What Happens After Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

What Happens After Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
What Happens After Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision to make, but sometimes it is the best way to start anew and regain control of your finances. If you have decided to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s important to understand what happens next. Let’s discuss the things that happen after you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how to get help from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney.

An Automatic Stay Will Take Effect

As soon as you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an automatic stay will take effect. This means that creditors are no longer allowed to pursue collection actions against you, such as wage garnishment, foreclosure, or repossession. The automatic stay will remain in effect until your bankruptcy case is discharged, dismissed, or closed.

A Bankruptcy Trustee Will be Assigned to Your Case

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case. The trustee’s role is to review your assets and debts and ensure that your creditors are paid as much as possible. The trustee will also oversee your bankruptcy case and can take action if they believe there are any discrepancies or fraud.

Any Liens Against Your Property Go Into Effect

If there are any liens against your property, they will go into effect when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means that the creditor with the lien will have a secured interest in your property, and if you want to keep the property, you will need to pay the creditor the amount of the lien.

Legal Proceedings Will Continue or Begin for Your Case

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not mean that all legal proceedings will come to a halt. If you have any ongoing legal proceedings, they will continue as usual. Additionally, if any new legal proceedings are initiated against you, they will continue as well. However, creditors will not be able to take any collection actions against you during the automatic stay period.

Request a Consultation With Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney The Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt

Navigating the bankruptcy process can be complicated and overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to work with a skilled and experienced bankruptcy attorney like The Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt. I will guide you through the bankruptcy process, explain your options, and help you make informed decisions. If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Virginia, don’t hesitate to request a consultation with me today.

Which Debts Will Remain Post-Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge?

Post-Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy can often feel like the end of a long road to financial recovery. While it can be a great way to start fresh and eliminate large amounts of debt, it’s important to remember that not all debts are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Let’s discuss what debts remain after filing Chapter 7 and receiving a Chapter 7 discharge.

The Non-Dischargeable Debts to Know

While most unsecured debts are eligible for discharge in bankruptcy, some debts are not dischargeable. These include debts for taxes, alimony, and child support, debts for most government-funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments, and debts for personal injury or death caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated.

They can also include:

– Court fees

– Federal, state, or local taxes owed

– Any restitution, penalties, or fines imposed by the government

– Condominium dues/fees owed

– Any debts not initially listed when the case began, also known as “schedules”

The Basics of Your Chapter 7 Debt Discharge

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge eliminates the debtor’s personal liability for certain debts. This means that creditors may no longer legally pursue the debtor for payment of the discharged debts. However, the discharge does not necessarily eliminate the debt itself.

Bankruptcy Does Not Erase Student Loans

Student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, even in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The debtor may be able to request a hardship discharge, but the courts are reluctant to grant these requests.

How to Keep Secured Property

In some cases, a debtor may choose to keep secured property, such as a car or a house. To do this, the debtor must sign a document called a reaffirmation agreement. This document reaffirms the debtor’s obligation to pay the debt, and the creditor is allowed to pursue collection efforts against the debtor.

Has a Debt Discharge Been Denied?

In some cases, the court may deny a debtor’s request for a debt discharge. This may happen if the court finds that the debtor has committed fraud, failed to disclose assets, or violated the bankruptcy code.

Why a Debt Discharge Could Be Denied

The court may deny a debtor’s request for a debt discharge if the debtor has engaged in any of the following activities:

• Concealed assets

• Failed to keep or produce adequate records

• Destroyed or concealed documents

• Made false oaths or claims

• Failed to obey court orders

• Refused to answer questions

• Engaged in fraudulent transfers

• Committed acts of bankruptcy fraud

The Revoking of a Debt Discharge

In some cases, a debtor’s discharge may be revoked by the court. This may happen if the debtor commits any of the activities listed above or has failed to pay child support or

How You Can Reaffirm Your Debt

To reaffirm a debt, the debtor must sign a reaffirmation agreement with the creditor. This agreement must be approved by the court, and the debtor must meet certain requirements. These requirements may include providing proof of the debtor’s income and expenses, as well as evidence that the debtor can afford to make the payments.

Problems Arising from Reaffirming Debt

Reaffirming a debt can have a negative effect on the debtor’s credit score. Additionally, if the debtor fails to make the payments on the reaffirmed debt, the creditor can take action to collect the debt, including repossession of the secured property.

Other issues could include the debtor being liable for the debt even after the bankruptcy is discharged. Reaffirmation agreements can also be challenged in court if the debtor can prove that they were signed under duress.

How to Choose the Right Lawyer for Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are a few things to look for in a lawyer when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.


Look for an attorney who is knowledgeable about the bankruptcy process and familiar with the law. They should be able to answer any questions you have about the process and explain the various options available to you.


Experience is important when it comes to finding the right lawyer. Look for an attorney who has handled cases like yours before and can prove it.

Track Record of Success

Choose an attorney who has a successful track record of helping people get their debts discharged. The attorney should be able to provide you with evidence of past successes or show you similar cases they have worked on without compromising their clients’ privacy and privilege.


The attorney you choose should be able to keep you informed of the progress of your case. They should be able to answer any questions you have and provide you with timely updates.

Clear Process

The attorney you choose should be able to provide you with a clear and concise explanation of the process and the steps you need to take. They should be able to explain any potential risks or costs associated with the filing and help you understand the implications of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Get Help Filing Chapter 7 From the Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt

If you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, The Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt can help. We understand the complexities of bankruptcy law, and we’re here to answer your questions and work with you to find the best solution.

If you’re ready to take control of your legal situation, request a consultation with us today.

How to Qualify for Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Virginia

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t something you want to do lightly. There are a number of steps you need to take before filing, and you must first determine whether you qualify for filing Chapter 7. This is done through a means test, among other steps. Here’s how to know whether you qualify for filing Chapter 7 and how an experienced lawyer in Virginia can help you through this process.

The Virginia Bankruptcy Means Test

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Virginia, you must meet certain financial eligibility requirements. The most important of these requirements is that you must have enough income to cover your monthly expenses. If you cannot afford to pay your bills, you will not be able to file for bankruptcy in Virginia.

This means test will determine whether you are able to repay your debts in a reasonable amount of time, based on your income. If your income falls below the Virginia median for your current household size, you will be exempt from the means test, and qualify for filing Chapter y.

The Means Test Exemptions

There are a number of factors that can exempt you from the Virginia Bankruptcy Means Test. The first is if your debts are not primarily consumer debts, you are exempt. You don’t need to take the means test if you are a disabled veteran and have incurred debt mostly during your active duty or while performing activities in the service of homeland defense.

The Virginia Median Income

If you do not qualify for the Virginia Bankruptcy Means Test, your income is below the median income for your household size. This is determined by your average monthly income calculated over the past six calendar months. If your income has declined over the past six months, but you are over the limit, it’s possible to wait another month or so for your income to move below the Virginia median. The final step is to multiply your average monthly income by 12 for the test. Based on your household size, these are the median Virginia incomes:

1 – $51,817.00

2 – $65,510.00

3 – $75,774.00

4 – $90,945.00

5 – $99,045.00

6  – $107,145.00

7 – $115,245.00

8 – $123,345.00

9 – $131,445.00

10 – $139,545.00

The Means Test

To complete the means test, you must calculate income and expenses, and subtract all allowed expenses for Virginia from the total income amount. This will be the income amount under bankruptcy available to pay unsecured creditors.

Filing Chapter 7 With the Help of The Law Office of Robert S. Brandt

While you may be able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s not always recommended to do so. The Law Office of Robert S. Brandt can help you understand your options and determine whether bankruptcy is the best option for you. If you qualify, our experienced lawyers can guide you through the bankruptcy process and help you to emerge from it with your finances in better shape. Contact us today to request a consultation.

The Complete Guide to the Basics of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy is never easy, but it is an important step in restoring your financial health. This guide will teach you the basics of bankruptcy, including how to file, what to expect, and how your bankruptcy Chapter 7 lawyer can help get things back on track if you are struggling financially.

The Alternative to Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy, but it is not the only option. There are several other options but the most popular is Chapter 13 bankruptcy

An Overview of Chapter 13

Individual debtors who have a regular, steady income could be eligible to file under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a three-part process. In the first step, you must identify all of your debts, including current and past due bills, credit card balances, and student loans.

In the second step, you must propose a plan of repayment to all of your creditors. This plan must be realistic and should list all of the money you can afford to pay back each month.

The final step is a confirmation hearing where a bankruptcy judge will decide if your plan is fair and reasonable. If it is approved, you will have to start repaying your creditors according to the terms of your plan.

Background for Your Assets and Case

The background of your case will consist of the trustee gathering all of the non-exempt assets and using proceeds from the sale of those assets to repay creditors. Of course, when you file a petition under Chapter 7 there is a risk of losing property, and this part of the process will handle that aspect.

Doing background on your case should be the domain of an experienced bankruptcy Chapter 7 lawyer in Virginia. Let’s say you have a good credit history, you have never missed a payment on a debt, and you have never filed for bankruptcy before. In Chapter 7, you will likely have to file Official Public Records (OPR) that disclose this information to your creditors, and you may not be able to keep all your property. You should discuss your case with a Chapter 7 lawyer in Virginia to learn more.

Chapter 7 Eligibility Requirements

In order to file for bankruptcy in Virginia, you must meet the following requirements:

• You must be a U.S. citizen or a national of the United States.

• You must have a valid Virginia driver’s license.

• You must be at least 18 years old.

• You must have a valid Virginia address.

• You must have a steady income.

• You must not be in bankruptcy or under any order of relief from a bankruptcy court.

How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy in which a person’s debts are eliminated through a court-approved plan. The process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is similar to filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy.

To file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person must meet specific requirements, including being able to prove that they can no longer meet their financial obligations. After filing, the person will have a hearing to determine if their case should be moved to chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If the case is moved to bankruptcy, the person’s assets will be distributed among their creditors. This means that creditors will receive a portion of the debtor’s property, depending on the amount of the debt. Creditors who are owed less will receive less, and creditors who are owed more will receive more.

If the case is not moved to chapter 7 bankruptcy, the person’s debts will still be eliminated, but the process will take longer, and the person’s property may not be distributed among creditors. The courts will charge case filing fees, administrative fees, and a trustee surcharge, so you should also be prepared for that. However, if your income is lower than 150% of the poverty level, and you can’t pay the fees, the court could decide to waive those fees.

Debtors need to provide information to complete their Official Bankruptcy Forms in the petition:

  • Sources, amounts, and payment frequency for income.
  • All the property and living expenses in their current financial situation.
  • A comprehensive list of the creditors and their claims.

When you file for bankruptcy in Virginia, the court will appoint a case trustee to manage your case. The case trustee will:

  • Collect all of your income and assets.
  • Pay your creditors.
  • Make all necessary court appearances.
  • File any required documents.

What is the Role of a Case Trustee?

Once your case is filed, the U.S. trustee will appoint an impartial case trustee for the process of administering and liquidating the nonexempt assets. This process can be complex and time-consuming, and the case trustee will need the help of a bankruptcy lawyer in Virginia.

Once the case begins, this creates an “estate”. This becomes the temporary legal owner of all your nonexempt assets, and the trustee will liquidate these assets to pay your creditors.

The Chapter 7 Discharge Process

When your case is completed, the case trustee will file a discharge petition with the bankruptcy court. This petition will ask the court to discharge (discharge) your debts. The court will decide whether to discharge your debts and if so, will schedule a hearing to determine the amount of your discharge.

Get Strong Legal Representation from a Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Lawyer Like the Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt

Declaring bankruptcy comes with a web of intricacies and consequences that can be hard to understand on your own. That’s where a bankruptcy Chapter 7 lawyer like the Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt can help. Our team of experienced lawyers will walk you through the entire process, from filing for bankruptcy to receiving your discharge. We will fight for the best possible outcome for your case, and we will always remain on your side throughout the entire process. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule your initial consultation.

Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay&Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases

First thing first, what does a motion for relief from the automatic stay actually mean? It means that at this time you are several months behind on your car or mortgage payment and the bank is requesting permission from the bankruptcy court in order to eventually repossess/foreclose on your car/home. It really should be called motion seeking permission to repossess/foreclose on property, but lawyers like to use all kind of “fancy talk.” The whole motion, summarized into one sentence really states the following: “Dear bankruptcy judge, the following individual is now “xyz” months on their mortgage/car payment and therefore we would like your blessing to commence a repossession/foreclosure on this property.”

Keep in mind that when you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, or any type of bankruptcy for that matter, the “automatic stay” goes into effect. The “Stay” is the “Shield” that prohibits creditors from further pursuing their collection efforts like filing a lawsuit, garnishing, repossession or foreclosing. In light of that, secured lenders (the bank that gave you your car loan or mortgage) will need to seek permission from the bankruptcy court before they can continue with their efforts of foreclosing for instance. They will need to file a motion seeking relief from the Stay before they can continue down the path of foreclosure.

And here is why this Motion seeking relief from the stay is virtually meaningless in the context of a chapter 7 case (it has plenty of meaning in chapter 11 or chapter 13 cases!) and why you should not worry if the mortgage company files this motion in your chapter 7 bankruptcy case: The automatic stay in bankruptcy terminates when the discharge is granted. So, in your typical chapter 7 bankruptcy case, roughly 100 days after your file for chapter 7 bankruptcy the discharge order is entered, the cases closes, and the stay is terminated. The foregoing makes sense. Now that your bankruptcy case has concluded the “Shield” goes away. The banks of course know this. They of course also know that once the chapter 7 case closes they have the right to foreclose on you home if you are behind on your mortgage if no loan modification has been worked out. They know that they can sit back, wait about three months, and then pick up where they left off as far as the foreclosure goes. But instead they file this scary motion, notice it for hearing, go before the judge, and with about three weeks before the cases concludes they get the judge to sign off on this motion. Then they wait about three more weeks after your chapter 7 case has closed and initiate foreclosure. It is nonsense. It is a waste of time and paper. Why? Because the filing of this motion does not speed of the foreclosure.

To put it differently, in the past decade I have never once seen a bank foreclose on a home during the 100 days that the bankruptcy was open even though the judge granted the motion and gave them the “green light” to foreclose. The foreclosure, in chapter 7 cases, if it is going to happen, always happens after the bankruptcy case closes. And since most people in this kind of situation have either given up on the house and are planning on “walking away” or they are planning on filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy shortly after their chapter 7 case closes (AKA “chapter 20”) they have nothing to worry about. They can safely ignore this motion.