I entered the office knowing nothing about the process; all I knew was that I owed $60,000 in debt. My mortgage company demanded that my mortgage deed be """"paid in full"""". Nine credit card companies (they used to be so polite to me) could not comprehend the concept of being """"let go"""". A man who arrived in the middle of the night to repossess my Ford Ranger.
I am NOT a lawyer and will NOT provide legal advice. I will simply convey my process-related experience to you so that you may gain some insight.
First, I recommend locating a competent bankruptcy attorney. I know. Depending on your financial circumstance, you may feel as though that is not an option; however, DO NOT MAKE IT AN OPTION; MAKE IT A PRIORITY!
For the services of a competent attorney, I spent a total of $1,400.Let's see... I paid $1,400 and was absolutely released from $60,000 in debt. I must confess, this was one of the better financial decisions I've made in recent years.
I was in a dire financial situation and had to ask family and acquaintances for assistance despite my wounded pride.
The following debts CANNOT be discharged in Chapter 7:
debts for the majority of taxes, domestic support-related debts, Debts for the majority of student loans, Fines, penalties, or obligations for criminal restitution Debts that were not appropriately listed by the creditor
The chronology of Chapter 7:
The initial step is the filing of a petition with the bankruptcy court. The courts mandate a """"Meeting of Creditors"""" or """"341 meeting"""" once a bankruptcy petition is filed. This is typically 60 days after the petition has been lodged, and your presence is required.
A Gathering of Creditors
As indicated previously, you MUST attend this meeting. You will appear before a Trustee of the Court (a judge), along with your creditors or their attorneys, if they believe they have cause to oppose the discharge. You will be the only person under oath while the judge and creditors' attorneys ask you questions.
It sounds terrifying, doesn't it? I had a mental image of a stern court judge and five pitbull counsel tearing me apart prior to the 341 meeting. As it turns out, the judge was extremely pleasant, and NO CREDITORS APPEARED.
This does not discharge your debts; creditors have 45 days from the 341 meeting to appeal to the courts, regardless of whether they attend the meeting or not. During this time, you may be required to provide additional financial documentation. Check receipts, bank statements, and prior year's tax returns.
If everything goes as planned, you will receive your discharge papers in the mail approximately sixty days after the meeting of creditors. Absolving you of your debt.
Obviously, each case is unique, and conclusions and outcomes can vary. However, this is essentially what occurred in my circumstance. Essentially, a petition was submitted alongside evidence of my complete financial status. 60 days later, a Creditors' Meeting. 60 days following the total and complete discharge of all my obligations.""
" - https://www.affordablecebu.com/