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What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy?

what happens when you file for bankruptcyContemplating bankruptcy is a significant decision that comes with many questions. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what the process entails. What are the key steps that happen when you file for bankruptcy?

Initial Consultation

The first step in the bankruptcy process is scheduling an initial consultation with our experienced bankruptcy attorneys. During this meeting, we’ll discuss your financial situation, explore the reasons for considering bankruptcy, and help you determine if bankruptcy is the right option for your unique circumstances.

Choosing the Right Chapter

There are different chapters of bankruptcy, each designed to address specific financial challenges. We’ll work closely with you to determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the most appropriate for your situation. Chapter 7 typically involves the liquidation of assets to pay off debts, while Chapter 13 involves creating a manageable repayment plan.

Pre-Filing Requirements

Before filing for bankruptcy, you must meet certain requirements. These may include completing credit counseling from an approved agency and gathering the necessary financial documentation, such as income records, debts, assets, and expenses.

Filing the Bankruptcy Petition

Once all pre-filing requirements are satisfied, we will prepare and file your bankruptcy petition with the court. This legal document outlines your financial situation, assets, debts, and proposed repayment plan (if applicable). Filing for bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, immediately halting creditor actions such as collection calls, wage garnishments, and foreclosure proceedings.

Meeting of Creditors (341 Meeting)

Shortly after filing, you will attend a meeting of creditors, also known as the 341 meeting. This meeting provides an opportunity for creditors to ask questions about your financial situation under oath. While it may sound intimidating, our attorneys will guide you through the process, ensuring that you are well-prepared and confident.

Credit Counseling and Financial Management Courses

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers are required to complete credit counseling and financial management courses from approved agencies. These courses aim to provide financial education and empower individuals to make sound financial decisions in the future.

Chapter 7: Discharge of Debts; Chapter 13: Confirmation and Repayment

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, eligible debts may be discharged, providing you with a fresh financial start. In Chapter 13, the court will confirm the proposed repayment plan, and you will begin making payments to the trustee, who will distribute them to creditors over the agreed-upon timeframe.

Post-Bankruptcy Counseling

After your bankruptcy case is completed, you will be required to attend a post-bankruptcy counseling course. This course is designed to help you navigate financial responsibilities and manage your finances more effectively moving forward.

Filing for bankruptcy is a structured legal process. It’s designed to offer relief from overwhelming debt and provide a pathway to financial recovery. At our bankruptcy law firm, we are dedicated to guiding you through each step, ensuring that you understand the process and feel supported along the way.

If you’re considering bankruptcy as a means of financial renewal, schedule a consultation with our experienced attorneys. We’re here to provide personalized guidance, answer your questions, and help you embark on a journey toward a brighter financial future. Remember, seeking professional advice is a proactive step toward reclaiming control of your financial well-being.

If you’d like to know more about what happens when you file for bankruptcy or you’re ready to speak to someone about your options for dealing with debt, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at (813) 254-5696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

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