What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Bankruptcy |

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Alabama offers individuals a pathway to discharge most kinds of unsecured debts, potentially providing a fresh start from overwhelming financial burdens.

Understanding the specifics of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is crucial for Alabama residents considering this legal option. This knowledge can help to ensure informed decision-making.

Eligibility for Chapter 7

Eligibility for Chapter 7 in Alabama is primarily determined through a means test, which compares the filer’s average income over the six months before filing against the median income for a household of the same size in Alabama. If the filer’s income is below the median, they qualify for Chapter 7. If it’s above, they may still qualify based on further analysis of their disposable income and expenses.

Exemptions in Alabama

Alabama law provides for specific exemptions that allow filers to keep certain types of property in Chapter 7 bankruptcy free from the risk that they will be sold to repay one’s debts. Typically, trustees will only liquidate any non-exempt assets if a filer has enough non-exempt assets to warrant taking the time to do this. Very few cases result in liquidation.

Some exemptions include a homestead exemption, personal property exemptions and tools of the trade exemption. The homestead exemption, for example, allows individuals to exempt up to a certain value in their home equity, protecting it from sale during the bankruptcy process.

The fresh start offered by Chapter 7 is one of the primary considerations for people who are considering this option. Individuals must weigh the benefits and drawbacks carefully, ideally consulting with a bankruptcy professional to navigate the process effectively and make informed decisions about their financial future.