How a Routine Bankruptcy Proceeds
1. We file your petition along with 3 complete copies to the Court. The filing fee is $175.
2. We notify problem creditors of your filing. They must stop contacting you or making any effort to collect the debt.
3. The bankruptcy court appoints a trustee to examine your petition within a week or two after you file.
4. The court sets a date for the meeting of creditors, each creditor you list on your petition is notified of the meeting shortly after you file.
5. We attend the meeting of the creditors together. The meeting of the creditors ist he only court appearance you will probably make. The judge is almost never there, and creditors seldom attend. The trustee and any creditors who show up can ask you about the information you put in your papers. The meeting happens 20 to 40 days or longer after you file.
6. Shortly after the meeting of creditors, the trustee and I deal with any property that is non-exempt. Most chapter 7 cases are no-asset cases and none of the debtor's property must be surrendered.
7. We deal with secured property. You must either surrender property that secures a debt (surrender), promise to keep paying it (reaffirm), or buy the property in a lump sum from the creditor for fair market value (redeem). Your intentions are stated on the Statement of Intention that you filed. You must carry out the intention within 45 days of filing the statement of intention (usually with your petition).
8. The court grants your discharge. The court may schedule a brief final court appearance called a discharge hearing. It does not require perparation on our part. If there is no discharge hearing, we will be mailed a notice of your discharge. A discharge happens 3 to 6 months after you file.
9. Congratulations, your case is closed! The Trustee distributes any non-exempt property to creditors, if any, a few days after the discharge.
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