A better name for Chapter 7 is the “Fresh Start” Bankruptcy. The reason is that a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can wipe out the most common unsecured debts such as credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and all other debts which are not ‘secured’ against some collateral.
The biggest concern for all individuals filing Bankruptcy is the impact it will have on their assets and belongings. The biggest ‘myth’ regarding Chapter 7 is that you will be forced to sell all of your assets during the process. This is simply not true in most cases. Chapter 7 bankruptcies can get you a fresh start while maintaining your existing assets.
The biggest factor in determining whether or not you qualify to file a Chapter 7 is based on your income. In order to be eligible to file, your income must be below the ‘median income for your state. The ‘median income’ amount increases as your family size increases. The process of determining if you qualify is also known as the ‘means test. As of 2016, for example, the yearly state median income for a one-person household in California is $50,579 and $81,837 for a four-person household.