No one wants to live life struggling to pay for basic needs. Unfortunately, financial issues can plague anyone, and even those who feel somewhat prepared for an emergency could end up in difficult financial straits due to not having enough savings or facing a serious upheaval like job loss or an emergency medical situation.
Though the reasons for your financial struggles are unique, you do have options that can help you find the debt relief you desire. In particular, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be able to help you understand your debt, pay off applicable liabilities and discharge qualifying ones.
Though Chapter 7 can be a valuable avenue for many people struggling with substantial debt, you must meet certain requirements before qualifying for this assistance. In particular, you will need to pass a means test. This test looks at the middle-range income of Wisconsin residents and compares your income to that result. If your income level falls below that middle range, you will likely pass the means test and qualify for Chapter 7. Having the documentation of passing this test is necessary for your bankruptcy petition.
What does Chapter 7 involve?
Chapter 7 has many steps and details to address, but in general terms, the process involves liquidating nonexempt assets in order to pay off priority creditors. While liquidation will involve selling your property, you do not have to worry that you will not have any assets left after the process. In fact, the rules of Chapter 7 allow for the exemption of the following property in most cases:
- Clothing and furniture
- Your primary vehicle
- Some home equity
- Social Security payments you have not spent
- Assets in your retirement accounts
- Any item you need to perform your trade
However, you may want to remember that state law also plays a role in determining exempt and nonexempt assets, so ensuring that you understand what property you may keep is wise.
How can you find the right information?
Though you may have the ability to gain a tremendous amount of information regarding bankruptcy with just a few online searches, you may not know fact from fiction when it comes to this option. It is often a step in the right direction to discuss your specific circumstances with a bankruptcy attorney who has the applicable legal knowledge to walk you through how this debt relief process may affect you.