Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows debtors to receive a financial “fresh start” by discharging (eliminating) most of their unsecured debts. Certain debts, including student loans and domestic support obligations, cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 process involves filing schedules of all of the debtor's assets and debts. The case is assigned to a bankruptcy trustee, who will take control of all assets except those that are exempt by law. Exempt assets are kept by the debtor. The trustee may liquidate non-exempt property, the proceeds of which are used to pay creditors.
In a typical Chapter 7 case, a debtor will make one appearance before the bankruptcy trustee, at the First Meeting of Creditors. This is an opportunity for the trustee, and any creditors who wish to appear, to ask the debtor questions about the bankruptcy case and events leading up to the Chapter 7 filing. In a typical case for an individual Chapter 7 debtor, an order discharging the debtor's debts will be issued about 60 days after this meeting.
For decades, Crane, Simon, Clar & Goodman has represented individuals and small business owners in Chapter 7 bankruptcy matters, particularly those that are more complex than the typical Chapter 7 case. We offer our business and individual clients the legal knowledge and expertise gained through decades of experience with the service and personal attention one would expect of a smaller law firm.
Our attorneys guide clients through every step of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, from initial determination that Chapter 7 is the best option, to the filing of bankruptcy petitions, schedules and financial information, through the Meeting of Creditors, discovery, litigation and, ultimately, the close of the case.
Because of Crane Simon's extensive bankruptcy background, we are also frequently called upon to represent secured and unsecured creditors, banks and other financial institutions, unions, landlords and equipment lessors who seek repayment from a Chapter 7 debtor. Crane Simon offers a complete array of services for creditors throughout a Chapter 7 case, including, prosecuting motions for relief from the automatic stay, filing proofs of claim, and identifying and litigating objections to the debtor's discharge and to dischargeability of certain debts.
In some circumstances a bankruptcy trustee seeks legal representation in order to protect the interests of the bankruptcy estate. Crane Simon is familiar with the legal needs of bankruptcy trustees and the bankruptcy estate; a number of our attorneys serve or have served as bankruptcy trustees, and senior partner Eugene Crane is a past president of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees.
We invite you to contact Crane Simon to learn more about our firm, our experience, and our services.