West Chester Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Do you need some advice from a reliable West Chester Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney? The state bankruptcy code needs careful attention and an experienced law firm. Call Attorney Michael Alan Siddons for competent legal representation and help filing for bankruptcy with no cash or interest upfront.

What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

There are varying forms of bankruptcy, but Chapter 7 is the typical route. Chapter 7 bankruptcy grants you an automatic stay on credit issues by liquidating non-exempt assets and using those funds to repay your creditors. Once the asset liquidation process concludes, any legal obligation to repay the remaining debt disappears, giving you a fresh start.

Chapter 7 Vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

While Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy in West Chester, PA, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a close second. There are five significant differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including processing time, process involvement, financial requirements, paperwork, and eligibility parameters.

Processing Time

Chapter 7 is a relatively quick process, typically taking between four to six months. Chapter 13 may take anywhere from three to five years, depending on the details of your bankruptcy case.

Process Involvement

When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will assign the case a trustee who sells the debtor’s property and pays creditors. When someone files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they keep their property but become liable for monthly payments to a court-appointed trustee who distributes the money among creditors.

Financial Requirements

Chapter 7 does not require monthly contributions from the person filing for bankruptcy. It is an aspect that makes it easier for people without resources and other assets. However, Chapter 13 requires strict monthly commitments, so it is only available to those with the means to make those payments or who have valuable assets.


Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, applicants filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy have to provide a repayment plan with the initial paperwork.


If an applicant would like to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they must have a low enough income to pass the Chapter 7 Means Test. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires applicants to be within specific parameters—not more than $394,725 in unsecured debt or $1,184,200 of secured debt.

Maximum Debt Limit

Any reliable King of Prussia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney will advise you on the benefits of having no maximum unsecured debt limit. Chapter 13 does not grant applicants the same freedom, and the maximum limit changes every three years. Any Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petitions set definite limits on both secured and unsecured debt that changes the legal situation considerably.

Processing Time

While Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceedings may conclude within a matter of months, Chapter 13 typically takes years. The rules allow for payment plans of three or five years, but Chapter 13 clients remain at the mercy of the court and continue to make payments until this is over. Chapter 7 proceeding offers far more immediate relief.

Future Obligations

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy frees clients from future obligations on past debts, but Chapter 13 Bankruptcy requires strict payment plans. You must adhere to these payments to enjoy the full benefits of asset protection and debt discharge from the court. Defaulting on a Chapter 13 payment plan will quickly result in foreclosure, repossession, or dismissal of the entire bankruptcy case.

Financial Thresholds

Lawmakers intended Chapter 7 to provide relief to citizens with minimal assets and lower income. It’s why no payment plan requirement exists for Chapter 7 applicants. However, Chapter 13 applies to individuals with myriad assets and relatively little debt, which is why they can retain ownership of more assets if they have the means to meet payment plan obligations.

What Is The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process Like In West Chester?

If you have fallen behind on bills and you have accumulated debts that credit counseling could not fix, the next step is to hire our West Chester Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. Attorney Michael Alan Siddons lends his years of experience to helping applicants file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no money down. It makes the process easier to navigate without incurring additional credit card debt.

In West Chester, filing for bankruptcy means approaching the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The filing can be at the Market Street location in Center City Philadelphia or at the courthouse on Washington Street in Reading, PA. There is a Pennsylvania Chapter 7 filing fee, but the court may waive this obligation if you can prove financial hardship. 

As long as you comply with all court orders, disclose all assets, and meet deadlines, the court should discharge your case. It will remove you from any legal liability to repay your current dischargeable debts, including:

  • Business debts
  • Credit card debts
  • Overdue rent or utility payments
  • Medical bills
  • Personal loans
  • Social Security overpayments

Debts that are non-dischargeable with Chapter 7 bankruptcy may include:

  • Student loan debts (except under certain circumstances)
  • Tax debts
  • Alimony debts
  • Fines from criminal violations

Our experienced attorney and the team can help you determine which debts you could eliminate, and which will remain for a better idea of your position after a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy hearing. 

Once you complete the bankruptcy filing process in Chester County, PA, you must then apply for a post-petition certificate in personal finance management. The course is available in-person or online, covering topics to help you remain in good financial standing, such as:

  • Budgeting
  • Money management
  • Credit Use
  • Consumer protection laws
  • Financial emergencies

If you complete your debtor education course, your certificate concludes the entire bankruptcy process.

Will I Lose Everything If I File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A common concern among those who are thinking of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is losing everything they own. Thankfully, state and federal laws provide various exemptions to protect certain assets from liquidation.

  • Personal property exemptions exist for motor vehicles, tools, health aides, jewelry, and insurance policies.
  • The federal homestead exemption states that if you have less than $23,675 equity in your home and can continue to make mortgage payments, you can save your house.
  • Unemployment compensation exemption stipulates that unemployment benefits are entirely exempt from bankruptcy case assets.

Will I Lose Everything If I File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy petition is always a complicated process, and it usually does not go as smoothly as many people expect. Creditors may reject a discharge, or the bankruptcy court may not accept a few exemptions. Incorrectly filed paperwork also stalls the bankruptcy process and keeps proceedings from reaching an amicable conclusion.

In all the above cases, it is helpful l to have robust legal representation from our trusted law office and a dependable attorney-client relationship for support and guidance. A West Chester Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, like Attorney Michael Alan Siddons, can help you meet all the requirements of a bankruptcy case and improve your chances of debt relief.

Call Today For A Free Consultation

It is not easy to file for bankruptcy, and you should have all the facts on hand before you forge ahead. If you are looking for a West Chester Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, contact the Law Offices of Michael Alan Siddons, Esquire, to discuss your bankruptcy process and explore whether this route is the right option for you. Call us today at  610-255-7500 for a free consultation or fill out the contact form online.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR West Chester Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney , CONTACT US TODAY!