How Bankruptcy Works

How Bankruptcy Works

I understand that the bankruptcy process can be complicated and confusing.  That’s why I will be at your side to help guide you through the process with minimum stress.  There are a number of steps which we will carefully guide you through along the way.  We are not a “bankruptcy factory” where office staff and paralegals do most of the client contact.  I will always be available via phone or email.

Contact us or fill-out out our online questionnaire and give an overview of your situation.  We will then set up a free in-office consultation.  Prior to the consultation, we will ask that you complete a pre-consultation packet also available on this site.

During our consultation, we will talk about the payments and debts you are struggling to meet, what income and assets you have, and whether it looks like you have grounds for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.  We want to determine which option is best for you.  Learn about the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 here.  We will assess your situation and immediately start determining which of your assets we can protect for you.  In many cases, we can ensure that your house and car are protected in a bankruptcy-case filing.

If we determine that your case is eligible for bankruptcy-protection, we will quote the appropriate fees.  The fee for a typical Chapter 7 case usually includes the legal fees, filing fee, and credit-counseling fees.  We are more than willing to arrange a fee payment plan that best suits your budget.  In a Chapter 13, after the filing fees and credit counseling fees are paid, we will usually schedule all your fees within your debt-repayment plan. Immediately upon payment of the fees, we will carefully prepare your bankruptcy petition.  Prior to filing, we will arrange for you to complete an online credit-counseling course that is required by the Court.  You will then be asked to come into the office and review and sign your prepared petition and schedules.  Next, we will immediately file your case with the appropriate Court.  The filing will create an “automatic stay”- any creditors that you have will be notified and prevented from all collection activities.

The Bankruptcy  Courts will issue a notice that you will receive in the mail.  This notice contains important dates concerning your case.  The most important date is the meeting of creditors (click here to learn what to expect at that meeting).  In most cases, this is the only time that you will have to go to Court.  I will  attend this meeting with you.

A typical Chapter 7 will be discharged within about 6 months.  A Chapter 13 will last between 3 to 5 years, depending on the debt-repayment plan that we will calculate for you.