Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 Definition

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is named after "chapter 7" of "title 11" of the US Code, generally known as the Bankruptcy Code. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a complete liquidation of the financial situation of a business or individual. Chapter 7 is the most-common form of bankruptcy filing in the USA, though since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 individuals are subjected to a means test prior to filing.

In Chapter 7, individuals are allowed to retain only certain exempt properties and the remainder of their assets is liquidated to satisfy any outstanding debt insofar as is possible. Some forms of property liens, child support, income tax, property tax, student loans, and prior fines and restitution imposed by a court are durable beyond bankruptcy. In other words, these debts still are owed after Chapter 7. Secured debts are liquidated but also entail the repossession and liquidation of the property against which they are secured. Unsecured debt is dismissed. Exempted assets that may be retained include the primary domicile, depending upon the equity available; a primary vehicle, if required for work transportation; clothes; and a few other personal belongings; though asset exemption varies considerably from state to state.