Chapter 7

Let the Chapter 7 Trustee Sell Your Final Business Assets and Pay Your Special Debts

Give the bankruptcy trustee the headache of dealing with your final business assets.   The owner of dying business tends to have a hard time figuring out how and when to close the doors of that business. Even after deciding that he or she will likely have to file a personal bankruptcy to get a […]

“Asset” and “No Asset” Closed-Business Chapter 7 Cases

When the sole proprietor of a just-closed business files a personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the trustee may or may not have assets to liquidate and distribute to the creditors. If not, the case will more likely be finished faster. But if the trustee does collect some assets, there can be some bigger advantages in […]

Keeping It Simple in a Closed-Business Chapter 7 Case

Using a Chapter 7 case to clean up after closing down your business will be easy or not depending largely on three factors: business assets, taxes, and other nondischargeable debts. These three will usually also determine if you should be in a Chapter 7 case or instead in a Chapter 13 one. Once you’ve closed […]

The Far Limits of the Means Test

Very few people who want to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy need to take the means test all the way to its limits. But if you do, you better have some iron-clad “special circumstances” to defeat your “presumption of abuse.”   The means test triggers whether or not your case is presumed to be an abuse […]

The Arbitrariness of the “Objective” Means Test

The means test is supposed to be an objective way to decide who qualifies to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. So what’s so objective about whether your “monthly disposable income” is less than $117 or more than $195? Sounds pretty arbitrary to me. Before getting to this step of the means test, let me bring […]

The “Black Box” of the Means Test

What happens if you make too much money so that you are over “median income,” but you still want to file a Chapter 7 case? You get to go through the “black box” that is the expenses side of the means test.   In the last couple of blogs I’ve covered the first part of […]

The Rigid “Means Test” Makes the Timing of Your Bankruptcy Filing Critical

Waiting just one day to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can make qualifying for it much easier—or much harder!   How could such a small delay make such a big difference? One of the main goals behind the huge amendment to the bankruptcy law in 2005 was to force more people to pay a […]

Stepping Over the “Means Test” Hurdle Without Breaking Your Stride

Are you among the large majority of people whose income easily qualifies them for Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy”? You can find out right here and now. As you’ve likely heard, a few years ago Congress passed a major set of changes to the bankruptcy laws intended to make it harder for some people to file […]

In a Chapter 7 Case, “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself”

There’s a lot you can do to help make your “straight bankruptcy” Chapter 7 a straightforward one, but one thing you can’t control is your creditors’ reactions to it. You know that creditors can try to prevent you from discharging (legally writing off) your debts, so naturally you worry about this. Here’s why you shouldn’t […]

When Chapter 7s Are Not So Simple

The goal of most Chapter 7 cases is to get in and get out—file the petition, go to a simple 10-minute hearing with your attorney a month later, and two months later get your debts written off. Mission accomplished, end of story. And usually that’s how it goes. So when it doesn’t go that way, […]

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