What to Expect When You File Bankruptcy
If you’re looking to get out of debt, you may be wondering what happens when you file for bankruptcy.
Fortunately, it’s actually a very simple process–especially considering how powerful it is and how much it can change your life.
The Process of Filing Bankruptcy
The first step if you’d like to file bankruptcy is to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer. They get certain information from you and help you determine whether you need Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. If you qualify and like the lawyer, you may sign with them. This officially begins the bankruptcy process.
After you sign with a bankruptcy lawyer, they will put together a petition for bankruptcy and file it for you. That petition stops debt collectors, so you want a lawyer who will file quickly for you. At this stage, you really need to be their priority.
Once the court receives the petition, they notify all the creditors. In bankruptcy, this is a “stay.” The court issues a stay saying not to come after you for your debts.
From that moment on, if any creditor takes any action against you, you can go to your lawyer for immediate help. (Unlike some firms, we handle this at no extra charge). For example, once the court issues the stay, you shouldn’t lose a single penny more to wage garnishment. Your lawyer should help you make sure that never happens, even if it means talking with your employer.
Do You Have to Go to Court?
Usually within a few weeks after filing, you have a court hearing in front of a trustee. The trustee is designed to be a neutral person there to protect everyone’s rights.
You attend this meeting with your lawyer. It doesn’t need to be scary: you just answer some simple questions as they come up. A good lawyer will guide you through it and make it easy on you. The main point is to get everyone (creditors, trustee, and yourself) on the same page.
In the case of a Chapter 13, there may be a little negotiation between your lawyer and creditors after the hearing. And there’s a confirmation hearing, which you don’t have to attend. This hearing gives final approval over your case.
After that, your case is essentially done. For Chapter 7, your debts should be fully discharged within a few months. For Chapter 13, that’s a few years (while you complete an affordable payment plan set up uniquely for you).
Life After Bankruptcy
In this stage, you may have a lot of questions. Can you get a new car? Move to a new apartment? Do you have to tell your employer about your bankruptcy?
We get questions like these all the time from our clients. So we compiled all of our best information into a free report called Life After Bankruptcy.
This popular report guides you through the process of rebuilding after a bankruptcy. It answers our most frequently asked questions and helps you know exactly what to expect. You can download it free today using this link.
Here for Your Questions
When you’re facing debt you can’t pay, you have enough to worry about already. We help make the process easy on you, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
If you have any other questions about what happens when you file for bankruptcy, you’ve come to the right place. The conversation is totally free. Just call me today at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form below.