Five things you must know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy in North Carolina
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If you live in North Carolina and are struggling to pay your bills, you should know that you have options – one of these is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In many cases, bankruptcy can be the best way to get out of debt you can no longer afford, but first you should know the good, the bad, and the hard facts about choosing Chapter 7.
#1 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Will Relieve Many (but Not All) Debts
There are some debts that Chapter 7 bankruptcy will extinguish and some that it will not. Child support and alimony can’t be knocked out by filing North Carolina bankruptcy – neither can fines levied by the court system for traffic tickets or criminal charges. Credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and balances from old utilities and repossessed car loans can all be discharged. You can also release a mortgage or car loan that you can no longer afford, surrender the property and wipe out the debt.
#2 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Will Impact Your Credit Score
While it’s true that Chapter 7 bankruptcy will drop your credit score initially, this shouldn't be a reason for much concern. Most North Carolina consumers so deep in debt that they’re considering bankruptcy are already seeing their credit scores tumble. North Carolina bankruptcy can stop the FICO score free fall that happens when your debts grow out of control and you max out your plastic, make late payments, and use too much of your credit limits. Bankruptcy is a chance to start rebuilding your score.
#3 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Only be Filed Once Every Eight Years
Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t a card you can play again and again. If your Chapter 7 case continues up until discharge (and most do), then you can’t file again until eight years have lapsed since your last bankruptcy. However, most Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers are NOT repeat filers. They usually have a major life event (like an accident, illness or job loss) that wrecks their budget. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is meant to help them get back on track and move on with life.
#4 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Is Not for Everyone
Even though the debt relief that Chapter 7 offers is sweeping, it’s not for everyone. First, you have to qualify for Chapter 7. You can qualify quickly if your income is low, but you must pass the Means Test if your income is higher. There is not an income cap for Chapter 7, but you must demonstrate that your debt outweighs your ability to pay. So long as you’re in over your head with debt, your chances of qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are good.
#5 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Is a Matter of Public Record
This aspect of Chapter 7 bankruptcy bothers some North Carolina consumers, but you have to understand what “public” means. The public record is not something that just anyone can rifle through. Instead, bankruptcy records are maintained on a government website that is only accessible with a user account and password. Few people, aside from attorneys and those working in the court system, will bother to establish an account.
Given these facts, if you feel like Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be a fit for you, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt today for a free North Carolina bankruptcy consultation. Call +1-919-646-2654 now for a no-obligation appointment at one of our convenient locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.