I’M OVERWHELMED WITH DEBT AND NEED TO FILE BANKRUPTCY BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS
TAIEBLAW deals with consumer bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Let’s go over the process in this article.
Once any bankruptcy is filed there is an automatic stay. However, if you have had a case dismissed within the last year, there is only a 30 day stay and in Chapter 13 we always file a Motion to Extend the Stay for the remainder of the chapter 13 plan.
Before you file any bankruptcy, you must provide documents. If you not provide documentation, then a trustee may not conduct a creditors meeting. If a creditors meeting is not held then your case can be dismissed.
If you own real estate, you must provide us with a copy of the deed and a market analysis and balance due on the mortgage. If you own a vehicle, you must provide proof of auto insurance plus proof of homeowners insurance for your residence. You also need payoffs on the vehicles.
In addition, you must prove pay advices for the last 6 months prior to filing plus the current month’s pay advices plus proof of any other income you receive such as social security, pension, disability, etc., plus 90 days of bank statements and the last 2 years tax returns. Some trustees want more information so this is not an inclusive list.
Approximately 30 days after you file your bankruptcy petition, you must attend the 341(a) meeting or creditors meeting. Creditors rarely show up, but a trustee does a thorough questioning to see what property you own, whether you have any potential lawsuits, if you transferred any property within the last few years and whether you paid back any friends or relatives in the last year. The whole process should not take more than 10 minutes and you are always treated with courtesy, so nobody is attacking you so you should never be nervous or scared.
Sixty days after your Chapter 7 creditors meeting you will get a discharge as long as you have done your financial education course and no issues have come up.
In contrast, in Chapter 13 about 1 month after the creditor’s meeting is a confirmation hearing where the amount of the trustee payment is finalized, except where the claim is higher than you projected or there is a subsequent modification of your plan which can either increase of decrease your trustee payment since Chapter 13 can last for 60 months.
Once you completed your plan obligations and you have done your financial education course, then you are eligible for a Chapter 13 discharge.
Thus, the process for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is not involved but you must have proper documentation.
If you have any questions concerning this matter or any other matter contact TAIEBLAW at 856-235-4994 and schedule a FREE initial consultation.
Steven N. Taieb, Esq. has been a South Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney for over 33 years and is board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by The American Board of Certification which is accredited by The American Bar Association.