In this article we will explain what to expect after you’ve filed for bankruptcy with our firm*.
We will also explain what steps you’ll have to take next and how to ensure you’ll stay on the right path when you’ve filed for bankruptcy throughout the entire bankruptcy filing.
1.) You’ll be assigned a Case Manager: Once you’ve came into one of our offices in Peoria or Scottsdale, Arizona, you’ve filled out the necessary paperwork and spoken to an attorney about your specific bankruptcy case, you will be assigned a Case Manager. This Case Manager is the person that can answer questions about your bankruptcy case. They do not answer legal questions, but know much about the paperwork that is needed from you and what paperwork we will need to have records of for case. Although an attorney is able to help you with any specific legal questions you may have, the Case Manager is typically on the front lines to call after you’ve filed for bankruptcy with our firm.
2.) You’ll be assigned a Bankruptcy Trustee: After your case has been filed through the courts by our law firm, you will be assigned to a Bankruptcy Trustee, who is appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Your Bankruptcy Trustee will supervise your bankruptcy. He or she works for you, for the benefit of the creditor and other parties in your case. There are different types of trustees specific to your case, which means there are Chapter 7 Trustees, Chapter 11 Trustees and Chapter 13 Trustees. Your attorney or Case Manager from our firm will inform you who your Bankruptcy Trustee is once your case has been filed.
Please note: If you have legal questions or need legal advice feel free to ask your attorney because your Bankruptcy Trustee will not answer them for you.
3.) Credit Counseling: Now that you’ve began the steps and filed for bankruptcy, you’ll need to go through a few credit counseling classes. Typically you or you and your spouse will go through one of these classes prior to moving onto #4 and right before your bankruptcy case is complete.
4.) A Bankruptcy Hearing: You will also be given a hearing like appointment before the Trustee called “341 Meeting of Creditors”. Even though it’s called a “Meeting of Creditors”, most of the time the creditors do not physically appear. However, this may not be the case for you. Each case is different, but we’ve found that most creditors do not appear. The meeting of creditors will occur approximately 45 days after you’ve filed for bankruptcy.
Before the meeting you will receive a letter from your trustee, this letter is called the “Trustee Questionnaire”. With this form your Trustee will request additional information from you, which will need to be provided prior to the meeting of creditors date. The Trustee Questionnaire is mailed directly to you, therefore, it is important for you to review your mail correspondence carefully for the next following weeks. Failure to provide these documents could potentially cause your meeting of creditors to be rescheduled or worse yet, your case dismissed (AKA rejected).
5.) Pre-Discharge Counseling: This is one of the last steps that you will need to take. The Pre-Discharge Counseling is mandatory along with the Credit Counseling that we mentioned above in #3. Both of these counseling classes are required by federal law prior to any discharges to your bankruptcy, whether it is Chapter 7, 11 or Chapter 13.
6.1) For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: For Chapter 7 cases, after you’ve attend the meeting of creditors you will need to wait a period of 90-100 days for the creditor to file any objections to your case. As mentioned above, during this time you will have to had complete the required counseling courses. If there are no objections and the counseling has been completed and filed with the Court, then you will receive the final approval, Discharge of Debtors.
6.2) For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: For Chapter 13 cases, in about 90-100 days your will receive a form called “Trustee Evaluation or Recommendations”. This form is intended to unnerve you in order for you to act fast and resolve the issues in your case to get the matter confirmed. Once confirmed and as long as you have completed all your Plan payments and counseling classes. You will receive the Discharge of debtors. For more details on what occurs after the last plan payment is made, refer to our FAQ titled “What happens after I complete my last Plan Payment? Every case is different, therefore, refer to your confirmation order to know what is required from you to successfully receive your discharge.
Each case may be different, but the idea of what to do next after you’ve filed for bankruptcy is pretty straight forward. Our attorneys and case managers do their due diligence to ensure you know all of this prior to walking out our door. If there is something you forgot or you need some clarification than we are ready to take your call.
Throughout the process of when you filed for bankruptcy with our firm, to continue forward with your bankruptcy whether it’s Chapter 7, 11 or Chapter 13 we will need to ensure you’ve either paid all of your fees or are making payments to these fees based on the payment schedule your attorney and you have agreed upon. If you have missed a payment, cannot make a payment specific to your payment schedule please notify us as soon as you can. The process of filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult one, but since we have flexible payment plans for you, don’t let missed payments get in the way of completing or discharging your bankruptcy.
If you or someone you know is considering bankruptcy or how do you file for bankruptcy schedule your FREE consultation today and let us help you determine what is best for your financial future. Our Peoria and Scottsdale, Arizona office hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM and you can always call us (602) 262-4357.
*Because each bankruptcy case can be different this list may not pertain to you. The information provided is what may normally happen whenever a client of ours filed for bankruptcy with our firm.
For more bankruptcy information or what to do after you’ve filed for bankruptcy, visit our bankruptcy blog!