After all of the required information has been collected, the petition papers completed and the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition has been filed, a meeting with the assigned Trustee will occur. This is called the 341 meeting of creditors and will generally happen about 5 weeks after the petition is filed. It is called a meeting of creditors because the creditors can attend and ask questions. In fact, creditors hardly ever show up for the 341 meeting. The purpose of this meeting is for the Trustee to inquire of the debtor,
I often tell my clients that they will never meet the Bankruptcy Judge unless they do something very wrong. Generally, the Court will only be involved, directly, in more complicated matters than are likely to occur in Chapter 7 cases. Exceptions could include, refusing to answer questions or provide requested information to a Trustee; debtor (person filing) not appearing at 341 meeting; discovery of fraud by the debtor; motion to redeem collateral in a secured debt; or a motion to rescind discharge. In a Chapter 13, there are a lot
Often clients have struggled to pay their debts for a year or more before finally filing for bankruptcy protection. The stigma of bankruptcy and the hope of getting their finances straight just around the corner keep them from filing. But there is a cost to the waiting and it can be very expensive. Some of the actions taken that can end up being expensive are:
Taking money from retirement accounts, that would have been protected in a bankruptcy, to pay unsecured debts, that would have been discharged;
Borrowing money on credit card
11 USC 362 provides debtors (people filing a new bankruptcy) an automatic and immediate stay from any creditor trying to collect a debt once the bankruptcy case is filed. However, it is important to notify any creditors who are a party to a Court collection matter as soon as the bankruptcy is filed. I do that by faxing the creditor’s attorney notification including the filing receipt from the bankruptcy case. The creditor/attorney is responsible for doing whatever is necessary to stop collections.
Once the creditor has been made aware of the
Once you have decided that you need to file for bankruptcy protection, you need to decide how you are going to do this. The bankruptcy law allows you to prepare and file the petition on your own, use a petition preparer or hire an attorney. There are important considerations in deciding which to use. The preparation of the petition papers is extremely important and good advice throughout the process is necessary in order to have a successful bankruptcy.
You know better than anyone else whether you would be able to prepare