CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

Bankruptcy Dictionary: Terms You Need to Know Before You File

bankruptcy definitionBankruptcy Terminology

One of the most challenging things about filing for bankruptcy is understanding the language associated with it. It’s hard enough dealing with financial stress and having to make such an important decision about your financial future but to have to do so without knowing the vernacular is downright intimidating.

Luckily, working with a bankruptcy lawyer ensures things will go smoothly even if you aren’t always sure exactly what a word or phrase means. But it’s also important to get a handle on the terms associated with bankruptcy. The more you understand the better you’ll feel about filing.

What are some of the most common terms associated with filing for bankruptcy?

Chapter

You’ll likely hear your bankruptcy referred to in terms of its chapter. The majority of consumers file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, but there are other Chapters available. The term chapter is used to describe the bankruptcy category.

Means Test

The bankruptcy means test is less of a test and more of a way to determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy and if so, which chapter is most appropriate based on your debts, assets, and income.

Petition

Your bankruptcy petition is the initial paperwork that is filed with the bankruptcy court. Petition is a commonly used legal term and in bankruptcy, it alerts the court to your desire to proceed with the bankruptcy process and it invokes the automatic stay.

Automatic Stay

The automatic stay is one of the greatest benefits of filing for bankruptcy. Officially, it’s an injunction against your creditors that restricts their ability to collect the money you owe them. The automatic stay stops creditors from contacting you and from moving forward with any attempts to collect, including foreclosure proceedings.

Schedules

This is the paperwork filed with the court in addition to the petition. Bankruptcy schedules include your financial information.

Trustee

The bankruptcy trustee is the person who oversees the repayment of your creditors through the liquidation of your assets. Essentially, this person is the legal representative of your creditors.

For more information about the role of the trustee, check out this information from The Balance.

Discharge

Possibly the most significant benefit of bankruptcy. It occurs when the court releases you of your obligation to repay the debts you owe.

Non-dischargeable

Non-dischargeable is a type of debt that does not qualify for the benefit of being discharged when you file for bankruptcy. Back alimony and child support payments, many student loan debts, and current tax debts fall into this category.

Reaffirm

Reaffirming a debt is a process that waives the discharge on a debt per the bankruptcy court and alters your obligation to pay the debt despite your bankruptcy.

341 Meeting

Sometimes called the Meeting of Creditors or 341 Meeting of Creditors, the 341 Meeting is an opportunity for your creditors to dispute your bankruptcy request. The gathering includes you, your bankruptcy lawyer, the trustee, and your creditors.

These terms include those most commonly heard in bankruptcy, but all cases are different and you might come across terms not included on this list. Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer to explain a word or phrase to you. Very few people begin the bankruptcy process understanding all of the terms associated with filing and the best bankruptcy lawyers are happy to take the time to explain how the process works and what things mean.

If you’d like to discuss bankruptcy terms further or you are ready to begin the process of filing schedule a consultation, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696.

Archive

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How to Avoid Being a Victim of Scam Calls for Student Loans

Scam Calls for Student Loans Student loans are one of the biggest burdens faced by college attendees. Even students who...
Read More

Can Medical Bills Be Included in a Bankruptcy? Here’s What You Need to Know

Can medical bills be included in a bankruptcy? Medical problems are stressful enough without facing a significant debt burden after...
Read More

I’m Unemployed. Can I Still File for Bankruptcy?

Unemployed Bankruptcy Being in debt is bad enough, but if you’ve lost your job recently or accumulated debt because of...
Read More

How Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit? Not paying your bills affects your credit negatively. And yet problems with credit are one...
Read More

Behind or In Default on Your Student Loan? Here’s What You Should Know

Student Loan Default If you’ve fallen behind on student loan payments or your student loans are in default, you aren’t...
Read More

Will Bankrutcy Affect My Job? Learn How Filing Affects You in the Workplace

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Job? Filing for bankruptcy raises many considerations. One of the most important is whether or not...
Read More

Can Bankruptcy Help Me If I’m Behind on Child Support?

Bankruptcy and Child Support Bankruptcy can help you with a lot of things. It can help you stop calls from...
Read More

Can You File for Bankruptcy When You’re Unemployed?

Bankruptcy and Unemployment Being in debt is bad enough, but if you’ve lost your job recently or accumulated debt because...
Read More

Bankruptcy and Eviction History

Eviction With the rate of evictions on the rise in recent months and the expectations that eviction numbers will grow,...
Read More

What to Expect Once You’ve Decided to File Bankruptcy from Home

File Bankruptcy from Home There are a few things that happen when you file bankruptcy from home. An automatic stay...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo comodo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo RG Seal

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions