Coming to the realization that you may need to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can make some people feel very embarrassed and alone. However, there is no need to be embarrassed…and you are certainly not alone. Over 15,000 people filed for Bankruptcy in San Diego last year.
What is Chapter 7?
Chapter 7 refers to the Chapter in the Bankruptcy Code where a qualified debtor can obtain a discharge, which permanently bars creditors from taking legal action to collect unsecured debts, such as credit card debt, pay day loans, medical bills, and past due utility bills. Many people mistakenly believe that filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will lead to a complete liquidation or sale of their assets. This is a huge misconception. In almost all Chapter 7 cases filed by my office, you get to keep all of your property and start over with a clean slate.
How Does The Process Work?
The process for filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is rather straightforward. You will fill out a bankruptcy questionnaire which provides information on all of your assets, your budget information and transaction that you have been involved in over the last four years. You will provide me the necessary documents such as tax returns, vehicle registrations, paystubs, proof of insurance etc. I will run a credit report to pull a list of all reported debts, but it will be important to search for any other missing debts, such as medical bills and pay day loans.
Once we have the required information, my office will begin preparing your Bankruptcy Petition and all necessary Forms and Schedules. You will need to complete two credit counseling classes, one before you file and one after you file. You can do them online, they take about an hour and are incredibly easy. I will then meet with you in person to sign and date the documents. This is a requirement under the federal laws. All fees for your case must be paid prior to filing, including the filing fee of $306 and your legal fees.
What Happens Once The Case is filed?
The day that your case is filed, the automatic stay is invoked. The automatic stay stops dead in their tracks all phone calls, letters, harassment, wage garnishments and bank levies, in other words your life gets back to normal almost immediately. You will attend one hearing called a 341a Meeting of Creditors about thirty to forty days after you file your case. You will be in a hearing room with ten or eleven other people who have also filed a Chapter 7. You will be asked some straight forward questions, all of which I will prepare you for in advance so that you will not have any surprises at the hearing. You will be in front of the Trustee for maybe five minutes and then you are done. Approximately 90 to 120 days later you will receive your discharge in the mail from the court.
What Happens When I Get Discharged?
Once you are discharged you can begin the process of rebuilding your credit which I can help you with. A lot of people do nothing and become bankruptcy victims. Yes, the Bankruptcy CAN stay on your credit for ten years but if you follow my instructions, you can have good credit within two years and buy a home, get car loans or acquire unsecured credit at decent interest rates and be treated with dignity and respect by all lenders.
So do not delay in regaining your financial independence. If you think it is time to file chapter 7, then give me a call today for your free consultation and get your life back.