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Fugate Law Firm

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Lake County,

Porter County and Laporte County

Can I keep my car? Can I keep my house? Will I lose my tax refund?

You can keep your car, house and may also keep your tax refund with proper planning. Chapter 7 bankruptcy gets rid of unsecured debt permanently. There are no payments to be made, and the process usually takes about three to four months to complete. Imagine if we told you that you could stop paying your credit cards and medical bills today? Would you believe us or would you think that it is too good to be true?

If you follow the advice of a Lake County bankruptcy lawyer from our firm, the money you would normally use for credit cards and medical bills can be used to help you pay your necessities such as rent, house payment, utilities, car payments, etc. This should provide some immediate relief for your financial stress. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can take care of the rest.

How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works

Consumers can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code after they pass the means test. The means test deducts a consumer's living expenses from his or her net income to calculate the consumer's disposable income. Consumers whose disposable income is less than the state average qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, while others may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7, a consumer must hand over nonexempt property and assets to a trustee to be liquidated and used to repay as much of the consumer's debt as possible. The rest of the consumer's unsecured debt is then discharged. The entire process usually takes just a few months.

Why file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is an incredible tool for fighting high-interest credit cards and insurmountable medical debt. This form of bankruptcy results in your unsecured debt going away immediately. One question you may have is how bankruptcy may affect your credit. After all, what good would it be to file for bankruptcy if you were never able to get credit again? The truth is that bankruptcy often helps consumers reestablish credit.

This may be the exact opposite of what you have heard, but think about it: If you are late on payments now, your credit is already being negatively affected. Even if you catch up those payments, the damage has already been done. Your credit will continue to decline if the payments continue to be late. There are two ways to stop the downward spiral. The first way is to pay off or catch up on the payments. The second way is to eliminate the debt by filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start so that you can rebuild your credit. Interest rates may be on the high side at first, but you will see the interest rates go down after you start reestablishing your credit.



The question should not be which Chapter do you qualify for, the quesion you should ask is which bankruptcy Chapter will help you the most. If the answer is a Chapter 7, you would need to make under a certain dollar amount. That amount varies based on how many people you have in your household. The more people in the household, the more money you can make. We call that the CMI (current monthly income) test. The law compares your income to the median income for a family of your size. If you are over the median, you fail the first part of the test.

Even though you fail the first part, Fugate Law Firm may still be able to get you intend a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. With our experience, we know what expenses we can take that would lower your disposable income and allow you to file a Chapter 7. The law is complicated in this area but we are willing to work with you to explore all options.

Can I keep my house and car and file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? The answer is most often times yes. The only time that a car or house becomes an issue is if there is a substantial amount of equity in those items. There are exemptions that cover a certain amount of equity. Prior to us filing a bankruptcy case for you, we will analyze the equity and your exemption and determine whether the equity would be an issue. Those convcerns would be addressed way before the filing of a bankruptcy.


The most common reason to file a Chapter 13 is to save a house. If you are behind in payments, a Chapter 13 can help you get caught up and can do so without paying interest on the missed payments. Almost everyone qualifies for a Chapter 13. There are no income qualifications. The CMI test is still used but it is used to determine what, if any, amounts you would pay to unsecured creditors. Conrary to poular belief, you can file a Chapter 13 and still get rid of your credit cards and other unsecured debt.


Speak with a loacl Bankruptcy Attorney helping people from Merrillville Hammond, Michigan City, Hobart, Portage, Valparaiso, Hammond, Crown Point, Laporte and surrounding communities.

Our hope is that you now realize that many of the negative things that you have heard about bankruptcy are simply not true. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you get rid of your debt immediately and permanently. Contact our firm today to learn more through a free case evaluation! We serve Lake County, Laporte Porter County.

Fugate Law Firm has three locations to serve you.
Click here for directions to the Hobart Office Click here for directions to the Michigan City Office Click here for directions to the Merrillville Office
Fugate Law Firm - Northwest Indiana Bankruptcy Attorney
Located at 7225 E. Ridge Road, Hobart, IN 46342.
Phone: (219) 947-7000.
Website: .