1. First you can schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney at our law firm, to discuss the different types of bankruptcy or other options that may be available to you that do not involve bankruptcy.
2. If you do decide to file bankruptcy, we will give you a list of documents that you will need to gather and a questionnaire to fill out, so that we can start preparing your bankruptcy petition.
- The last six months of bank statements for each and every account (i.e. checking and savings accounts) that are in your name or that you are a beneficiary of.
- The last six months of pay check stubs, SSDI statements, or Social Security Statements.
- The last three years of taxes.
- Your life insurance policy if applicable.
- The last six months of retirement account statements (normally sent quarterly so the last two statements) and
- The last six months of statements for any and all bonds, stocks, business financial statement.
3. Once you are ready to file, we will review the finalized petition with you prior to filing to make sure all the stated information is correct.
4. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will not have to appear in front of the judge, unless an objection is raised in the case. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you may only have to appear before a judge at the plan confirmation hearing. Usually, the only formal proceeding at which you will have to appear at is the meeting of creditors, which is usually held at the offices of the U.S. trustee. At this meeting of creditors, the trustee will usually ask you basic questions such as: what circumstances caused you to file bankruptcy, have you filed bankruptcy in the past, and if you have any other assets that the trustee is unaware of.
5. In a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, we will have the exclusive right to file a plan of reorganization during the first 120 days after filing and we will provide your creditors with a disclosure statement so that they can evaluate the plan. It is up to the court to approve (confirm) or disapprove of your plan of reorganization. Under the confirmed plan, you can reduce your debt by paying a portion of the debt that is owed and also discharging some of your debt. You can also terminate contracts or leases, recover assets, and change your business operations so that you can be more profitable. Under a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, you can consolidate, streamline, and come out of bankruptcy with a reduced debt load and a reorganized business.
6. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will be able to keep valuable assets such as a house, because you will be allowed to pay back your creditors over time (usually between 3-5 years). Maybe you have fallen behind on your payments, or you want to keep an asset, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, may be the type of bankruptcy for you. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is also available for those filers who make too much income and cannot qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. At the confirmation hearing, the court either approves or disapproves your repayment plan, depending on whether it meets the Bankruptcy Code’s requirements for confirmation. You must complete your plan payments to obtain a discharge of your debts. During the plan, you are protected from lawsuits, garnishments, collections, etc. In a Chapter 13, you may be able to eliminate more debts than a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Please feel free to contact us today so that we may discuss the options that are available to you.
Van and Associates Law Firm at 702-529-1011