A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy. As the name would suggest, if you file for this type of bankruptcy, you might be required to turn your property over to a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will liquidate the property and the proceeds would be used to pay back your debts. Some types of debts are considered to be priority debts so these would be paid first. Child support and alimony are two of the priority debts.
There are bankruptcy exemptions, so you don’t necessarily have to give everything that you own to the trustee. The exact nature of the exemptions will vary state-by-state, and there are also federal bankruptcy exemptions. We have bankruptcy law offices in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Medford, and several other cities in the state of Oregon. You have the option of choosing the federal exemptions, or the Oregon State exemptions. However, you cannot mix and match to suit your purposes – it’s either one or the other.
If you use the Oregon exemptions, $40,000 worth of equity in property that is eligible for a homestead exemption will exempt for bankruptcy purposes ($50,000 for a married couple). If have received compensation because you have been a victim of a crime, the funds would be exempt, and up to $10,000 in bodily injury damages can be retained. If you have tools or equipment that you use to make a living, the exemption is $5,000.
In addition to our locations in Oregon, we have an office that serves the Tri-Cities in the state of Washington, and we have a Vancouver location as well. The state exemptions are quite a bit different in Washington. The home equity exemption is $125,000, which is a big improvement over Oregon. You can see a complete list of the exemptions on the Washington State Legislature website.
We are here for you if you would like to discuss a potential bankruptcy filing with a licensed attorney. Our firm offers free, no obligation case evaluations, and you can request an appointment if you send us a message through this page: free bankruptcy consultation.