Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance, you can find a way to financial relief. At The Law Offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo, a reputable bankruptcy lawyer in Baltimore, MD, we understand the challenges individuals and couples face when considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this article, we'll explore the eligibility criteria, the means test, benefits, and limitations of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Baltimore.
Am I Eligible to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
While there's no minimum debt requirement for Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility, certain qualifications must be met. You should be filing as an individual or a couple, not as a business or corporation. Additionally, you must not have had debts discharged through bankruptcy in the past 6-8 years and have undergone court-approved credit counseling within the last six months. The crucial factor is passing the Chapter 7 means test.
What is the Chapter 7 Means Test?
The Chapter 7 means test involves two steps: comparing your income to the state's median and evaluating disposable income. Your income over the past six months must fall below the median household income in your state. If eligible, you need to ensure that your disposable income, after subtracting essential expenses, is not excessive. Completing forms 122A-1 and 122A-2 helps affirm your eligibility.
The Benefits of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Baltimore
Chapter 7 offers a fresh start by eliminating unsecured debts entirely. Key benefits include the absence of a repayment plan, the end of debt collection, and the possibility of keeping essential assets like your home and vehicle. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows for certain assets to be exempt from liquidation. Dischargeable debts encompass various categories, from credit card and medical debt to car loans and utility bills.
What Types of Debts Can't Be Discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Despite its advantages, Chapter 7 has limitations. Certain debts, known as non-dischargeable debts, cannot be erased. These include child support, alimony, most tax debts, most student loans, and other secured debts. If these non-dischargeable debts constitute a significant portion of your financial obligations, alternative solutions may be worth exploring.
Need Help Navigating Your Bankruptcy Options?
The Law Offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo, III P.A. in Baltimore, Maryland, is here to help you navigate the complexities of bankruptcy. Our dedicated attorney, Nick Del Pizzo, understands that legal needs arise beyond regular business hours. Whether you're facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, personal injury, or medical malpractice, we provide personalized attention seven days a week. Your case becomes our cause, and we are committed to seeking the best resolution for you.
If you're considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Baltimore, consult with us to explore your options and find a path to financial freedom.