What to Expect After Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You will be Assigned a Bankruptcy Trustee. 

This trustee will be assigned to oversee your filing.  The bankruptcy trustee administers your estate, will examine your paperwork, financials, and petition, and will preside at the meeting of your creditors.

Personal documents and Financials will need to be sent to your Assigned Bankruptcy Trustee. 

Full disclosure is necessary when filing a bankruptcy.  The trustee will require copies of all your bank statements, paystubs, profit and loss statements, tax returns, loan statements, and title and deed documentation.  These documents will need to be provided to your trustee at least three weeks prior to your 341 Meeting.  If you are worried about the potential of losing an asset, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney before filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

An Automatic Stay goes into effect. 

This stay halts creditors from taking further action to collect against you, including but not limited to:

  • Beginning or continuing legal proceedings against you
  • Creating, perfecting or enforcing a lien against your property 
  • Contacting you by phone, mail or email
  • Foreclosing on your home
  • Repossessing or evicting you from your property
  • Garnishing your wages
  • Levying your bank accounts

The 341 Meeting is scheduled. 

The 341 Meeting is also known as the meeting of your creditors.  This trustee will get to ask you questions about your property, financial circumstances, and bankruptcy paperwork.  It is generally the only time you have a meeting and your attorney will be present with you.  Creditors have a right to attend the meeting but generally do not.  The trustee is not a judge and generally, the meeting will take place in a general room and not a courtroom.

You might Receive Reaffirmation Agreements. 

It is possible if you own a home, car or boat that those creditors will reach out to you asking you to reaffirm the debt, so that it will not be discharged during the bankruptcy process.  A creditor cannot compel you to enter into a reaffirmation agreement, but depending upon the creditor, it could be a requirement of keeping your car.  It’s always important to speak to an experienced professional when it comes to reaffirmation agreements, as just because a creditor sends you one, doesn’t mean you should execute it.  

You Take a Personal Financial Management Course. 

You will be required to complete a personal financial management course before you receive your discharge.  This course can be taken online or via telephone.  This course is in addition to a credit counseling course you took before filing your petition.

You Receive your Discharge. 

Finally, you will receive your discharge.  Your discharge gives you a fresh start and removes the legal obligation for you to repay any of your discharged debt.

Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney:

If you are considering a bankruptcy filing, it’s important that you speak with someone who has knowledge about the field.  Bankruptcy is incredibly procedural, and you do not want your filing dismissed or worse, loss of an important asset for a technicality.  Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC have been practicing in this field for decades.  Please give us a call to schedule a free consultation, 914.472.6202.  

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