If bankruptcy is something you are seriously considering, it is a good idea to find out the timeline for it before you file. By understanding the timeline, you will have a better idea as to what to expect during your case, and you might even be able to find ways to speed it up. Here are the basic steps in the timeline for filing Chapter 7.
Meet with a lawyer
The first step in the process will involve meeting with a lawyer to discuss your situation. This is a basic consultation appointment that allows you to gather information and get answers to your questions. After leaving the appointment, you will have to decide if you want to look for a different way to get out of debt or use bankruptcy to help you out of your debt problems.
Work through your payment plan
If you decide to use Chapter 7, you will have to pay the legal fees and court filing fees before your lawyer will file the paperwork, as this is a requirement by law. Most lawyers accept payment plans, though, and you can work this out with your lawyer if you want to file.
Take your credit counseling class
During the time when you are working out the payment plan, you should take your first credit counseling class, as this is required to take before you file. Your lawyer will give you information on how to take this class, and you will need to print out the certificate you receive at the end of the class to give to your lawyer to serve as proof that you took the course.
Complete the paperwork and file
When you complete the first course and pay your entire bill, you can finish working on the paperwork with your lawyer and file the documents. This is what initiates your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Complete the second credit counseling class
Once you file for bankruptcy, the next step is to take the second credit counseling class. This class is also required, but you cannot take it until after you file your bankruptcy documents.
Attend the 341 meeting
Within a couple weeks of filing your bankruptcy documents, you will attend a meeting called the 341 meeting of the creditors. This is often the only court appearance a person must make in a Chapter 7 case, and it is important as it allows the trustee to ask you questions and verify your information.
Receive a discharge
After a few months pass, you should receive a discharge of your case. The discharge completes your bankruptcy case, and it usually takes up to six months for this date to occur from the date in which you filed.
On average, it may take around three to four months from start to finish; however, it can take much longer than this in some cases. If you have questions or want to begin the process, contact legal services like McFarland & Masters LLC today.
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