A Detailed Timeline of Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing
The Stages of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide major debt relief. If you qualify, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge all of your unsecured debt. You can eliminate tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, in unpaid medical bills, or in personal loans.
Once you decide to call a bankruptcy attorney in GIlbert to do something about your debt, you’re probably ready to get things taken care of as quickly as possible. But there will be more to do than just sign some paperwork and say goodbye to your bills. Here’s a detailed timeline of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing to give you an idea of what to expect:
Initial Bankruptcy Consultation
The first thing you need to do is call an experienced Gilbert bankruptcy attorney to learn more about Chapter 7 bankruptcy and whether it may be right for you. During this consultation, you’ll learn more about what the process will be like, the fees, and what kind of debt relief you can expect to get.
The Means Test
If you decide to move forward with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, you will first need to determine if you pass the Means Test. This test looks at your income in comparison to the median income in Arizona. The test will also look at what assets you own, such as the value of your home, your stocks, or your retirement accounts. You will need to pass the Means Test to qualify to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Create Your Filing
You and your Gilbert bankruptcy attorney will work closely to complete your bankruptcy filing so that it can be submitted. You will provide plenty of documentation to your attorney, such as your pay stubs, information about your debts, and so on. Your attorney will tell you what is needed and will create the bankruptcy filing so that it is complete and accurate. Any inaccuracies could jeopardize your filing or result in penalties.
Take a Credit Counseling Course
You are required to complete an approved credit counseling course after your paperwork has been prepared but before it is officially filed with the court. The course takes about 90 minutes, and it can be completed online. The course is designed to help you learn how to better manage credit so you can hopefully avoid debt problems later. The course will also cover alternatives to bankruptcy.
Submit Paperwork and Pay Fees
Your bankruptcy attorney in Gilbert may have questions or need additional information. Your attorney will finalize your paperwork, get you to sign it, and then submit it. You will need to pay your fees at this time, as well, both your bankruptcy filing fee and your attorney’s fee.
Have the 341 Meeting of Your Creditors
You don’t have to appear before a judge or have a jury decide on your case. You just need to go to this meeting to answer some questions from the bankruptcy trustee. Your creditors have the right to attend this meeting, but in most cases, they won’t. In most cases, you will answer a few perfunctory questions, and the meeting will be over in about 10 minutes. Your attorney will have prepared the filing so that everything is in order by the time this meeting takes places and no substantial action needs to be taken.
Complete a Debtor Education Course
Before your bankruptcy can be finalized and your debts discharged, you have to take an approved debtor education course. This course also takes about 90 minutes to complete and can also be completed online.
Your Debts are Discharged
After your debtor education course is completed, your bankruptcy can be finalized and your debts discharged. The discharge cannot happen any sooner than 60 days after your 341 meeting. If you were required to surrender any of your debts in your bankruptcy, you will have to do so at this point. But, unless you have significant assets, you won’t have to surrender anything.
The whole process can take as little as a few months, so long as there are no complications in your case. Call Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers today to learn more about how Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you. One of our bankruptcy attorneys will examine your finances to determine if you qualify and to help you understand what kind of debt relief you can get. If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to get debt relief through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call our bankruptcy law office in Gilbert today to schedule a consultation and learn more.