Chapter 5When should I file bankruptcy?
Chapter 6What do I lose if I file bankruptcy?
Chapter 8What can bankruptcy do for you?
Chapter 9What Does Bankruptcy Cost?
Chapter 18What About My Car in Bankruptcy?
Chapter 19What Happens to My House in Bankruptcy?
Chapter 20When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?
Chapter 23When do I stop paying my creditors?
Chapter 24Gas, cable, electric and phone bill
Chapter 26What Bankruptcy won't solve
Chapter 27Chapter 13 Debt repayment Plans
Chapter 28Will I be able to get credit again?
Chapter 29Bill Consolidation Loans
Chapter 30Bill Consolidation Scams
Chapter 31Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies
Chapter 32Student Loans
Chapter 33Can I get rid of Taxes
Chapter 34NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets
Chapter 35Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares
Chapter 36Business Bankruptcy
Chapter 37Professional Persons
Chapter 38Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?
First, go to www.kwalifyme.com and take our five-minute screener. Need help finding your debts? Go to www.infotapes.com and get a free credit report. Fill in the debt list, starting with the largest, and listing everything down to the smallest. Do not list current expenses. Then, make an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney, for advice. Do not get anything other than general advice over the telephone. If your car needs a muffler, you a least let the mechanic look at it. Professionals work the same way.
If you are married, your spouse may be liable on any of your bills, and you should come in together.
Please leave small children with relatives if possible. Bring all your contracts, payment books and paperwork. Make a list of your creditors, starting with the largest, and include the name, address, zip code and total balance for each. If the debt is with a collection agency, list the debt: First Bank c/o North Side Collections, at the address of the collection agency.
Write the name and address of each creditor before you come in. We can send you a form for this purpose.
If you bring in your bills a good list of your debts and assets, together with all the supporting paperwork and bills, we can give you advice!
Under Chapter 7, you submit a list of your debts, and a list of your assets. I only file Chapter 7 cases where your assets are exempt from creditors, and you will keep them. After your attorney files this list, or petition, the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court sends notice that you will appear at a “meeting of creditors” to testify about your petition. That meeting is short, your attorney goes with you, and any creditors that want to ask you questions relating to your debt can do so. Typical questions are: “Do you have a car?” “What happened to the merchandise you bought?” and “How much is your house worth?" These are questions you have already answered in your petition, so the “meeting of creditors” is often very short and painless.
Next, under Chapter 7, the creditors have 60 days to object to your discharge in bankruptcy. Your attorney will work on any deals, or “reaffirmations”, which creditors who financed your house or car or other things will want. Then the Bankruptcy Judge will issue a notice of a hearing on these “reaffirmations”, at which time you will appear to state that you want to make these deals, and then, the Court will issue a “Discharge”, which states that all dischargeable debts are gone. Of course, debts exempt from discharge will remain, such as certain taxes and student loans.
Under Chapter 13, you file a similar list of assets and debts, but at the first meeting of creditors, the purpose is to examine your proposed repayment plan. After that, the Bankruptcy Judge holds a hearing to approve or “confirm” your plan. Then, you simply make the payments until the plan is complete, and then the Court issues a discharge.
So, while there is a lot of work in figuring out what to do, preparing your petition, and dealing with your creditors, your attorney does almost all of it. All you have to do is show up where you are supposed to, and, for Chapter 13 cases, make your payments in full and on time.
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