The purpose of a Chapter 7 case is to give you a fresh start. You list all of your creditors and all of your assets on papers that are filed with the court. As soon as you file the case you are protected from garnishments as well as any other collection efforts by creditors. The court then grants you a discharge of your debts, which means that you no longer have a legal obligation to pay them. You also make a list of your belongings, or assets. Most of your assets are exempt, which means they are protected by law. But if you have any valuable, unprotected assets, it is possible that they will be taken and sold to benefit your creditors. In most cases,however, with proper legal advice before you file, you do not lose any property at all.
To get the case started, you need to follow these simple steps:
Meet with an attorney to determine if bankruptcy is the best alternative available in your circumstances.
Take a credit counseling course from an accredited agency. We can direct you to such agencies.
Gather all of your financial information and enter it on our web site.
Meet with an attorney to review all of the bankruptcy paperwork. The bankruptcy petition, statements and schedules are filed at that meeting and a case number is assigned.
After your case is started, you will need to do the following:
Attend a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. This meeting is scheduled approximately one month after the case is filed.
Take a financial management course before the discharge can be granted by the court.
If you comply with the requirements set forth above, along with anything else you are directed to do by the trustee or the court, the court will grant you a discharge of your debts approximately 60 days after your meeting with the trustee.