Seminar topics for last Thursday’s free legal seminar covered the basics of a Chapter 7 case filing in Minnesota and in Wisconsin. Whether you qualify for filing a Chapter 7 case depends on where you fall on the “Means Test” – it differs depending upon which State you live in and are filing in, as well as how many family members you have in your household. Another topic covered was the Federal and State Exemptions. Each State has different assets which are “exempted” that you can keep when you file a Chapter 7. Some States allow you to choose either the State or the Federal Exemption, whichever one is best for you, allowing you to keep as much of what you own as possible. The “Bankruptcy Information Sheet” was also a topic; this is a document you are required to read which explains the differences between a Chapter 7, a Chapter 13 and Chapters 11 and 12. Most individuals will file under a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. It explains that under a Chapter 7, a trustee is appointed to take over your property. And any property of value will be sold or turned into money to pay your creditors. It also explains that you may be able to keep some personal items and possibly real estate depending on the law of your State and on federal law. For a Chapter 13, it states that you can usually keep your property, but you must have wages or other regular income and agree to pay part of your income into the approved repayment plan to pay your creditors. The Information Sheet also discusses a “Bankruptcy Discharge” and how it operates; that most taxes, child support, alimony, student loans, and certain other debts will not be discharged. A list of documents needed for the attorney to review and process your Bankruptcy was also discussed.