The first step in bankruptcy is to get started! Here are the basics.
We offer a FREE, confidential consultation. When our lawyers and support staff meet with you, we’ll take the time necessary to understand the financial situation you are facing. We’ll ask you some basic information to help us determine whether or not you are a good candidate for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If either bankruptcy category is not appropriate for any reason, we can talk about other options which might provide you with relief. There is new case law coming out every month that helps better protect those with delinquent mortgages in particular.
If we all decide to continue working together, then we’ll ask you to provide more detailed financial information (such as credit card statements, any lawsuits, foreclosures or repossessions, taxes owed, student loans, or medical bills) and information about property you own (bank accounts, real estate, cars, insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc.). We will carefully review all the information you provide for compliance with bankruptcy rules and regulations. As soon as possible, we will file your bankruptcy petition or move forward with whatever other plan of action you have chosen. The moment your bankruptcy petition is filed (any chapter), your creditors must stop harassing you.
Pre Bankruptcy-Filing Certification
Before you can file any bankruptcy case, you must complete a credit counseling course that is usually done online. Your certificate of completion will be filed with the bankruptcy court along with your petition.
Filing Your Bankruptcy Petition
As soon as your case is officially filed, a Trustee is appointed and you will be assigned a case number. The court will set a date for a creditors meeting and automatically notify your creditors that you have filed bankruptcy.
While Chapter 7 is technically called a “liquidation”, don’t be alarmed by that word. In most cases, people keep all the property they had prior to filing. It is extremely unusual in Connecticut for anyone with an experienced attorney to have assets taken or sold unexpectedly.
The Meeting Of Creditors
This meeting is held about a month after filing. The purpose of the meeting is for the bankruptcy trustee to meet you, interview you briefly, and give any creditors present a chance to ask you questions under oath. Creditors rarely come but it’s critical to have a lawyer by your side in case one does.
At this meeting, the trustee will ask you questions about your assets and your outstanding debt and sometimes, about any inconsistencies in your petition. There is no reason to worry as long as you tell the truth and your petition is true and accurate. Because our expert lawyers and support staff at Beckett Law have prepared the documents filed, there should be no problem as long as the information you provided was truthful. Most 341 meetings take less than 15 minutes.
One more step!
Before your bankruptcy process case is finished, you MUST complete a 2nd counseling class – again, most people do them online.
The Bankruptcy Process Discharge
A Chapter 7 case will generally be discharged about 100 days after you file without any challenge. You will get a Notice of Discharge which affirms that all dischargeable debts have been extinguished.
Continue reading more about the bankruptcy process and “The Myths of Bankruptcy”
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