What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy in America.  Most people improperly call it  a "medical" bankruptcy.  In law, bankruptcies are only designated by their chapter number.  In chapter 7, you file your petition, schedules, and other required documents and disclosures with the court.  Immediately upon filing, you receive the automatic stay, which is a court order to stay all further creditor action (e.g. calls, collections, lawsuits, wage garnishments, etc.).  You are also assigned a case number and a case trustee.  This trustee will supervise the administrative portion of your case, including conducting your 341 creditors meeting and acting on behalf of creditors interest.  Once he or she has certified your successful completion of the bankruptcy requirements, you will receive a discharge of your debts and your case will close (subject to any oustanding orders, such as the income tax turnover order).