income vs. expenses. This information will allow the attorney to quickly ascertain whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or if a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better fit, based upon your unique situation.

We can come up with a payment plan to suit almost anyone’s means. Our firm takes pride in making payment plans work for our clients. Our clients typically ask us how they can even afford to hire an attorney given their financial situation. You would be surprised what we could come up with!

<h5> Draft of Initial Petition</h5>

Next, we completed a draft of the bankruptcy petition and all schedules. Once your schedules are complete, we will file your case with the United States Bankruptcy Court which triggers the “Automatic Stay”. This is the area of the law that stops all debt collection, lawsuits, phone calls and everything else that is causing you great stress day in and day out.

Subsequently, the filing of the bankruptcy case will also trigger a “Meeting of Creditors”. This meeting also known as the 341 Hearing is where you will meet with the Trustee (a Court Appointed Attorney) to present your identification and verify that the schedules are accurate and  all income and assets have been disclosed. This meeting typically takes place within  60 days of your initial filing.

This meeting is usually NOT in an intimidating Courtroom. Additionally, you will be prepared for this meeting and it should not be a major event in your life. Moreover, It is unlikely that creditors will actually show at this meeting.

Again, our firm will do everything possible to ensure there are no surprises for you on this stressful day. In general, there are several hearings scheduled every hour, so these tend to move along quickly.

So long as everything “checks out” during the meeting, you should expect the trustee to mark your case as a “no asset” situation.

In other words, there are no “exposed” assets to disburse to unsecured creditors.

From there, you should expect to receive discharge within 90 days.

Typically, there are no additional hearings or meetings, unless you schedule an appointment with questions.

Following your discharge. you will receive a personalized LIFE AFTER BANKRUPTCY packet. Our exclusive life after bankruptcy program contains information and tips crucial to rebuilding your credit in an expedited manner.

Our firm will provide you with a step by step process on how to rebuild your credit in the shortest amount of time possible.

Experience Matters.

Choose a Bankruptcy Law Firm trusted by your Friends, Family and other Attorneys.

Foster Law Offices, LLC has filed, by far, the most cases in the Erie Bankruptcy Division for several years now, for a reason. We are good at what we do and we offer our clients unparalleled customer service and a personalized solution to their debt relief problems.

More than HALF of our new clients are a result attorney referrals and past satisfied clients. Our firm is built upon personal relationships with clients and a mutual trust. Our licensed bankruptcy attorneys will meet with you personally to assess the viability of a Chapter 7 case and will make sure your assets are protected through proper exemption planning.

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