Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a great option for individuals facing overwhelming credit card debt, medical bills, costly and time-consuming litigation matters, and those who personally guaranteed a failed business’s debts.
What Should I Do If I Am Considering Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
First, you should gather all of your financial documents to ensure that my office can properly advise you from the first day. Some of the most important documents for a bankruptcy consultation include:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Litigation documents such as foreclosure, garnishment
Next, you should call or email my office to make an appointment for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will meet as soon as possible to discuss your options. There are special appointments available for those facing immediate problems such as garnished bank accounts, repossession of vehicles, or foreclosure sale.
It’s important to discuss your current income and state of affairs with this office early so that we can perform an analysis under the “means test”. Believe it or not, you could actually be drowning in debt but make too much money to be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. So it’s essential to discuss these matters early on in the process to be sure this office finds the most suitable option for you.
To have a productive meeting you should start thinking about what you want to happen with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example:
- Do you want to keep your home?
- Do you want to keep your car?
- If you are married, do you and your spouse both want to file?
Our Next Steps
After our meeting, and after we determine that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best option for you, we will begin the process of putting together your bankruptcy filing. Our office utilizes the latest software technology to ensure that your bankruptcy filing will be as easy as possible.
Our office is there to assist you every step of the way. During this uncertain time for you, the goal is to be your steadying force to handle this often complex process to let you focus on the more important things in life.
Under recently enacted rules, you are required to take a pre-filing educational budget and credit counseling course offered by an approved firm. There are many firms in our area that specialize in this type of counseling which can typically be conducted over the telephone or via the internet, making the process as painless and simple as possible. Our office will guide you through this process.
After filing, our office will be sure to keep you well informed of the status of your case. In particular, our office will prepare you for your meeting of creditors referred to as a “341 Meeting”. As part of our duties, we will discuss the anticipated procedure and line of questioning to be sure that you feel comfortable and confident at your meeting. More importantly, we will ensure that your case trustee has all required documents both before and during your meeting of creditors.
The role of the trustee in your Chapter 7 case is to ensure that you have followed the rules, and that you are truthful in your case filings.