The essence of Chapter 7 relief is the DISCHARGE of debts. Chapter 7 is designed for the debtor who is deeply insolvent and wants to be released from these debts in order to get a “fresh start.” Bankruptcy law allows an individual to seek a DISCHARGE once every eight years.
Most Chapter 7 debtors today are primarily concerned about burdensome credit card debts. It is not uncommon to see Chapter 7 cases for individuals that have credit card debts exceeding their annual income—sometimes double or even triple what their annual income may happen to be. For such individuals, Chapter 7 holds out the promise of gaining relief from those debts and getting a fresh economic start.
As you will see, a Chapter 7 debtor will be allow to keep (protect) some property, but not all; and the debtor must be honest and open about their property and financial dealings or else there will be bad consequences. Some decisions for Chapter 7 debtors will be difficult but important. These include which secured property to hold on to such as a home or other mortgaged real estate or a car that is necessary for work, but expensive. And there may be some debts that a debtor will not be allowed to DISCHARGE (such as student loans, some taxes, or debts incurred by bad acts.)
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