Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is the most common type of consumer bankruptcy, permitting you to eliminate much of your debt and make a fresh financial start. Sometimes called “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 cancels your unsecured debts without further repayment. In exchange, you may have to surrender some of your property. The entire process takes about three months, and commonly requires only one trip to the courthouse.
With over 30-years of experience as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, Michael Daniels is a trusted lawyer will look out for your best interests from start to finish in the process. Call 505-246-9385 or email for a free consultation
There are many steps
in the process of filing your bankruptcy case to get your debts discharged.
- Bankruptcy can be intrusive. New Mexico law requires you to disclose your prior financial activities as well as your current property holdings, allowing the trustee to look for anything of value that the law allows to be taken and sold to pay your creditors.
- Both federal and New Mexico bankruptcy law may allow you to keep your home, your automobile, household furnishings, and other basic items, also called “exempt property”. All (or virtually all) of the debtor’s property is exempt in an overwhelming majority of bankruptcies filed by individuals in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy puts into effect what is called the “automatic stay”. This immediately stops your creditors from trying to collect what you owe them. Thus New Mexico bankruptcy law protects you so, at least temporarily, creditors cannot legally empty your bank account; go after your car, house, or other property; or cut off your utility service.
- Until your case ends, your financial problems are in the hands of the New Mexico court. It assumes legal control of the property you own (except your exempt property) and the debts you owe. Nothing can be sold or paid without the court’s consent. The court exercises its control through a court-appointed person called a “bankruptcy trustee,” whose primary duty is to see that your creditors are paid what you owe them.
- If you’ve pledged property as collateral for a loan, the loan is called a secured debt. The most common examples of secured debts under New Mexico law are mortgage loans and auto loans. In most cases, you’ll either have to continue to pay for the collateral according to the loan agreement or surrender it to the creditor. If a judgment creditor has recorded a lien against your property, that debt is also secured. You may be able to wipe out a judgment lien in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- if you’re a party to a contract or lease, you may choose to cancel without further payment. Alternatively, you may choose to accept the contract or lease by continuing to honor the terms of the written agreement.
- At the end of the process, the debts that qualify for discharge are wiped out by the court. You no longer legally owe such debts. You can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for another eight years.