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Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can be a great option for people who have a large amount of unsecured debt, such as credit card debt or debt from medical bills. Bankruptcy can help to get rid of these kinds of debt quickly, giving people who were overwhelmed with their debt an opportunity for a fresh start.

Hayward Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Lawyer

Although an attorney is not required to file for bankruptcy, most people do hire an attorney. Only 9 percent of bankruptcy filings are pro se (without an attorney). This is because there are many pitfalls with serious consequences to the bankruptcy process. Filing for the wrong type of bankruptcy or failing to disclose an asset can result in dismissal of the bankruptcy case, expensive attorney’s fees, and potentially sanctions by the court.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – The Basics

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a type of liquidation bankruptcy. This means that a debtor sells or liquidates his or her non-exempt property and uses the proceeds to pay off debts. Any non-priority, unsecured debts that remain after all of the proceeds have been distributed to creditors are forgiven, or wiped away. Debts that can be forgiven can include:

  • Credit card debt;
  • Unsecured loans;
  • Unpaid medical bills;
  • Unpaid rent; and
  • Unpaid utility bills.

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The first step toward filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is to consult with a lawyer who has experience with bankruptcy cases. He or she can listen to your individual situation and look at the types of debt you have, your income, and your assets. By comparing your assets with California’s systems of property exemptions, an attorney can advise you on what property you will be able to keep if you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. There are exemptions that may be able to help you keep your home, car, or other valuable items.

The next step is to make sure you are eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This is determined by applying what is called the “Chapter 7 means test.” In general, if your income is below the median income for the state in which you live, you will be able to file.

After making sure you are eligible, the next step is to fill out and file the bankruptcy petition and forms. These forms include an extensive list of the property you own, your income documentation, and other information. It is important to be honest – dishonesty can result in a dismissal of the bankruptcy case.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is generally a quick process, taking only about six months on average. Most debtors will only have to appear in court once, for a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee and creditors. This meeting, called a “341 hearing” after section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code, is an opportunity for the trustee and creditors to ask the debtor questions about financial information. An attorney can help to prepare you for the meeting and help to be sure you are ready for any question.

Contact the Law Offices of Melanie Tavare

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare have years of experience helping residents of the San Francisco Bay area who are struggling with their debt. If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, we can help by advising you on whether this is the right choice for you. If Chapter 7 seems like a good option, we can assist you in filing for bankruptcy. Contact us online or by calling us at 510-255-4646 today.

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."


"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."


"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."