15.Does a person lose any legal or civil rights by filing a Chapter 7 case?
No. Filing a chapter 7 case is not a criminal proceeding, and a person does not lose any civil or constitutional rights by filing.
16.May employers or governmental agencies discriminate against persons who file Chapter 7 cases?
No. it is illegal for either private or governmental employers to discriminate against a person as to employment because that person has filed a Chapter 7 case. It is also illegal for local, state or federal governmental agencies to discriminate against a person as to the granting of licenses (including a driver's license), permits, student loans, and similar grants because that person has filed a Chapter 7 case.
20.What happens after the meeting of creditors?
After the meeting of creditors, the trustee may contact the person filing regarding his or her property and the Court may issue certain orders to the person. These orders are sent by mail and may require a person to turn certain property over to the trustee, or provide the trustee with certain information. If the person fails to comply with these orders, the case may be dismissed, in which case his or her debts will not be discharged. The person must also attend and complete an instructional course on personal financial management and file a statement with the Court showing completion of the course by the end of the proceeding.
21.What is a trustee in a Chapter 7 case and what does he or she do?
The trustee is a person appointed by the United States Trustee to examine the person who filed the case, collect the person's nonexempt property, and pay expenses of the estate and the claims of creditors. In addition, the trustee has certain administrative duties in a Chapter 7 case and is responsible for seeing to it that the person filing performs the required duties in the case. A trustee is appointed in a Chapter 7 case, even if the person filing has no nonexempt property.
23.How are unsecured creditors dealt with in a Chapter 7 case?
An unsecured creditor is a creditor without a valid lien or mortgage against property of the person filing. If the person filing has nonexempt assets, unsecured creditors may file claims with the Court within 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. The trustee will examine these claims and file objections to those deemed improper. When the trustee has collected all of a person's nonexempt property and converted it to cash, and when the Court has ruled on the trustee's objections to improper claims, the trustee will distribute funds in the form of dividends to unsecured creditors according to the priorities set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. Domestic support obligations, administrative expenses, claims for wages, salaries and contributions to employee benefit plans, claims for the refund of certain deposits and tax claims are given priority, in that order, in the payment of dividends by the trustee. If there are funds remaining after the payment of these priority claims, they are distributed pro rate to the remaining unsecured creditors. In Chapter 7 cases filed by consumers, unsecured creditors usually get nothing.
25.May a utility company refuse to provide service to a person if the company's utility bill is discharged under chapter 7?
If, within 20 days after a chapter 7 case is field, the person filing furnishes a utility company with a deposit or other security to ensure the payment of future utility services, it is illegal for a utility company to refuse to provide utility service to the person after the case is filed, or to otherwise discriminate against the person, if its bill for past utility services is discharged in the person's Chapter 7 case.
27.How long does a Chapter 7 case last?
A successful Chapter 7 case begins with the filing of the bankruptcy forms and ends with the closing of the case by the Court. If there are nonexempt assets for the trustee to collect, the case will most likely be closed shortly after the person filing receives his or her discharge, which is usually about four months after the case is filed. If there are nonexempt assets for the trustee to collect, the length of the case will depend on how long it takes the trustee to collect the assets and perform his or her other duties in the case. Most Chapter 7 consumer cases with assets last about six months, but some last considerably longer.
29.How does a Chapter 7 discharge affect the liability of cosigners and other parties who may be liable to a creditor on a discharged debt?
A Chapter 7 discharge releases only the person who filed the chapter 7 case. The liability of any other party on a debt is not affected by a chapter 7 discharge. Therefore, a person who has cosigned or guaranteed a debt for the person filing is still liable for the debt even if the person filing receives a chapter 7 discharge with respect to the debt. The only exception to this rule is in community property states where the spouse of the person filing is release from certain community debts by the Chapter 7 discharge.