Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans file for bankruptcy, with chapter 7 bankruptcy being the most common.
Do you think filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right thing for you? Are you concerned about the process and what will happen once you've filed?
If so, keep reading. Explained below are answers to your most pressing questions about what happens after filing chapter 7 bankruptcy.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a liquidation bankruptcy or straight bankruptcy. It's what most people think of when they think about filing for bankruptcy.
If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you'll sell many of your possessions in an effort to pay off your existing debts.
When you file, the court will appoint a trustee to oversee your case. The trustee will then take your assets, sell them, and distribute the money from the sales to your creditors.
What Happens After Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
You likely have a lot of questions about what happens once you file. Listed below are answers to some of the most common questions about what happens after filing chapter 7:
Your Documents will be Reviewed
Once your case has been filed, the clerk of court will begin reviewing your case to make sure you've filed all the necessary documents.
If anything is missing, the clerk will issue what's known as a notice of deficient filing. That notice will give you a deadline by which you need to submit the proper documentation so your case isn't dismissed.
You'll Receive a Bankruptcy Case Number
If your case is filed and no information is missing, you'll receive a bankruptcy case number. A trustee will also be assigned to your case, and all your creditors will receive notice of your bankruptcy petition.
A bankruptcy automatic stay will go into effect, too. This stops creditors from attempting to collect money from you. It also stops wage garnishments and foreclosure actions.
You'll Have to Attend a Financial Management Class
When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you'll have to take a financial management class. The class typically lasts about 1.5 hours and can take place in person, over the phone, or online.
It's important to complete this class before your meeting of creditors. This ensures you will receive a bankruptcy discharge.
A discharge essentially wipes out your debts and prevents creditors from trying to collect any debt against you personally.
You'll Attend a Meeting of Creditors
A meeting of creditors is typically held within 30-45 days of your case being filed. At this meeting, the trustee will ask questions about your petition and financial situation.
Creditors may show up to ask questions as well, but this is rare.
If you don't own very many personal assets, the meeting will usually only last about five minutes.
Your creditors and or trustee have a right to object to your bankruptcy filing or discharge. Most of the time, no objections will be filed and your discharge will be issued within approximately 90 days.
You'll Receive a Bankruptcy Discharge
If everything goes well during the meeting, you'll receive a bankruptcy discharge and your case can close.
Your credit reports will be updated within about thirty days to show that your debts have been closed out.
Do You Need Help Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
You now know what happens after filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, but that doesn't mean you don't need help navigating the process.
If you're looking for advice or guidance as you begin filing for bankruptcy, we can help at Bowie & Beresko APLC.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you begin taking control of your financial situation.
“We Are A Debt Relief Agency, We Help People File For Bankruptcy Relief Under The Bankruptcy Code.”