Common terms that people use to describe Chapter 7 bankruptcy are liquidation bankruptcy and discharge bankruptcy.
The first term — liquidation bankruptcy — reminds us that a bankruptcy trustee can take possession of assets and liquidate them in order to pay creditors as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, state or federal exemptions apply. Exemptions refer to personal property (such as household goods or jewelry) that is not subject to liquidation. In our experience as a Florida bankruptcy law firm, most people who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy are able to keep most or all personal property.
The second term — discharge bankruptcy — describes the great potential that Chapter 7 bankruptcy has to free individuals and couples of debts they cannot repay. Dischargeable debts may include credit card bills, installment loans, medical bills and cash advances from banks or “payday loan” companies. Certain types of debts are not dischargeable and will remain payable even for people who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Child support payments, student loans, gambling debts and most taxes are typically not dischargeable except in severe hardship cases.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, when it is appropriate and when it is done correctly, has extraordinary power to give overburdened debtors a fresh start. Individuals, couples and businesses can use this type of bankruptcy to deal with unmanageable debt. We guide debtors in Florida capably through all aspects of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The first step is a government-mandated means test to determine eligibility. If you elect to file bankruptcy, we will also counsel you on the best, fastest and safest ways to begin rebuilding your credit.