What Should I Know About the Process?

  • Can I pay the attorney fees to you over time?
  • How often can I file bankruptcy?
  • How long will my bankruptcy last?
  • Who lets my creditors know I filed bankruptcy?
  • How do I deal with alimony or child support?
  • How do I deal with student loans?
  • How do I deal with taxes?
  • What is the Meeting of Creditors?
  • What will a bankruptcy Discharge do for me?

Q: Can I pay the attorney fees to you over time?

A: We understand it’s hard to make a large payment, especially when you are facing financial struggles.  We set up easy payment plan on terms that work for you.  The Bankruptcy Court, however, requires attorneys in a Chapter 7 to collect their fee before filing.  In a Chapter 13, part of the attorney fees may be paid before filing with the remainder paid through the Plan.

Q: How often can I file bankruptcy?

A: Chapter 7 bankruptcy:  The law allows for a debtor to obtain a discharge once in eight years, measured from the date of the filing of the first Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  If you received a Chapter 13 discharge, you must normally wait six years with certain exceptions.  As in any legal matter, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy:  After receiving a Chapter 7 discharge, you must wait four years to file a Chapter 13 for the purpose of receiving a Chapter 13 discharge.  After receiving a Chapter 13 discharge, you must wait two years to file a Chapter 13 for the purpose of receiving a discharge.  In some situations, it is beneficial to file a Chapter 13 before the times above have gone by, without the purpose of receiving a discharge.  Some people file a Chapter 13 to avoid foreclosure of your home or repossession of your automobile after having received a prior discharge in bankruptcy.

Q: How long will my bankruptcy last?

A: Chapter 7 bankruptcies typically last four to six months from beginning to end.  Chapter 13 bankruptcies range between three to five years.

Q: Who lets my creditors know I filed bankruptcy?

A: The Court’s clerk sends a Notice of Filing and Meeting of Creditors within a few days of filing.  This Notice notifies the creditors you filed and about the Meeting of Creditors.

Q: How do I deal with alimony or child support?

A: When you file, you must continue to pay alimony and child support, because they are not discharged or eliminated.  Amounts you owe for back child support and alimony should be included in your Chapter 13 Plan.  Make sure you notify your county and state child support agency that you filed.

Q: How do I deal with student loans?

A: It is hard to discharge student loans in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  After the Discharge, you will resume paying your loans or reach an acceptable arrangement with the creditor for a deferment.

Q: How do I deal with taxes?

A: Contrary to what most people believe, some taxes are dischargeable in bankruptcy.  For taxes that are not dischargeable, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the IRS and Comptroller will not take any action until your case is closed.  At that time, we can help you resolve your tax liabilities.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, non-dischargeable taxes are paid through the Plan.

Q: What is the Meeting of Creditors?

A: All debtors must attend the Meeting of Creditors about 30 to 45 days after filing.  A bankruptcy trustee conducts the meeting.  In most cases, the meeting lasts a few minutes, during which the Trustee asks questions about your assets.  Your creditors receive notice of this meeting and have the right to attend, but, most instances, do not attend.

 Q: What will a bankruptcy Discharge do for me?

A: The bankruptcy Discharge releases you from your dischargeable (some debts are not dischargeable) debts, wiping them out.  In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court usually issues a Discharge three to four months after filing.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court issues the Discharge after you complete the Plan, usually within three to five years of filing.

To speak with an experienced, effective, and affordable bankruptcy lawyer, contact us and call today for a free consultation at 443-472-4101.