Chapter 7 Bankruptcy What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy has a few distinct advantages, particularly if the level of income you receive no longer matches the expenses you're obligated to pay.
Sometimes known as the debt liquidation bankruptcy, this filing allows you to hold on to your personal assets as you gain control over your unsecured debt like credit card bills.
Imagine being able to stop a foreclosure, harassing phone calls, and manage financial obligations with ease. By filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this can become a reality for you in Missouri.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is considered by most people to be the most basic form of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of your non-exempt assets, where the bankruptcy discharge clears you of many (and sometimes all) of your unsecured debts (such as credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, certain personal loans, utility bills, etc.). The term “liquidation” sounds terrible and it means that some of your property might be seized by the court and sold for the benefit of your creditors. In the vast majority of cases there is nothing to seize for the benefit of creditors and with careful planning by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney you can be prepared for what to expect and how to reduce your potential losses.
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – The Process
Often you will speak to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney before ever coming in. We try to answer many basic questions over the phone to give you an idea on what to expect. During the actual consultation We will go over all your options and explain what we are looking for when we analyze a case.
1) Determine if you are qualified to file Chapter 7
You will need to provide pay stubs or income records. We will help you determine whether you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 and whether it is the right option for you. This usually involves a budget meeting and analysis of your assets.
2) Put your bills together
We will pull all three credit reports; however, we also want a detailed list of all of your debts. Bring your bills.
3) Complete necessary paperwork
There are three basic rules at this appointment: disclose, disclose, disclose. We will thoroughly explain the purpose of each form. We will ask you all the required questions and go over the petition, schedules, and all documents line by line.
4) File for Bankruptcy
We file the completed forms electronically using special bankruptcy software. We keep the original signed copies of all but one or two documents in the file (those get mailed into the bankruptcy clerk). The Bankruptcy Court will inform everyone you owe that you have filed for bankruptcy.
5) You attend a hearing.
You and us will attend a hearing where your bankruptcy trustee will confirm with you that your paperwork was completed and correct and you went over it. You are notified of this meeting by mail about 5 to 7 days after filing your case. The meeting is usually set about 30 days after filing the case. This should give you a three-week window to plan for the meeting. These are public hearings and normally you will be in a room with other people who have filed for bankruptcy and their attorneys. Your creditors can show and ask questions about your case, but they hardly ever appear.
6) Debtor Education Class
You have to take a class before you can get a discharge and we will provide you with information on different classes you could take. In Kansas City the Bankruptcy Trustee offers a free class at the courthouse.
Once the Court determines that you complied with applicable rules and completed the process, you will get an Order of Discharge. This usually happens within 5-6 months of the date of filing the case. Shortly after, your case will be closed.
Please contact a Kansas City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney for more information and a free, confidential consultation.
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