When you’re battling an issue of debt, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. However, hope is not lost. You have options when it comes to your path toward financial freedom. Allow a knowledgeable team of attorneys to show you how filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide you with peace of mind and a brighter future.

When your debt is starting to feel more like a mountain and less like a molehill, reach out to us at Harris-Courage, PLLC. As experienced bankruptcy lawyers, we have the skills to guide you through the filing process and answer any questions you may have along the way. We have multiple offices located throughout Central New York. Contact us today if you’re dealing with debt in Syracuse, Liverpool, Utica, or Binghamton. We’ll set you up with a free phone consultation so you can start moving forward.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most common types of bankruptcy. It involves a liquidation process in which you sell any non-exempt assets and use the proceeds to repay your creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not, however, allow for the discharge of certain debts, such as child support, alimony, student loans, and some taxes.

Non-Exempt Assets

Examples of non-exempt assets you can sell include:

  • Cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other investments

  • A second home or vacation home

  • A second vehicle

  • Family heirlooms

  • Other valuable items or collections

Because Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of property you already own, it is a wise option for those lacking a steady source of income.



Exempt Assets

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not mean you have to give up all your property. Debtors will typically allow you to retain some of your assets. It is important to note that these assets may only be exempt up to certain caps. New York bankruptcy law allows for exemptions such as:

  • Equity in one motor vehicle

  • Tools necessary for your profession

  • A portion of equity in your permanent residence

  • Jewelry

  • Clothing, household goods, and furnishings deemed reasonably necessary

  • Pensions and public benefits, such as Social Security and welfare

  • Damages awarded for personal injuries

For questions regarding exempt vs. non-exempt assets, contact us today.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy & The BAPCPA

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which took effect on October 17, 2005, requires many cases that once were eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief to be filed as Chapter 13 bankruptcies. The new law set income limits for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This will require debtors to pay back a portion of their debts through a Chapter 13 plan. Additionally, debtors will be required to complete a course in financial management prior to getting a Chapter 7 discharge.

How We Can Help

Our team at Harris-Courage, PLLC is prepared to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on your behalf in federal bankruptcy court. This immediately stops all creditors from contacting, billing, or suing you, or trying to attach your wages. Instead, your creditors will work through a trustee, with whom you must meet. The trustee will assess your income and any non-exempt assets. We’ll be there to represent you at this meeting and handle all negotiations with the trustee.

The federal judge will then review the petition and any objections that have been filed and discharge your debts. The entire process usually takes a few months. Once discharged, you can never again be asked to pay those debts.

When you’re ready for a fresh start free of debt, contact us at Harris-Courage, PLLC for a free phone consultation. We are proud to serve clients throughout the Syracuse, New York, area, including Binghamton, Oneida, and Watertown. Let’s work together to wipe your slate clean.


Don’t let debt determine your future. Discover how liquidating your assets through Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide the relief you need. Take control of your financial well-being by contacting us at Harris-Courage, PLLC. Whether you live in Syracuse or anywhere else in Central New York, we’re ready to help you put your debts behind you.