Chapter 7 FAQs
Q: How long does a Chapter 7 case take from beginning to end?
A: A standard, no-asset Chapter 7 case will typically take four months from start to finish.
Q: Do I have to go to court? If so, do you go with me?
A: You will need to attend something called a "meeting of creditors." This takes place at the nearest federal courthouse approximately 30 days after your case is filed. A bankruptcy trustee (not a judge) will preside at the hearing, which you will attend with one of us. Your Sacramento bankruptcy attorney will walk you through the entire process.
Q: How do I know if I will qualify for a Chapter 7?
A: To see if you qualify for a Chapter 7, attorneys will commonly complete what is called the "means test." The means test looks at your income over the six months preceding the anticipated filing date of your case. Certain IRS deductions are taken, as well as other qualified deductions to see what your estimated disposable monthly income looks like. Kind of confusing, right? Call us and we can complete the means test for you to help you determine your eligibility for Chapter 7.
Q: If I file for Chapter 7, will I lose my [house/car/tax refund/family dog]?
A: While a Chapter 7 is considered a "liquidation" bankruptcy, certain items called "exemptions" exist to help you protect your property. The vast majority of people are able to keep all of their belongings when they file for a Chapter 7, but every situation is different and you should contact an attorney before filing to see what kind of exposure you might face.