Sometimes, bankruptcy is inevitable. You understand the consequences of filing for bankruptcy and have decided that it is best for your future. In view of this, what do you think about taking the next step and declaring bankruptcy?
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
Many people decide to hire a Lawyer in bankruptcy before formally filing for bankruptcy. In most cases, this is an important step because a Lawyer often produces more favorable results than you could achieve for yourself. A Lawyer is particularly important if you are filing under Chapter 13 bankruptcy in which a plan needs to be negotiated with your creditors.
Get a Consumer Credit Consultant
It is also important to seek advice on consumer credit from an entity approved by the US Trustee before declaring bankruptcy. The federal bankruptcy law requires bankruptcy filers to receive advice on consumer credit from an approved entity within 180 days of the bankruptcy petition. The consumer credit consultant will review the bankruptcy alternatives and their consequences with you.
Decide whether to file for bankruptcy under the protection of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 When you are ready to begin bankruptcy proceedings, in consultation with your Lawyer, if you have one, you will need to decide whether to file for bankruptcy under the protection of the Chapter. 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcies establish a payment plan with your creditors and Chapter 7 bankruptcies allow you to pay your debts through the liquidation of your assets.
Once you have decided which of the Bankruptcy Code Chapters best suits your financial needs and long-term objectives, then you can file the required documents before the Bankruptcy Court. You should also be prepared to pay all applicable fees for the statement at this time. Once you have officially filed your bankruptcy petition with the court, all creditors will be notified and an automatic wait will come into effect. This means that your creditors can not contact you about the payment of your debts. Instead, all discussions about the satisfaction of existing debts will be made through the court.
Meeting of Creditors
You will be notified, either through your Lawyer or by mail, of the date of the meeting with your creditors. Usually, the meeting is not prolonged, but it is significant. The meeting will review the debts and assets listed in your bankruptcy procedure to ensure that all your statements were truthful. The trustee conducting the meeting will also make sure that you understand the details and consequences of your bankruptcy petition.
Developing a Plan
The next step is to develop a plan to fix your debts. In a Chapter 7 case, the trustee will determine if you have some non-exempt assets that can be sold to satisfy your debts and review the sale and distribution of funds from such assets. In a Chapter 13 case, you will enter a 3 to 5 year plan to cover your debts.
Your credits have 60 days after the date of the meeting with your creditors to challenge the discharge of a particular debt or the total discharge plan. If no claims are filed within 60 days, then your bankruptcy will be discharged soon after the 60 days have expired.
If a lawsuit is filed, then your Lawyer will work with you to finalize the agreement with the creditor or creditors who have filed a lawsuit. It is a serious decision to declare bankruptcy or not. If you decide that bankruptcy is the right plan for you, then your Lawyer and the US Bankruptcy Court can help you sort out the different requirements necessary for a successful bankruptcy discharge.
Speak Today with a Qualified Lawyer in Bankruptcy
This article aims to be useful and informative. But legal issues can be complicated and stressful. A bankrupt qualified Lawyer can meet your particular legal needs, explain the law and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a qualified bankrupt Lawyer near you to discuss your specific legal situation.