FILING FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
Chapter 7 is the bankruptcy that most people file. It is commonly used to discharge (get rid of) unsecured debts like:
- credit cards
- medical bills
- unsecured personal loans
- bad mortgages and foreclosures
- certain taxes owed to IRS or State of Indiana
- and other debts.
Full disclosure and the listing in your bankruptcy of all of your bills is mandatory by law. You are required to sign the Bankruptcy documents under penalty of perjury and you are required to testify under oath at a Meeting of Creditors hearing that the documents truthfully and accurately show all of your debts and all of your assets.
There are certain debts that are non-dischargeable in chapter 7 and you should be sure to discuss all of your debts with your attorney. The following types of debts may not be discharged in bankruptcy and should be disclosed to your attorney prior to filing:
- debts owed to ex-spouses for alimony and child support
- debts due to driving the under the influence
- debts based upon fraud or misrepresentation
- certain types of taxes
- court ordered fines
- student loans (except in extreme cases)
- purchases of luxury goods within 90 days of filing bankruptcy
- recent cash advances on credit cards
- and other items
HOW DO YOU FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY?
- Meet with an attorney and sign an employment contract
- Provide the required information to your attorney so that your bankruptcy petition can be typed and prepared correctly
- Do not forget to list all of your creditors
- Pay the required attorney fees and filing fees to get the case filed
- Participate in a required pre-filing credit counseling session prior to the bankruptcy being filed and provide your attorney with a certificate of completion
- Review and sign your bankruptcy petition for filing (Note that your bankruptcy cannot be filed without your signatures)
- The Bankruptcy documents are electronically filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court and you are assigned a case
- Immediately upon the case being filed, an automatic stay under Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code goes into effect that prohibits your creditors from continuing to harass you or attempt to collect money from you
Once the case is filed, you are assigned a Chapter 7 Trustee who is responsible for reviewing your bankruptcy documents and conducting your bankruptcy meeting of creditors to determine if there are assets to administer for your creditors
. You should stay current with all of the debts you intend to keep
11. Within 30 days of the case being filed, you should attend the Financial Management Course for people who file bankruptcy
12. Attend the Meeting of Creditors hearing usually scheduled around 30 days after your case is filed
13. Execute any reaffirmation agreement needing to be file.
14. In most cases, the discharge order is granted about 65 days after the 341 hearing.
15. Court issues an Order Closing case about 70 days after the case is set for the 341 Meeting of Creditors
WHAT NOT TO DO IF FILING BANKRUPTCY
- Not consulting with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer or attorney prior to filing
- Filing bankruptcy when you don't need to and using your bankruptcy discharge too early,
- Selling assets that you would not lose if you filed bankruptcy
- Refinancing your house so you can't afford it in a few years,
- Taking a loan against your 401(k),
- Using your credit cards for cash advances or balance transfers within a few months of needing to file bankruptcy,
- Obtaining payday loans,
- Numerous other mistakes.
Don't suffer the burden of excessive debt any longer. Contact the experienced Hartford Chapter 7 Bankruptcy team at the Law Offices of James F. Aspell, P.C. today for a free consultation/