Mature woman looking at bankruptcy paperwork

Chapter 7 Attorney

Are you facing insurmountable debt, being sued by creditors, or facing foreclosure?

Filing for bankruptcy allows you to eliminate your unsecured debt, but the process can be complicated. Our Chapter 7 attorneys can help.

Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic in Oak Brook, IL, can navigate the intricacies of bankruptcy law for you and help you secure a bright future.

What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is known as liquidation bankruptcy because it may require you to sell off some of your property to pay off as much of your unsecured debt as possible; any remaining debt will be eliminated or discharged. Unsecured debts are those without property as collateral, such as:

  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Medical bills
  • Past-due utility bills
  • Debts from lawsuits/civil judgments

Other debts, such as student loans, spousal maintenance (alimony), child support, and criminal fines cannot be discharged under Chapter 7.

Which Property Is Exempt From Bankruptcy?

Certain types of property are exempt from being sold under Illinois law, including:
When you become our client, you’ll be partnering with a team that's invested in a brighter future for you and your loved ones.
When you become our client, you’ll be partnering with a team that's invested in a brighter future for you and your loved ones.


Individuals are allowed to exempt up to $15,000 of equity in a primary residence. Married couples filing bankruptcy jointly can claim up to $30,000. If you intend to keep your home, you are required to reaffirm that debt with the lender, which means you are obligated to pay your mortgage.

Personal Property

Furniture, clothing, jewelry, and other types of personal property are exempt from bankruptcy.

Your Vehicle

You can exempt up to $4,000 in equity in one motor vehicle. If you keep your car, you are obligated to pay your auto loan.

Pension/Retirement Plans

Under federal rules, tax-exempt retirement accounts and pension plans for certain employees are exempt.

Wildcard Exemption

You are allowed to claim an additional $4,000 in exemptions.
Property that is not exempt from bankruptcy includes cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and vacation homes.

Navigate Bankruptcy Law With Our Help Our Oak Brook, IL, Attorneys and Legal Team Makes It Easy

At Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, we will handle all the details of your bankruptcy filing with precision and professionalism. We are familiar with the rules and procedures of the local bankruptcy courts and have developed working relationships with bankruptcy trustees in jurisdictions throughout the Chicago area. Our legal team has a well-earned reputation not only as dedicated advocates of our clients, but as honest brokers as well.

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you don't have to do it alone. You only get one chance to file Chapter 7 in an 8-year period. When you work with our bankruptcy lawyers and office, you will have peace of mind knowing that debt relief is on the way. Please contact our office in Oak Brook, IL, today for a free consultation.

(630) 537-0737

Our bankruptcy attorneys serve the Chicagoland area as well as communities in Will, Kendall, DuPage, and Kane County, including Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Naperville, and Oak Brook, IL. If your financial future is in jeopardy, the debt relief team at Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic will be your attorneys and allies. Above all, we will work to protect your rights and help you make a fresh start.

Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you're filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, several factors will be considered to determine if you qualify, such as: 

Your Income

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income must be lower than the median income in Illinois. In rare circumstances, however, you may still be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you make over the median income, but it takes a bankruptcy attorney with dedication and determination to help you qualify.

Means Test Result

If your income is above the median, you must pass the so-called “means test” to show that your disposable monthly income does not cover your debts. Disposable income is the remaining income after you pay your monthly expenses (e.g. housing costs, utilities, child care, taxes, insurance). If you pass the means test, you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy; otherwise, you will be required to seek protection under Chapter 13.

Prior Bankruptcy

You are not eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your debt was previously discharged under Chapter 7 within the last 8 years or your debt was previously discharged under Chapter 13 within the last 6 years. You will also be disqualified if you defrauded, or attempted to defraud, your creditors or the bankruptcy court.

Credit Counseling

Before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must participate in mandatory credit counseling with a state-approved agency. After you have completed the course, you are permitted to file a petition with the bankruptcy court.

341 Meeting

The trustee will conduct a meeting of your creditors (a “341 meeting") that you must attend. The trustee will question you about the petition and ensure the accuracy of the information provided. Although creditors are permitted to attend the 341 meeting, most do not unless they believe you are hiding income or assets.

Given the challenges of qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is crucial to work with a bankruptcy lawyer. At Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, Alex Ranjha and his legal team can help you complete the required forms for the means test, calculate your gross annual and monthly income, and arrive at a disposable income amount that qualifies you for liquidation bankruptcy.

Understanding the Automatic Stay

According to the Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy Court, once your petition is filed, a court order known as an automatic stay immediately goes into effect. This stops all debt collection activities from creditors, including repossessions, foreclosures, garnishments, and civil lawsuits. The stay remains in effect until the bankruptcy is either dismissed or discharged.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically makes sense for those who have very few assets, a low credit score, little to no disposable income, and no way to pay their overwhelming debts, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another option. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to create a plan to repay all or part of your debts over a 3–5-year period. This allows debtors to keep their property (house, car, etc.) while discharging unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, etc.).

Alex Ranjha and his office will help you figure out if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation.

Helping Oak Brook, IL, Secure Bright Futures

"I cannot thank the Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic enough. If you need a fresh start, don't hesitate to give them a call!"

- Yazeed Alasheikh
attorney Alex Ranjha

Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic

At Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, our bankruptcy attorneys and paralegals work closely with clients to assess their financial situation and explore debt relief options, including filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our team is proud to be affiliated with the following organizations:

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

We offer free consultations and flexible payment plans. To learn more about foreclosure and bankruptcy, contact our office online or call (630) 537-0737 today.

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