Helping You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the Chicago AreaIf you have an unmanageable amount of debt, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically the fastest way to wipe out any unsecured debt and obtain a fresh financial start. At the Law Offices of Chad M.Hayward, P.C., in Chicago, our lawyers offer a free initial consultation to determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best solution for your debt problems. We serve clients in the Chicago area and throughout northern Illinois.
Am I Eligible to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Under the new bankruptcy laws, you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy as long as you don't earn more than the median family income in Illinois (about $65,000 a year for a family of three). However, even if you earn more than the median income, you still may be able to qualify based on your disposable income after certain expenses. If your income is too high to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy (or if you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the last eight years), you may be able to repay your debts under Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Will I Lose My Property if I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In Illinois, you can protect up to $15,000 in equity in your primary residence (or up to $30,000 if you are married). You also have a wild card exemption that allows you to protect up to $4,000 per person (or $8,000 per couple) in other assets such as a car, artwork or furniture. Each individual has a vehicle exemption of $2,400. You can also protect your 401(k) plan, pension plan and other qualified retirement plans .
What Kind of Debts Can Be Discharged by Filing Bankruptcy?
You can discharge most unsecured debts, including credit card debt, unpaid medical bills, unpaid utility bills, payday loans, personal loans, lawsuit judgments, deficiency balances on repossessed property or foreclosed real estate and unpaid traffic tickets. Filing bankruptcy does not eliminate obligations to pay child support, student loans, spousal maintenance or income tax debt that is less than three years old.