There’s a lot that goes into filing for bankruptcy and unless you’ve been through the process, you likely have no idea what to expect.
In order for you to get relief from your debt burdens, you and your attorney must invest a decent amount of time and effort in preparing for your bankruptcy. The best bankruptcy attorneys make sure you’re prepared and they work aggressively to make sure you are treated fairly by your creditors and the bankruptcy court.
What’s going on “behind the scenes” as your bankruptcy plays out and you move closer to a financial fresh start?
Choosing the Right Bankruptcy for You
The first thing you’ll do is determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is done through the means test.
If the means test shows you do not qualify for one, you will likely qualify for the other, so don’t panic. Bankruptcy is an option for most people.
Filing Your Bankruptcy Documents
As of 2005, there are more documents than ever that need to be filed when you request bankruptcy. You and your attorney should review the needed documents, and compare them to the information you’re including on your bankruptcy application.
The best bankruptcy attorneys can compare all of this information and anticipate problems. They can also make sure there is consistency and that as few questions as possible will arise once the court is involved.
Unless you are filing for an emergency bankruptcy (foreclosure is imminent… a vehicle repossession just occurred, etc.), you’ll want to take your time and ensure everything is organized and complete.
Rushing into bankruptcy, unless it’s a necessity, usually results in mistakes and can get your case denied.
Once your documents are submitted, you’ll meet with your bankruptcy trustee. Some or all of your creditors might attend this meeting, too.
These meetings can last a long time and feel like an interrogation, but if your paperwork was accurate chances are this meeting will last just a few minutes. When the bankruptcy petition and bankruptcy schedules are filled out completely and accurately, there are fewer questions and you’ll be able to move forward.
To learn more about what to expect during your meeting with the trustee and your creditors, check out this article from Nolo.com.
What goes on behind the scenes in bankruptcy could mean the difference between a successful bankruptcy and denial of your bankruptcy request. Preparing for bankruptcy might be stressful and time-consuming for you, but it’s necessary to make sure time isn’t wasted later on. This preparation also ensures you’re able to relax and look forward to the future with less stress.
Chances are the days and weeks after you’ve made the decision to file for bankruptcy will be your most stressful, but no more stressful than doing nothing and worrying about your financial problems without taking action. An experienced attorney can help you get organized and make the most of the opportunity bankruptcy provides.
For more information or to get started with the bankruptcy process, contact us at the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule a free consultation.