As a person filing for bankruptcy, Chapter 7 requires you to surrender all your assets in exchange of being set free from your financial debts. On the other hand, you can claim exemptions so your house and vehicle will not be taken away from you. Exemptions are assets that your creditors can’t take in times of legal bankruptcy. You have to consult a lawyer about such exemptions since these may be different based on state or federal law.
When you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, it does not necessarily mean that you can keep your assets free of charge. Lien against the property like house or car makes you liable to pay the lender. Hence, lawyers normally advise their clients to catch up on delayed payments first before applying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Otherwise, your better option will be Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 typically is the better option and also the least expensive type of bankruptcy to file. However, not all people are qualified to file for Chapter 7. Your income must be below median income for the size of your household in order to pass the test. The only exception is when your business has a substantial amount of debts. If you don’t pass the test and when your income is higher than the median income, you will be forced to file for Chapter 13.
The test will start with the computation of your average gross income for the last 6 months before you filed your bankruptcy application. However, this is entirely different from income tax purposes. Necessities such as rent, transportation and utilities expenses will not be deducted. IRS collection standard deductions are used instead of your actual expenses. Whatever amount is left after the allowable expense deductions will be your disposable income.