A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called a straight bankruptcy, is a liquidation proceeding. To begin a Chapter 7 case you must file a petition, schedules and statement of financial affairs with the Bankruptcy Court. The Court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to oversee your case. All non-exempt property must be turned over to the bankruptcy trustee who will then convert it to cash for distribution to the creditors. You can keep all exempt property, which is determined by the laws of the state of Ohio. In the vast majority of cases there are no assets, so a Chapter 7 will give that person a relatively quick "fresh start".
A Chapter 7 case will not discharge all debt; for example, most student loans, recent taxes, and domestic support obligations will not be discharged and the debtor must continue to pay those debts after the case is discharged. In addition, if you have a house with a mortgage or vehicle with a loan and you want to keep the property, you must continue to make your regularly monthly payments during and after the bankruptcy case. Often creditors will require you sign a reaffirmation agreement if you have a vehicle loan and you wish to keep the vehicle.
You are required to attend one court hearing called a meeting of creditors. At the hearing you will meet with the bankruptcy trustee appointed in your case. The trustee will ask you questions about assets you have that may be available for distribution to the creditors. In the vast majority of cases your creditors will not attend the meeting of creditors. Approximately two to three months after the meeting of creditors the bankruptcy judge will issue an order discharging your debts.