351 Pleasant Street, Suite B-348
Northampton, MA 01060

tel. (508)797-0200
fax (508)797-0201

Chapter 7

Chapter 11  |  Chapter 12  |  Chapter 13  |  Myths  |  Trustees  |  The Means Test  |  Automatic Stay

Chapter 7 BankruptcyChapter 7 bankruptcy is known as a “liquidation” or “straight bankruptcy” and is the type of bankruptcy most commonly filed by individuals. Unlike a Chapter 11 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not involve periodic repayment of debts, and thus is generally the quickest option for those who qualify. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a debtor files a petition asking the Bankruptcy Court to “discharge” (or forgive) most unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bills. Upon receiving a discharge, any debt considered to be discharged is no longer legally owed by the individual receiving the discharge. In exchange for the discharge of debts, a person seeking relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code gives up any non-exempt property (if any) to a bankruptcy trustee. The bankruptcy trustee reduces the non-exempt property to case and distributes the case to the debtor’s creditors.

Bankruptcy law allows an individual or family seeking protection from creditors under Chapter 7 to keep certain exempt property up to specific dollar amounts. Exempt property usually includes your home, your car, your personal possessions, retirement plans (including IRAs and 401k plans), and your wages. In fact, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is theoretically a liquidation of a debtor’s assets, as a result of exemptions the majority of individual Chapter 7 cases are deemed to be no asset cases – in other words there are no non-exempt assets for a Chapter 7 trustee to liquidate.

In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you must meet certain criteria related to your income. These criteria change from time to time, are different from state to state, and are based on personal circumstances. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can assist you in navigating the issues related to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and help you to determine if Chapter 7 is the right choice for your particular circumstances. Call the Law Offices of James Wingfield at 508-797-0200 or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.


Massachusetts Chapter 7 Trustees

United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts

Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code

Related Articles

What’s This About Exemptions?

Chapter 13 Instead of Chapter 7?

The Means Test Revised

Discharging Tax Debts in Bankruptcy

How Often Can I File For Bankruptcy?

What Happens to my Savings in Bankruptcy?

Credit Counseling and Financial Management.

“What happens to my mortgage if I have not been paying?”

The Meeting of Creditors

Recording Title Means Something

The Discharge in Bankruptcy

When Should You Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy

Mortgages in Bankruptcy

Why I’m Proud To Represent Debtors In Bankruptcy

Filing Fees on the Rise

Student Debt in Bankruptcy, Part 1: Debts Owed Directly to the School

Casinos, Gambling, Cash Advances and Bankruptcy

Student Debt in Bankruptcy, Part 2: Federal Loans vs. Private Loans

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy

Until Debt Do Us Part: Marriage and Bankruptcy Part 1

Questions You Should Ask Your Bankruptcy Lawyer

When is an IRA not a Retirement Account and Not Protected in Bankruptcy?

Something Borrowed and the Blues: Marriage and Bankruptcy Part 2

Debt Limits in Chapter 13

Fraudulent Transfers in Bankruptcy


The Law Offices of James Wingfield is proud to be a debt relief agency. We help the individuals, families and small businesses of the Worcester area file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Law Offices of James Wingfield serves Central and Western Massachusetts clients in Worcester County, Hampden County, Hampshire County and Middlesex County including Worcester, Shrewsbury, Springfield, Westborough, Southborough, Framingham, Northampton, Natick, Amherst, Fitchburg, Leomister, Douglas, Uxbridge, Gardner, Belchertown, Holyoke, Wilbraham and Chicopee. The information contained and obtained in this website does not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Contacting us, be it through this website, via email of by telephone does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only created upon execution of an engagement agreement or fee agreement.