The word “bankruptcy” brings up negative connotations for a lot of people, but they aren’t always warranted. When individuals need financial relief, they typically have a few options in front of them depending on their specific circumstances. These options could include debt settlement or consolidation, but many people see declaring bankruptcy as a failure — and they’re wrong. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can often give people the clean slate they need to move forward and build a brighter financial future.

If you’re considering your options for debt relief and would like to speak with a bankruptcy attorney, give me a call today. I established the Law Office of David A. Semanchik over 25 years ago to help people understand their legal options and make informed choices. I proudly serve clients in and around Toms River, New Jersey, and can also serve those throughout New Jersey, including Brick Township, Manasquan, Manchester, and Lacey.



Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy in the United States. It allows individuals to liquidate assets to get rid of their debt. This type of bankruptcy is sometimes called “personal bankruptcy” because usually, only individuals can qualify and not businesses. It’s quicker and cheaper than other forms of bankruptcy and often allows you to keep essential assets, such as your home and car.

Most regulations about filing Chapter 7 fall under federal law, but each state can set its own guidelines about what property can be exempt, what property is subject to the filing, and which debts are dischargeable. In general, Chapter 7 allows you to discharge debt such as credit card debt, medical bills, personal and payday loans, or utility bills. In some cases, you can also discharge mortgage debt if you’re willing to give up your home. After this debt has been discharged you do not have to pay it back. However, there are some types of debt that cannot be discharged, including alimony, child support, tax debt, and most student loans.

Qualifying for Chapter 7

Not everyone will qualify for Chapter 7, and when you apply, you’ll have to pass a “means test.” In this test, you must show that your total gross income is lower than the median income for a family of the same size in the state. There are some exceptions, though, if your income is higher than this yet still too low to qualify for Chapter 13. Additionally, if you’ve previously filed for bankruptcy in the past several years, you may not qualify.

When Is Chapter 7 a Good Debt Relief Option?

A Chapter 7 filing should be everyone’s first choice if they’re considering liquidation. It’s the easiest and cheapest option and usually takes fewer than six months to complete. It also offers instant relief, and this can be crucial for someone who feels like there’s no way out of their debt. Once you file for Chapter 7, it becomes illegal for creditors to try to collect from you. It also immediately stops wage garnishments and debt-collection lawsuits.


When you contact me to work as your bankruptcy attorney, know that I’ll be on your side and will do everything I can to make this process as painless as possible. I truly believe that bankruptcy can be the right choice to get you back on your feet and help you build your finances. If you’re in the Toms River, New Jersey, area, call the Law Office of David A. Semanchik as soon as you can to set up a consultation to talk about your options.