Harold Shepley

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania

Liquidation attorneys serving Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and all of PA

When your debt cannot be managed through negotiation and you cannot afford a payment schedule, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your best option for relief. Most of your debts are discharged in exchange for the liquidation of your non-exempt assets. The attorneys at Harold Shepley & Associates, LLC help you determine whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.

The Chapter 7 means test

You must show that you do not have the means to pay back your debts to qualify for Chapter 7 in Pennsylvania. To pass the means test, your income may not exceed the median income for a Pennsylvania household like yours. As of March 2011, the median income levels in Pennsylvania are:

  • $44,897 — single earner
  • $53,706 — family of two
  • $67,113 — family of three
  • $79,916 — family of four

You may not be able to file a Pennsylvania Chapter 7 if your combined household income exceeds these limits. However, our bankruptcy lawyers may be able to help you pass the means test by adjusting your income for certain expenses such as:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Child care expenses
  • Medical expenses

Let our experienced attorneys work with you to qualify for Chapter 7.

Exemptions from Chapter 7 liquidation

Although Chapter 7 is known as liquidation, there are state and federal exemptions that allow you to keep certain assets. We generally advise Pennsylvania Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers to use the federal exemptions, which include:

  • $21,625 of the value of your home
  • $3,450 of the value of your vehicle
  • $2,175 in tools of your trade
  • $11,525 in household items
  • $11,525 of life insurance
  • $1,450 in jewelry

The homestead exemption is complex and subject to many additional factors. Our knowledgeable lawyers give you a realistic assessment of your ability to keep your home in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge

When you receive your Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you are relieved of most of your debts. But some debt is not dischargeable, including:

  • Certain taxes
  • Some education loans
  • Domestic support obligations

Most importantly, you continue to be responsible for your secured debt — including your mortgage. Chapter 7 does not wipe out your obligation to make your house payments, and you are subject to foreclosure if you cannot keep up with them.

Find out if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is your best debt relief option

If your income is too high or you cannot make your mortgage and auto payments, Harold Shepley & Associates, LLC may advise you to file under Chapter 13 to avoid losing your property. Contact our attorneys online or at (877) 553-3389 for a free analysis of your bankruptcy options. The firm helps people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg and everywhere in between.