If you have several assets that you would like to keep and have a reliable source of income, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often the best option for you and your family. It may be helpful to know the steps you will be taking in the bankruptcy process to get financial relief.
Talking to an attorney will probably be the first step that you take. A bankruptcy attorney can help you through the entire process, ensuring you are filing the best chapter of bankruptcy for your needs. Your attorney will go over your financial affairs and help you fill out your forms.
You must complete an approved credit counseling course before you're allowed to file your bankruptcy paperwork with the court. You can take this course online, over the phone, or in person. You can find a list of approved counselors at www.usdoj.gov.
Filing With the Court
When you and your attorney file your official bankruptcy petition with a bankruptcy court, the legal portion of the bankruptcy will begin. You will have 15 days from the day you file to submit your payment plan and your financial details to the court. When the paperwork is filed, the automatic stay goes into effect, protecting you from collection attempts, including foreclosures, repossessions, and lawsuits.
The 341 ( Creditors) Meeting
After you file your petition with the court, you and your attorney will attend a 341 meeting approximately 30 to 45 days later. Your appointed trustee will ask you questions about your financial information and will review the payment plan that you submitted.
When the 341 meeting is complete, your Chapter 13 plan is sent to the bankruptcy judge for approval. At the confirmation hearing, the judge will make sure all court costs have been paid and determine if your plan complies with the law. The judge will also determine if the plan was made with a good faith effort to pay your creditors and will confirm that you're able to meet the requirements of the plan.
Within 30 days of filing your bankruptcy, you will start to make payments to the plan. Your trustee will distribute the payments to your creditors following your plan. This payment plan can be a three or five-year payment period.
Pre-Discharge Debtor Education Course
Before you can receive your discharge, you will have to complete a debtor education course. This course provides information on how to stay out of debt and establish better financial habits.
Once you have made all the required payments on your Chapter 13 plan, your bankruptcy will be complete. The court will discharge or eliminate any remaining eligible debts, and you are no longer legally required to pay that debt.
If you have questions about personal bankruptcies, contact a Roseville bankruptcy attorney.