If it has become apparent that you should file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or you begin planning to do so, you may be wondering what to expect while you are waiting to have your finances analyzed and your debt eliminated. Here is a glimpse into what your life will look like during Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
When it comes to bankruptcy, there are basically two phases:
This is the planning stage, where you sit down with your bankruptcy attorney to go over your case and answer a number of different questions, for example:
- If you have any assets that may be used to pay creditors.
- If you are behind on your mortgage.
- If can catch up on your mortgage.
- If you want to keep your home or other valuable assets.
This is also the phase in which you gather all of your financial documents and draft your bankruptcy petition. At this stage, it is completely up to you how fast things move along. Some people want to file their petition right away. However, unless you are being garnished, there really is no need to file immediately, and you and your attorney can take the time to plan for your bankruptcy. Some cases take longer to prepare than others. Some people meet with their attorney and file within a week; others wait months or a year before they file. Nonetheless, 90 days after you actually file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, you will be debt free.
This phase is where you actually file your bankruptcy petition, and there are set timeframes associated with it. To start, a week after you file bankruptcy, you will get a notice from the bankruptcy court notifying you that they need to see two months of your pay stubs, two months of your bank statements, and your tax return from the last year. You must then complete your debt management class and go to the 341 meeting, where your creditors, along with the court-appointed trustee for your case, will seek to find out if you have any assets that can be used to pay off your debt. Two months after this time (three months from the time you file), you will receive a discharge of your unsecured debt.
During the time between the actual filing of your bankruptcy petition and your discharge, your credit and financial life will be on hold. The biggest benefit to filing bankruptcy is the protection from your creditors you receive during this phase. You can neither be sued nor have your wages or assets garnished, and all other creditor harassment must cease. On the other hand, you will not be able to go out and incur any new debt. You will basically be in a financial holding pattern while you wait to have your debts discharged. After you receive your discharge, you will immediately be able to begin rebuilding your credit.
Free Consultation: Bankruptcy Lawyer
For more insight on what your life will look like during Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or for a more detailed discussion of anything mentioned above, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can further explain the aspects of life under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Call (405) 563-7888 for a free consultation with a Oklahoma City bankruptcy lawyer or (888) Debt-Line for an Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney handling bankruptcies statewide. With a ten (10) minute, free phone consultation with one of Debt Line’s Oklahoma City bankruptcy lawyers, you can know what you qualify for and the costs and procedures involved in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.