What Should I Expect When I File for Bankruptcy?
Provide Your Financial Information
Once speaking with one of our lawyers through the phone or email, we set up an appointment with you to visit our office. Upon arrival, our lawyers will give you an intake form for you to fill out some information about yourself so we can learn a little more about you. If you’re not able to answer everything, don’t worry. This is used to have more time to spend talking about items that really concern you and your situation.
Together We Will Review Your Financial Information
After going through the intake worksheet you filled out, we will use the document to create a bankruptcy petition. This bankruptcy petition will compile all of your assets, your income, and every person you owe money to. Our paralegal will then take this information and begin composing your petition. We will also provide a checklist of items we will need, such as any creditors who may not be present on the judgement search or credit report. However, we will not need all of you credit card information. We simply need you to identify any persons who are not on the credit report, which can include loans from private individuals and medical bills. In addition, we will need some bank statements and your tax returns. If you are own any estate, we will require some sort of valuation. Usually a realtor’s market analysis will suffice.
Remember, all of these documents we will work on together. You will not need to be overly concerned. The more time you speak with our lawyers and work through any questions you may have, you will feel more at ease.
We will Compose Your Bankruptcy Petition
Subsequent to our first meeting, our paralegals will get to work. Depending on the type of bankruptcy we decided on, one or more paralegal will be assigned to guide you through this process. She or he will gather some information from you and begin composing your bankruptcy petition. Once completed, you will meet up with our lawyers again and look over the petition together. If there are no concerns, the petition will be swiftly filed.
We will File Your Bankruptcy Petition
Depending on the chapter, you case process will be as follows.
If your case is a Chapter 7 case, roughly 30 days after filing, you and our lawyers will head to Camden, Trenton, or Newark, and meet a Chapter 7 trustee. This trustee will ask some very standard and basic questions, questions you won’t need to prepare for. These questions will be if you listed every person you owe money to, if you have any winning lottery tickets, and if you disclosed all of the items you owe. Please note that your creditors can show up at the meeting. However, don’t be overly concerned about it. Creditors rarely show up, and if they do, we will know ahead of time.
After the meeting, you will show the Chapter 7 trustee evidence of your social security number, typically with a photo ID and social security card, just to make sure it is really you. At the end of the meeting, the case typically closes 60 days thereafter and you will receive a discharge in the mall. Any debt you owed prior to the filing, you will no longer owe, with certain exceptions our lawyers will discuss with you.
If your case is a Chapter 13 case, the process is slightly different. In 30 days’ time we will also meet the trustee, who will ask several questions, such as your plan going forward after bankruptcy. However, keep in mind that Chapter 13 is a reorganization of debt. You are not just walking away. This can be a result of tax debt you need to pay bank over time, getting caught on past-due mortgage payments, or various other reasons.
After this meeting, you are pretty much set. Even so, our lawyers will still be working on your case. We will be involved with the courts for years to come. You will also be involved to only provide certain information, but you will never have to go to another meeting.
At Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens, and Cammarota, LLP, we handle all forms of bankruptcy cases with ease and experience. To start this process, join our lawyers for a free consultation today.