If you are unable to pay the outstanding debts, the option of “bankruptcy” comes into place. However, before making the decision, make sure you have scheduled an initial consultation with an experienced and skilled bankruptcy attorney. An experienced attorney will not only help you in understanding your rights but will also understand your financial situation and explain you the feasibility of option of bankruptcy according to your financial situation and explain the Bankruptcy Process.
However, for the attorney to suggest the best option for the clients, they need to be equipped with all the detailed and accurate information about them. The client needs to have the following documents with them for the initial meeting with the attorney.
Tax returns for the previous two years
Closure and shut-offs notices
Recent bills that the client has received from the creditors
All the papers including collections letters that the client has received from the court
All the pay stubs for the last 2 quarters or so.
Client’s social security card and driver’s license.
The period of resolving of the case and discharge of the debts depend on the chapter of bankruptcy the client has filed for. If its chapter 13, it will take about 3 to 5 years for the debts to be charged. However, for chapter 7 will take a lot lesser time, around 4 to 6 months.
A basic bankruptcy timeline is presented below. However, the said information may vary as per each state or district.
Bankruptcy Process – Before Filing
A pre-filing credit counseling session is mandatory to be completed by the client with an approved agency before the filing of bankruptcy. The credit counseling session is to be done at least 180 days before the filing procedure.
As the regulation concerning with filing vary from state to state, it must be noted that some states, in order for filing the partition, it may be required for the debtor to be the resident of that particular state for a minimum number of days.
Bankruptcy Process – After Filing
The client is required to file some particular information related to their case of bankruptcy regarding their assets, liabilities, income, and expense within the time frame of 15 days after filing the petition for bankruptcy. The Chapter 13 case requires the client to provide the court with the repayment schedule as well. After the competition of 30 days (as per chapter 13 case) the client is required to make the first payment as per the schedule, which is presented by them, to the bankruptcy trustee.
As per chapter 7 case, the client, for the purpose of retaining a property, needs to file a document stating the debts they would reaffirm, with the court.
A meeting of creditors will be held by the court after 45 days of the filing of the bankruptcy case. The client will be required to testify for the information they have provided to the court.
The court requires the client to complete a two-hour bankruptcy education course before they can discharge their debts in bankruptcy. The course should be completed from an approved agency. The attorney can guide the client regarding the time of the course.
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See the infographic below.