Should You Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer – The Facts


The Facts before you Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer


Having a significant amount of debt can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Credit card bills and loans can add up quickly. You may have lost our job, suffered a medical issue, or just not had enough income to cover the bills. Whatever the reason, you need to know your options to get you out of debt.

One option to consider when you cannot pay the bills is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is fairly uncomplicated, and you can get rid of your debt quickly. There are certain procedures you need to take, so that your case can proceed. The following information will tell you what to do and how to deal with any problems that might arise.

Problems that Could Occur

  • The appointed trustee find mistakes in your papers
    • A creditor wants the court to remove the automatic stay
    • A creditor opposes the discharge of a certain debt
    • One of the parties disagrees to your claim that the property is exempt
    • After your case has been closed, you need to reopen it
    • Your case is dismissed, and you want to refile it and keep it in the security of the automatic stayA few of these complications your simple, and you can handle them yourself. However, going against a creditor in court and some other problems can be difficult, so you need an experienced attorney’s help.Bankruptcy Timeline

A routine Chapter 7 bankruptcy case typically takes three to six months to complete from start to finish. There are a few steps that will be followed.

Bankruptcy Filing
After you file for bankruptcy, an official notice will be sent to you and all of your creditors. The notice will include:

  • Case number and date of filing
    • If it is an asset or no-asset case
    • 341 hearing date- normally several weeks later, and you are required to attendChapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

After you have filed for bankruptcy and a notice has been sent out, a court will appoint a trustee who will look over the paperwork and seize any non-exempt property. You are required to turn over your last tax return.

You will attend a 341 hearing, which is a meeting of your creditors. In most cases, creditors do not even attend. You then might be required to take a means test. If your income is too high, you will be required to switch to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

If anyone involved does not agree with the exemption, they must object formally in court. If you want to keep your property, redeem the debt. You will be required to undertake personal financial management and counseling.

A reaffirmation hearing will be held, and the judge will look over your decision. A discharge debt will be mailed to your creditors. The trustee will disperse any property collected, and your case will be closed.

Trustee Contact
Your file will contain the name, address, and telephone number of the trustee on your case. You can get the email address as well.

Cease Collections
After your filing notice has been mailed, creditors cannot take any action to collect your debts. This could take a couple of weeks. If the creditor violates this order, they could be held in contempt of court.

Meeting of Creditors
A 341 Hearing you will give information to the trustee and correct any mistakes on your paperwork. You might be required to submit more documents.

If you Cannot Attend the 341 Hearing
If you have a serious medical problem or other emergency, you might not be able to attend the hearing. If this happens, arrangements can be made for someone else to step in for you. This hearing is usually very short.

Getting Ready for the 341 Hearing
Prior to the hearing, call the trustee. Ask what documents you need to bring to the meeting. Some of the documents include:

  • Proof of income
    • Bank statements that include all deposits and investments
    • The latest tax returns
    • Proof of monthly expenses
    • A photo IDHow a 341 Hearing Works

The meeting is very easy. You go to the designated time and place of your meeting. You will not be the only one there. Your name will be called, and you will go to the front of the room. You will be sworn in, and they will ask for your identification. The trustee will ask you if everything in your papers is accurate. You should have already reviewed the papers to make sure everything is correct.

Do not hesitate, and appear very confident. After the trustee has finished asking questions, your creditors will be given an opportunity to question you. In most cases, creditors do not show up. The hearing will then come to a conclusion.

Nonexempt Property
Nonexempt property is required to be sold to pay off your creditors after the hearing. If you want to keep the property, you can find the money to pay the debt.

Secured Property
After the date of your 341 hearing, you will have 30 or 45 days to deal with your secured property. Do not miss a deadline, or the collateral can be repossessed. It is recommended that you handle secured property as soon as possible.
Take an Approve Debtor Education Course
After you file for bankruptcy, you are required to take a course on financial management. Credit counseling agencies normally offer this course, known as debtor education. You must take this course in person or online. You will need to file a certificate saying you completed the course.

Reaffirmation Hearing
At the reaffirmation hearing, the judge will decide if making payments under the agreement would impose a financial hardship on you.

Discharge Order
You will be sent a discharge order within 60 to 75 days after your hearing. IT states that your debts are discharged. Make copies of this and keep it in a secured place.

Why you need a Bankruptcy Lawyer
The bankruptcy process is almost impossible to handle without an attorney. The bankruptcy laws are very complex and complicated, so a lawyer can help you understand how it works. He can walk you through every step of the way, and he can help relieve some of the stress you are feeling. He will help you complete the necessary paperwork, and he will make sure that you are not bothered by your creditors.

Benefits of Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer
It is wise to hire a bankruptcy lawyer if you are filing for bankruptcy. Some of the benefits of hiring an attorney include:

  • Familiar with bankruptcy laws
    • Will communicate with the creditors
    • Will help you avoid mistakes
    • Will help stop debt collection practices
    • He can help keep you calmDebt does not have to control your life. Research your options and take action. You can then regain control of your finances and enjoy a comfortable life with your family.

Contact us today to see how we can help. It’s free to call and your first meeting with us is also free…

Also read the next section about how to hire a great bankruptcy attorney. Forewarned is forearmed!

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