DWI record being expunged and sealed to get a real job. This image was adapted from, “Golden Lady Justice, Bruges, Belgium” and is copyright 
        (c) 2008 Emmanuel Huybrechts, flickr name Manu_H and made available under a Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license

Bankruptcy Notice

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bankruptcy Consumer Notice




The purpose of this notice is to acquaint you with the four chapters of the federal Bankruptcy Code under which you may file a bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy law is complicated and not easily described. Therefore, you should seek the advice of an attorney to learn your rights and responsibilities under the law should you decide to file a petition with the court. Court employees are prohibited from giving you legal advice.

Chapter 7: Liquidation ($200.00 filing fee; November, 2001)

  1. Chapter 7 is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts.
  2. In a Chapter 7 case, a trustee secures for the bankruptcy estate all your assets which the trustee may obtain under the applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. You may claim certain of your property exempt under governing law. The trustee may then liquidate the non-exempt property as necessary and uses the proceeds to pay your creditors according to priorities of the Bankruptcy Code.
  3. The purpose of filing a Chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of your existing debts. If, however, you are found to have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, your discharge may be denied by the court, and the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy petition will be defeated.
  4. Even if you receive a discharge, there are some debts that are not discharged under the law. Therefore, you may still be responsible for such debts as certain taxes and students loans, alimony and support payments, criminal restitution, and debts for death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs.
  5. Under certain circumstances you may keep property that you have purchased subject to a valid security interest. Your attorney can explain the options that are available to you.

Chapter 13: Repayment of All or Part of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income

($185.00 filing fee; November 2001)

  1. Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who are temporarily unable to pay their debts but would like to pay them in installments over a period of time. You are only eligible for Chapter 13 if your debts do not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.
  2. Under Chapter 13 you must file a plan with the court to repay your creditors all or part of the money you owe them, using your future earnings. Usually, the period of time allowed by the court to repay your debts is three years, but no more than five years. Your plan must be approved by the court before it can take effect.
  3. Under Chapter 13, unlike Chapter 7, you may keep all of you property, both exempt and non-exempt, as long as you continue to make payments under the plan.
  4. After completion of payments under your plan your debts are discharged except alimony and support payments, student loans, certain debts including criminal fines and restitution and debts for death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs, and long term secured obligations.

Chapter 11: Reorganization ($830.00 filing fee; November 2001)

Chapter 11 is designed primarily for the reorganization of a business but is also available to consumer debtors. Its provisions are quite complicated, and any decision by an individual to file a Chapter 11 petition should be reviewed with an attorney.

Chapter 12: Family Farmer ($230.00 filing fee; November 2001)

Chapter 12 is designed to permit family farmers to repay their debts over a period of time from future earnings and is in many ways similar to Chapter 13. The eligibility requirements are restrictive, limiting its use to those whose income arises primarily from a family-owned farm.