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Relief Is Around The Corner
The most important message we can convey at this moment, is that financial relief is available and it’s life-changing. You deserve to re-gain control over your financial life and bankruptcy is a powerful tool to do it very quickly.
This Chapter 7 bankruptcy overview is meant to help you realize how close you are to relief. Consumer Bankruptcy law is designed to relieve individuals of debt and allow them to obtain a fresh start. Chapter 7 is the most common form of Bankruptcy and what most clients file.
The entire process of receiving a discharge of debt in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy takes approximately four months from beginning to end. 99% of your role is complete prior to filing the case. That’s the part where we work with you to painlessly gather information we need to get your case filed. The four month timeline begins when the Bankruptcy petition is filed.
Upon filing, creditors are given notice of the filing, and at that time, all collection calls will stop immediately, by law. A week later, the Bankruptcy Court assigns a hearing date and a case Trustee. That hearing, known as a 341 meeting, is usually set for one month after the filing date. At the hearing, the Trustee will be three to review the petition and ask questions. This is a very brief meeting and it is held in more of an office setting and not held in a court setting– it’s painless we will be there with you.
After the hearing, it will take two months for the case to conclude and you are issued a discharge of debts. There is typically nothing for you to do during this time, but if anything comes up you can call your attorney to discuss. Let’s take a look at a few items specifically:
You have a choice as to whether to file by yourself or with your spouse. Your attorney will cover the differences between single and joint filing. You can file if you are separated as well– the laws allow for and are designed to show the true financial picture for the individual or individuals filing, and determine if you are eligible for relief.
Property and Debt
As part of determining if you are eligible, first, the court wants to understand what you own for property (real estate, cars, financial accounts, other personal property). Your attorney will complete a Chapter 7 bankruptcy overview with you including examining your financial picture. The amount of debt you have is almost always a non-factor. Instead, the court wants to know whether you want to keep your house, cars, and other property. They also need us to present a monthly ‘budget’ for your household.
While we do disclose the debt you owe, it is mainly for the purpose of putting your creditors on notice that a filing has occurred. Our integrated software portal automatically pulls in all of your debt– you don’t have to enter debt, account numbers, or balances.
The Whole Picture
When the entire financial picture is clear, the court will look for an attorney to show that you qualify for Chapter 7. This is not a ‘judgmental’ process. You will not be ridiculed for the choices you’ve made in past purchases, and are not asked whether you spent or managed money in a responsible manner. It’s more about disclosure– in exchange for sharing your financial picture, the federal bankruptcy law grants you relief from your debt in what’s known as a full Discharge of debt.
As part of this overall determination, there are exemption laws that draw a circle of protection around your assets. I mention this to be sure you understand that while it is possible to lose property during a bankruptcy it is extremely likely. Cars, homes, furniture, for example, are assets most individuals do not have to part with as part of a bankruptcy filing.
Together, we will look at your previous six months of income from all sources, not including Social Security. If your family’s income falls below the median income for your state, you pass the test and you are eligible for relief. That part is our job and our integrated bankruptcy software shows us your bankruptcy filing will be a success. At that time we file your petition, present the case to the court, and request relief.
Email me at [email protected] or call me today to discuss your options quickly and confidentially. 704.749.7747.
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