So you have retained our office for bankruptcy. What happens next?
When you retain with our office you will be given some information. Most importantly you will receive the homework package, a document checklist, and credit counseling information. The homework package needs to be filled out as completely as possible so that we are able to complete your bankruptcy paperwork that will be filed with the court. The documents on the checklist are required by the trustee and we need to provide them to the trustee before your hearing date. The credit counseling must be done at least one day before your case can be filed. The certificate is only good for 180 days (about 6 months) so we recommend you try to do it as close to before your signing appointment as possible. We don’t want to have you do the credit counseling, have something come up that delays a final payment or your signing appointment and then you have to do the credit counseling again.
The signing appointment is made with our office when: you are paid in full to file, we have your homework package, your credit counseling certificate, and we have most – if not all – of the applicable documents on the document checklist. At this appointment you will first review the paperwork to make sure you do not see any errors. You will then meet with the attorney and he will go over all of the documents with you, make any necessary changes, and have you sign them. You will receive a copy of everything you have signed at this appointment and these documents are what we will be filing in your case.
You signed the paperwork, you did the credit counseling, and you provided us with the document checklist documents.
Your case is filed!
Once we file your case the court generates a case number right away you can call us to get the case number for your records if you wish. A few days after filing, the court also generates a hearing date and sends us a hearing notice (they will also send you a copy of this). The hearing date is scheduled for generally 30 to 40 days after the date of filing. When we get that hearing date we will send you a letter letting you know when it is, what time to be there, where to go, any documents we still need from you, and what to take to court with you. If you are filing a chapter 13 your letter will also have information about your confirmation hearing date and time.
FOR CHAPTER 7’S BANKRUPTCY:
Once you have the hearing the court has to wait at least 3 months before issuing a discharge. They have to wait this time in all cases to make sure no creditors have objections or make sure there is nothing else that the trustee or court have issue with. Your discharge will be filed about 3-4 months after your hearing date. If it has been 4 months since your hearing and you do not have a Notice of Discharge from the court or a card from our office, call us and we will find out what is holding it up.
FOR CHAPTER 13’S BANKRUPTCY:
At least one month after your first hearing you have a confirmation hearing. During the time between hearings you are to be making payments as stated in your Plan. At the confirmation hearing the court will approve your Plan and your case will continue for 36 or 60 months as stated in the Plan. The attorney will have gone over all the parts of the plan with you before your case was filed.
For the life of your case you will be required to submit your tax returns to our office so that we can send them to the trustee. If your plan states, you may also be required to submit your tax refunds to the trustee to go towards your Plan payments.
Once your Plan is complete, the trustee will do an audit (which can take up to 6 months but they will have stopped taking out payments at this point) and begin closing the case. You will receive documentation about this. You will receive a Notice of Discharge once your case is discharged and you will receive a card from our office.
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