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Chapter 7 is designed for debtors who are having financial difficulty and who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. The purpose of filing a Chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of the debtor's existing debts.
The debtor must attend a 341 meeting of creditors, which is held approximately 40 days after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed. Your attendance is mandatory and the attorney will accompany you to the meeting. Creditors rarely attend the meeting.
The Order of Discharge is normally entered about 110 days after the Chapter 7 case is filed. The Order provides that all of your eligible debt is discharged and prevents creditors whose debt is discharged from attempting to collect the debt from you. Certain debts are not dischargeable under law. Therefore, you may still be responsible for such debts as certain taxes, student loans, alimony and support payments, criminal restitution, and debts for death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on your credit for 10 years. However, there is life after bankruptcy. After your discharge, new automobile financing is available at most new car dealerships provided income and employment conditions are met. Also, if certain conditions are met, new mortgage financing is usually available 2 to 4 years after discharge.
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