From inception to conclusion, the average Chapter 7 bankruptcy will take about three months. During that time, the steps of a successful bankruptcy follow along much the same course for each person…
- Gather Preliminary Information
The first step to filing a successful bankruptcy is gathering all the necessary information. Only once everything is on the table can I start answering your questions and making sure that we’ll be able to see any of the potential pitfalls in your case.
- Gather Documentation & Start Strategizing
Our next step would be to get the documentation about your income and assets so we can verify that you qualify for a Chapter 7 filing and determine whether your assets can be protected.
- Completing Class Requirements & Making The Official Filing
Anyone pursuing bankruptcy must take the required online class. After that has been completed, we’ll perform a final review of your case and make the official bankruptcy filing.
- Prepare For The 341 Meeting
Once the bankruptcy case is filed, the next official step is the 341 Meeting of Creditors. This hearing happens about a month after filing, so we’ll spend the month beforehand preparing for the meeting, making sure we have all the documentation, and sending everything that is required over to the bankruptcy trustee.
- Attend The 341 Meeting
At the 341 Meeting, you’ll have a brief conversation with the bankruptcy trustee about the basics of your case. (This is where some of that preparation comes in.)
- Waiting For Discharge
After all of the previous steps have been completed, your case will stay open for 60 days to allow any of your creditors to make a claim. (During this time, you’ll usually complete your second online class.) Typically, the 60 days come and go without any interruption, your case is closed, and you get to move on with a fresh start.
In any bankruptcy case, you may need to file a motion or two after the 341 Meeting, or perhaps you’ll enter a Reaffirmation Agreement for a vehicle or mortgage that you want to keep and continue paying on. Aside from that, most of the work in a bankruptcy case is done before (and up until) the 341 Meeting – after that, you just have to sit back and wait for the case to close.
How To Get Back On Your Feet After Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for a minimum of seven and a maximum of 10 years. However, there are ways to get back on your feet after filing…
- Get A Secured Credit Card
I often suggest that my clients get a secured credit card to help reestablish credit. To do this, it’s best to look for something small that you’ll be able to manage to pay off every month.
- Leverage Your Reaffirmation Agreements
If you have a mortgage or car payment that you have signed a reaffirmation agreement on, that debt will go back on your credit report, helping to rebuild your credit.
- Pay Attention To Your Credit
It’s vital to meet with your attorney for an extensive review of your credit report about three months after filing your case. This way, you can ensure that it shows that your debt was discharged.
If something isn’t being reported correctly, if your report still shows you owe a debt that was discharged, it means that your creditors are not taking the proper steps and it’s hurting you.
In this situation, there are things we can do to make sure your creditors are taking the proper action. The biggest thing is to be vigilant and make sure that your creditors are being honest and doing what they’re supposed to do.
For more information on the Steps Towards Filing A Successful Bankruptcy, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek today by calling (407) 305-5599.