Kansas City Lawyer
Kansas City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney  
Law Offices of
Mark A. Wortman
9229 Ward Parkway
Suite 255
Kansas City
Missouri 64114
Tel (816) 523-6100
Fax (816) 523-6106
Office Information

Kansas City Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Mark A. Wortman is an experienced Kansas City Bankruptcy Lawyer practicing in Missouri and Kansas. Our law firm handles Business and Individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases as well as Consumer Chapter 13 reorganization cases in the Western District of Missouri and the District of Kansas. Below is general information about Chapter 7 proceedings that is applicable to cases filed in Missouri or Kansas. Also review the Kansas City Bankruptcy Lawyer website for more information.


A bankruptcy filing under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code is often times referred to as a “liquidation” or “straight bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is referred to as a liquidation because all of a debtor’s “non-exempt” property is converted to cash by the bankruptcy trustee and paid to creditors. This does not mean, however, that a debtor under chapter 7 will lose their property. In fact, in most cases, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can file the case in such a way that debtors lose no property at all. State and federal law provides “exemptions” for chapter 7 debtors which will allow them to protect a certain amount of property from their creditors. There are exemptions for a home, vehicles, retirement plans, personal and household property, and many other property interests. In Missouri, there is even a “wild card” exemption that can be used for anything the debtor chooses, and in Kansas the homestead exemption is unlimited. The amounts of the exemptions vary from state to state, and residency restrictions do apply. Any property that is not covered by an exemption is subject to administration to the creditors. If all property is exempt, then the debtor will not lose any property at all.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy deals with all of the assets, debts, income, and expenses that a debtor has on the date the petition is filed. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are quicker than Chapter 13 cases, and debtors can usually expect to receive their discharge within a few months after filing. To determine whether a person qualifies for a Chapter 7, the bankruptcy lawyer must analyze the debtor’s financial situation in a three-step “means test”. In order to qualify without question for a chapter 7, a debtor’s household income cannot exceed a certain level, which is based on the median income for a particular size of family in either Missouri or Kansas. If it does exceed this amount, then the debtor may still qualify, but they must pass a detailed income and expense analysis. If the debtor passes this “means test”, then they will still qualify for chapter 7. If, however, the debtor has too much income and fails the means test, then they will only be able to file a chapter 13 repayment bankruptcy. Click Chapter 7 Means Test for more information.

Once the case is filed, a chapter 7 debtor comes under the immediate protection of the court from their creditors, called the “automatic stay”, and a “trustee” is assigned to administer the case. The trustee is an individual charged with representing a debtor’s “bankruptcy estate”, and ensuring that creditors receive distributions from the estate, if any exist. The trustee’s job is also to conduct an examination of the debtor, under oath, regarding the contents of the petition and related schedules. These hearings are called “341” hearings or “creditor’s meetings”, but in most cases creditors do not actually show up at these hearings. The court will assign the case to a 341 hearing usually between 20 and 30 days after the case is filed. In the Western District of Missouri and the District of Kansas, these meetings are not judicial proceedings, and they are generally informal in nature. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney will accompany the debtors to the meeting to assist the trustee and the debtors.

At the conclusion of a chapter 7 bankruptcy case a debtor is granted a discharge. The discharge prevents creditors included in the petition, and not excluded by the court or by statute, from ever collecting the debt again. However, the discharge will not relieve debtors from liability for the following types of debts:

  • Certain tax debts
  • Money, property or services obtained by false pretenses or fraud
  • Debts not listed in the bankruptcy
  • Domestic support obligations, including alimony, child support, and property divisions
  • Willful and malicious injury caused by the debtor
  • Educational and student loans, either private or governmental
  • Death or injury caused by debtor’s operation of a vehicle if drugs or alcohol were involved
  • Certain other specific debts

Mark A. Wortman is an experienced Kansas City Bankruptcy Lawyer practicing in Missouri and Kansas. Our law firm handles Business and Individual Chapter 7 cases as well as, Chapter 13 Plan & Plan Payments, Consumer Chapter 13 reorganization cases in the Western District of Missouri and the District of Kansas. Contact us to talk to a bankruptcy attorney today.

Related Topics:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Means Test
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Plan & Plan Payment
Bankruptcy Exemptions

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