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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Merrillville’s Choice in Counsel for a Fresh Financial Start Through Chapter 7

Wiping the Financial Slate Clean in Indiana and Illinois

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is essentially the simplest form of bankruptcy protection. It is designed to eliminate debts that are unsecured, including credit card bills, personal loans — although not student loans — and medical bills. In effect, filing bankruptcy allows you to be born again as a debt-free person. At the Law Office of Weiss, Schmidgall and Hires, P.C., in Merrillville, Indiana, we’ll review your financial situation and determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best solution to your debt problems. Our lawyers serve clients in Lake and Porter counties of Indiana, including those as far away as South Bend and Lafayette. We also work with clients in the Chicagoland area of Illinois.

Will I Lose My House or Car if I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

In Indiana, you can keep up to $19,300 in equity in your home as an individual and up to $$38,600 if you and your spouse file as a couple. Indiana has no specific bankruptcy exemption for motor vehicles. However, you can exempt up to $10,250 ($20,500 in a joint case) of tangible personal property such as a car and household possessions if you are single and up to $18,700 if you are married. If you have any assets you would lose by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, our lawyers may advise you to help save them by opting for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.

A surprising benefit to filing for bankruptcy is that it may even help you restore your driving privileges. If your license has been suspended following an accident where you were either uninsured or underinsured, bankruptcy might get you back on the road, particularly when an insurance company has successfully filed a subrogation claim against you. Our attorneys can evaluate your unique situation and determine if this option is right for you.

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

In 2005, bankruptcy laws were significantly revised. Since then, you need to fit certain income guidelines to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, if you make more than the median income in your area, (roughly $52,327 for single person or 91,772 for a family of four in the Gary area), you are presumed not to be eligible. However, depending on your living expenses and debts, you may still qualify even if you earn more than the median income.

During Chapter 7 proceedings, the Bankruptcy Court will apply an automatic stay against wage garnishments, creditor phone calls and other collections actions including medical debt owed that you may be facing.

For Illinois, exemptions are $15,000 for individual homestead, $30,000 for joint, $4,000 for any personal property, $8,000 joint, and median income figures for Cook County residents, $58,698 for a single person household and $108,549 for a household of four.

Free, Confidential Attorney Consultation

Call 219-293-8988 to discuss Chapter 7 bankruptcy with an experienced lawyer at the Law Office of Weiss, Schmidgall and Hires, P.C.,. We offer flexible payment plans and can begin working on your bankruptcy case for as little as $100 down. Day, evening and Saturday appointments are available. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Victoria Bain Attorney Photo
Victoria Bain

About Victoria Bain joined Weiss, Schmidgall & Hires as an associate attorney in 2023. She is a graduate of The University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. Victoria received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Valparaiso University. During her time in college, she taught classes to incarcerated men at the Westville Correctional Facility,…

Christopher R. Schmidgall Attorney Photo
Christopher R. Schmidgall

For more than ten years, Christopher Schmidgall has protected the lives of people who find themselves caught in the tangled machinery of criminal prosecution. With the skill and determination he’s demonstrated throughout his life, Chris offers them the help they need to get their lives back in order. Not long after graduating from Valparaiso...

Amanda C. Hires Attorney Photo
Amanda C. Hires

Following a remarkably accomplished academic career, Amanda Hires applied her record of success to servicing good people facing difficult situations. She served as a volunteer at the New Orleans Public Defender’s Office and worked intensively with prosecutors and defense attorneys while under the guidance of Judge Sheila Moss at the Lake County Superior Court...

Jessica McPheeters Attorney Photo
Jessica McPheeters

Jessica McPheeters is an associate attorney with her primary focus being in Estate Planning, Probate, Business Formation and Planning, and other general practice matters. Jessica received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from Ball State University in 2014. Jessica then received her Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law...

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    Chris and his staff have help my get back on track. When I need guidance on my finances Chris helped me make the best decision. I’m less than 2yrs I was debt free! He is the type of attorney that is always willing to help. My family and friends all...

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    Couldnt be happier with the results attorney Hires accomplished on my behalf. Even over a year after the legal services were completed the office still answered any questions and would provide any paperwork needed.

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