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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Denver, CO

Need the Definition of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? We’ve Got You

Are you struggling with overwhelming debt in the Denver, CO area? You’re not alone. Many people find themselves in difficult financial situations. With that, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a powerful tool for achieving a fresh start.

Our article will provide a clear definition of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We will also explain its processes, and how it can help you. 

Quick Summary:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most of your unsecured debts giving you a fresh financial start.
  • To be eligible for Chapter 7, a means test and timing requirements need to fit a criteria.
  • The process involves filing a petition, attending a meeting with a trustee, and receiving debt discharge.
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers long-term benefits through debt discharge and immediate relief.
  • While bankruptcy lowers your credit score initially, it can also allow for rebuilding credit faster.
  • Colorado’s exemption laws protect most of your assets like your car, home, and household goods.

What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy. It is a legal process that allows individuals to remove most of their debts. It’s often referred to as a fresh start because it provides relief from overwhelming debt.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy has two main components, including:


A court-appointed trustee collects and sells your nonexempt assets (things you’re allowed to keep by law) to pay back creditors. Secured debts like mortgages or car loans get priority. Any remaining funds go to unsecured creditors like credit cards or medical bills.

Debt discharge

After the liquidation process, most of your remaining debts are discharged. This means you’re no longer legally obligated to repay them.

Can I File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a helpful tool for individuals and businesses struggling with debt. However, there are eligibility requirements.

A few key considerations for who can file a Chapter 7 include:

  • Timing: You cannot have filed for bankruptcy under any chapter in the past 6-8 years (exceptions may apply, such as active military service).
  • Income Qualification: There are two ways to qualify based on income:
  • Median Income Test: If your current monthly income falls below the median income for your household size in your state, you’ll likely qualify for Chapter 7.
  • Means Test:  If your income is higher than the median, you may still qualify by passing the means test. This test considers your income, expenses, and debts to determine if you have the ability to repay a portion of your debts.
  • Alternatives: If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option. It involves creating a repayment plan to satisfy your creditors over a 3-5 year period.

How Does Bankruptcy Protect Me?

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers immediate and long-term benefits to help you get back on your feet financially. Here’s how:

Immediate Relief

Upon filing, an “automatic stay” goes into effect. This court order halts all collection efforts from creditors. This includes lawsuits, foreclosures, and wage garnishments.

This provides you with much-needed breathing room to focus on your financial situation.

Debt Discharge

After completing the bankruptcy process, most of your eligible debts will be discharged, meaning they’re wiped out. This includes common debts like credit card bills, medical expenses, and repossession deficiencies.

It’s important to note that certain debts cannot be eliminated through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This includes debts such as student loans, child support, and some tax liabilities.

Facing financial issues in Denver?

Whether it’s bankruptcy, estate planning, or other legal matters, the Law Office of  Clark Daniel Dray is here to help. Get on the path towards a fresh start and resolve your financial issues today!

How Does the Bankruptcy Process Work?

The process of obtaining a discharge of your debts in a chapter 7 bankruptcy is fairly straightforward. Chapter 7 bankruptcy follows a clear process to achieve debt discharge:

  • Document Preparation: You’ll work with your attorney to gather financial information and prepare the petition, schedules, and other documents required for filing with the bankruptcy court.
  • Credit Counseling Courses:  Two mandatory credit counseling courses are required – one before filing and another after your case is underway.
  • Meeting with the Trustee (341 Meeting):  Between 20-40 days after filing, you’ll attend a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee, who oversees your case and represents creditors.
  • Debt Discharge and Case Closure: Once all requirements are met, your eligible debts will be discharged (usually within 60 days of the trustee meeting).  The case officially closes 30 days after debt discharge, marking your financial fresh start.

How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy will initially lower your credit score, it might not be as detrimental as you think, especially if you’re already struggling with debt:

Short-Term Decrease

Filing for bankruptcy will likely cause a drop in your credit score. However, if you’re already behind on payments, the decrease may not be significant.

Faster Rebuilding Potential

Ironically, Chapter 7 can act as a springboard for rebuilding credit faster. Here’s why:

  • Clean Slate: Bankruptcy eliminates your existing debt, giving you a fresh start without the burden of ongoing missed payments dragging your score down.
  • Improved Debt-to-Income Ratio: With your debts discharged, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) dramatically improves. This ratio is a key factor for lenders, and a lower DTI shows you’re a better credit risk.
  • Focus on Responsible Credit: Debt-free, you can focus on building positive credit habits, such as making on-time payments for new credit cards or loans.

This improved financial picture can lead to quicker credit score recovery. In some cases, you might even qualify for a home loan within two years of filing for Chapter 7.

What Do I Have To Give Up for Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy might sound scary because it involves surrendering assets. However, Colorado’s generous exemption laws protect most of your belongings. Here’s what you get to keep:

  • Household Goods: Most, if not all, of your essential furniture and personal belongings are exempt.
  • Vehicles: Up to a specific value, your car is typically protected.
  • Home: Colorado’s homestead exemption shields a significant portion of your home equity, allowing you to keep your house.
  • Retirement Funds: Many retirement accounts, like IRAs and 401(k)s, are exempt from liquidation.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can ensure you maximize these exemptions and hold onto the things that matter most after your case is complete.

Why Do I Need the Help of a Skilled Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Bankruptcy lawyers can help you more than you think. Here’s why you need the help of a skilled bankruptcy lawyer for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • Protecting Your Rights and Assets:  Bankruptcy laws are complex, and even minor mistakes can jeopardize your case. A lawyer ensures the process is followed correctly, protecting your rights and maximizing the assets you can keep.
  • Debt Elimination Strategy:  A skilled lawyer will analyze your financial situation. Then, recommend the best approach for eliminating your debt. They can also negotiate with creditors on your behalf and ensure you discharge the maximum allowable amount under Chapter 7.
  • Exemptions Knowledge:  Exemption laws determine what assets you can keep during bankruptcy. A lawyer with experience in your state (Colorado) will ensure you claim all applicable exemptions and protect valuable property.
  • Handling Creditor Harassment:  Facing debt collectors can be stressful. A lawyer acts as your intermediary. They can deal with creditors directly and stop harassing phone calls or letters.
  • Streamlining the Process:  The bankruptcy process can be overwhelming. Skip the confusing paperwork, court dates, and deadlines. A lawyer can handle it all, making filing for Chapter 7 as stress-free as possible.
  • Long-Term Financial Guidance:  Bankruptcy can be a fresh start, but rebuilding credit is important.

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be confusing and affect your finances for a long time.  A good lawyer can explain things clearly and help you get the best outcome.

Work With Our Skilled Bankruptcy Lawyers Now!

If you’re considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Denver, the Law Office of Clark Daniel Dray can help. We understand the problem of overwhelming debt. Our experienced bankruptcy lawyers can help you through every step of filing for Chapter 7. They’ll make sure you’re treated fairly and get the best results possible.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your situation and explore your options. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone.

Denver Lawyer Clark Daniel Dray


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