Bankruptcy | Estate Planning | Business Incorporation
Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers in Bowie, MD

20+ Years’ Experience in Prince George's & Anne Arundel Counties

According to the U.S. Courts, more than 750,000 people filed non-business bankruptcy petitions in 2019. The majority of these were Chapter 7 filings. Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States. It is the fastest and simplest way to eliminate all or a portion of your unsecured debt through the sale of your nonexempt assets. The entire process can take just 4-6 months to complete.

If you are swimming in debt, getting personalized answers to your questions about debt relief is essential. At Adams Law Office, LLC, we have had the privilege of providing those answers and guiding countless individuals through the Chapter 7 process since 2003. Because our Bowie Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys have decades of combined experience, we have earned an outstanding reputation with bankruptcy trustees and judges throughout Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties. You will always receive top-notch quality of representation at our firm, where we build real relationships with the people we serve.

Need relief from overwhelming debt? Contact Adams Law Office, LLC at (301) 900-5940 today for a free initial consultation.

How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works

Once you file your Chapter 7 petition, the court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to handle your case. The court will also issue an automatic stay, which notifies your creditors that they can no longer engage in debt collection attempts. The automatic stay is an immediate end to all collection calls and letters, as well as procedures like repossession and foreclosure. Your creditors will be advised that they can only go through the bankruptcy court.

Most people who file Chapter 7 have only a few assets but large amounts of unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, medical and dental bills, personal loans, unpaid utility bills. In most cases, the court completely eliminates these unsecured debts. The elimination of debt through bankruptcy is called a debt discharge, and, in Chapter 7, it occurs after the trustee liquidates your nonexempt assets.

Exemptions in a Maryland Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 requires the trustee to sell your nonexempt assets and use the proceeds to pay off your creditors. However, many Chapter 7 filings are “no-asset” cases, which means filers are able to protect all of their property by claiming exemptions.

In Maryland, you are allowed to keep approximately $12,000 worth of personal property (of the types specified below), plus some other types of property. The Maryland exemptions include:

  • Crime victims’ compensation awards
  • Fraternal benefit society benefits
  • $5,000 of tools of trade/profession
  • Miscellaneous benefits, such as sickness, accident, injury, death, etc.
  • Professionally prescribed health aids
  • $6,000 of property or cash back from attachment
  • Child support payments
  • $5,000 of real or personal property interests
  • Pension and retirement
  • Public assistance
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Wages
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Partnership property
  • $1,000 of family clothes, furnishings, books, and pets (valued at replacement value, which is the price a store would charge for the property of that kind, considering the age and condition of the property)

In the District of Columbia, you have the option of using federal exemptions or the DC exemptions. Our firm can help you decide which set of exemptions is the most beneficial to your case. It is important to remember that all exemptions are subject to the specifics of your situation.

Non-Dischargeable Debts

Unfortunately, some debts cannot be discharged through a Chapter 7 filing. These include alimony or child support, student loans, unpaid taxes, personal injury judgments owed, penalties and fines for traffic and other violations, and any debts you failed to list in your filing.

Generally, you cannot discharge any type of secured debt, which is debt with collateral (such as a house or vehicle). To keep the property attached to secured debt in Chapter 7, you must continue to make required payments and catch up on missed payments.

Who Can File Chapter 7?

To qualify for Chapter 7, your earnings generally cannot exceed the median income for a Maryland household of your size. If your income exceeds this level, you may still qualify, but you will be required to take a “means test.” We can walk you through this test to determine which type of bankruptcy you can use. If you cannot qualify for Chapter 7, or you believe you would lose important assets in the liquidation process, Chapter 13 may be a suitable alternative.

Going above & beyond for our clients

What You Can Expect with Us
  • Over a Decade of Experience

    Over the last 10 years, we have developed a relationship with the trustees and judges in the area, helping to get the top-quality representation you deserve.

  • Streamlined Process

    We have streamlined our legal processes so preparation and processing are as efficient as possible and the result is what you are looking for.

  • Premier Client Care

    From start to finish, our aim is to provide excellent service to our clients. You are never just another case.

  • Free Consultations

    Whether in-person, over the phone, or virtual, your first initial consultation with us is 100% complimentary.

Reach Out to Us for the Help You Need Today

Our firm is here to help you understand the Chapter 7 process, to make this difficult time easier for you and your family, and to guide you through the process as smoothly and painlessly as possible. Let us use our considerable experience and legal skills to help you end the financial burden you can no longer maintain.

Ready for a fresh start? We are available at (301) 900-5940 for the help you need. Call or contact us online today!

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