Depending on your assets and debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the easiest and fastest way of eliminating personal loans, credit card balances, certain tax debt. Payday advances, medical bills, and other dischargeable debt. As a Chicago bankruptcy attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing clients throughout northern Illinois in bankruptcy proceedings, you can count on my knowledge of bankruptcy to help guide you through the bankruptcy process. The information hereinafter provides a brief overview of the process involved in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which most cases complete in about four months or less.
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a fairly straightforward process, allowing you to eliminate your debts while still holding on to many of your possessions. Based on the rules and regulations listed in the U. S. Bankruptcy Code, the following outlines the steps involved:
- Mandatory Credit Counseling: You must complete mandatory credit counseling within six months before filing, which can be done online or by telephone. The course takes a little over an hour to complete the course to get your certificate for filing. The list of approved credit counseling agencies in Illinois, many of which offer low-cost services, can be found on the U.S. Department of Justice website.
- Filing of Petition and Forms: Included with your petition seeking a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, I will submit forms on your behalf verifying your income and expenses, your assets and debts, and any property you intend to keep.
- Secured Debts: If you have debts that are secured by property, such as cars or furnishings, you may have to choose between surrendering the property or keeping it and keep making your payments.
- Appointment of Trustee: Once your petition is filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, a Trustee will be assigned to review your case.
- Meeting of Creditors: Known as a 341 meeting, is where you and I have a meeting with the Trustee to verify your information. Your creditors may also appear and ask questions at the meeting. In most bankruptcy cases, creditors do not show up at the 341 meeting. It is a relatively straightforward process that often lasts less than 10 minutes.
- Financial Management Course: Before receiving a discharge of your debts, you are required to show proof that you have taken a financial management or debtor's education course. This can often be provided by the same agency at which you did your credit counseling. The bankruptcy course can be taken online or by phone, and it takes about 2 hours to complete the course via online or by telephone
- Confirmation: After the 341 meetings and completion of the Financial Management Course, the Bankruptcy Court will issue a Discharge Order eliminating your dischargeable debt.
Once you have completed the above steps, your debts will be discharged, and you will receive notification that your case has been closed. That marks the beginning of your new credit life. I will guide you in taking simple steps to improve your credit profile and score after your bankruptcy. You will be surprised when you start receiving credit card offers soon after your complete your bankruptcy.
Do I Know if I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
To find out if you may be eligible to have your debts eliminated, contact me by phone at 312-229-5500 or send an email to [email protected]. As an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney dedicated to helping people throughout Northern Illinois, including Chicago, Cook, Lake, Will, McHenry, DuPage, and Lake Counties, I will be happy to set up a free consultation with you to discuss your options.