What does the bankruptcy process look like? What should I expect?
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of bankruptcy? Don’t! Here’s an easy description of most bankruptcy proceedings and what they’ll look like with us. We can walk you through everything, but there are really just five key steps in the bankruptcy process.
Free Attorney Consultation
Set up your free consultation and you’ll meet with Kevin Rank here at our offices, or if needed, on the phone. Kevin will personally go over your case and help you make decisions about what kind of bankruptcy to file and give you information about the process and how long it will take. This is your chance to bring all your questions, we want you to leave this appointment feeling empowered to take control of your future.
Paperwork & Fees Appointment
We like to call this the homework appointment. After getting a clear picture of the necessary steps at your free consultation, this is where we really move forward. You will need to gather all the necessary information and paperwork for this appointment so that we can organize your bankruptcy filing.
Now it’s time to actually sign the bankruptcy paperwork. Don’t worry, on this appointment we do all the homework. We’ll go over everything and make sure you feel comfortable and confident before you sign. Once again, bring any questions or concerns you have to the table, we are here to answer them.
While debtors in bankruptcy rarely have to appear before a judge, you will need to complete a hearing known as the ‘Meeting of the Creditors’. This is a meeting where you and Kevin will meet with the bankruptcy trustee. Most hearings finish in approximately 10-15 minutes and should not be a difficult experience. While it is referred to as ‘Meeting of the Creditors’ it is rare that any creditors will attend the hearing. This is basically an opportunity for the bankruptcy trustee to meet you, confirm your identity and make certain the schedules and petitions were filed truthfully and accurately. In a Chapter 13 case the trustee will focus primarily on the provisions of the Chapter 13 plan.
This is the end of the process, and you get a new beginning. From here you can start rebuilding your life free of harassing phone calls from creditors or the overwhelming financial stress you have been suffering from. We’ll celebrate with you, because we’re thrilled you have your fresh start.
How long will the bankruptcy process take?
That in large part depends on what kind of bankruptcy you are filing. We typically help people with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings and the timeline for each is very different. A Chapter 7 filing usually takes 4-6 months from start to finish, while a Chapter 13 filing can take about 3-5 years. The good news is that as soon as you start the process you are not able to be garnished and all legal proceedings against you must stop. For more information about why these timelines vary so much, learn more about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy here and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy here.