Easy Steps To A Fresh Start From Debt
Filing bankruptcy is a legal process, so there are some steps that you will have to go through whether you choose to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. And because it is a legal process, it is best to remember that your creditors will also “have their day in court” to defend themselves against debts they don’t want to have discharged.
Contact A Chicago Or Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer At Our Firm Today
At Hoard Law, P.C., in Charlotte and Chicago, we guide individuals and families through every step if bankruptcy filings in North Carolina and Illinois. Our lawyers do everything we can to make sure you understand the steps that need to be taken and we work hard to give your filing the best possible chance to proceed smoothly. We have an excellent record of results for thousands of clients over the years.
The first step is to meet with one of our attorneys. Our friendly office staff will inform you about what financial records and bills you will need to bring to your first meeting. We explain the process in full detail and help you know what to expect. It may sound like a lot, but we handle most of it and we are right here with you every step of the way. If you decide to file, we explain our fees and you will be asked to pay a fee to retain our services. When you have all of your records gathered, we can get to work.
We review your financial information and do a calculation to determine your income-to-debt ration. This is called the “bankruptcy means test” and is required by law. Most people we represent qualify to file Chapter 7. If you don’t, you will qualify for Chapter 13. There are distinct benefits to both, which we will explain.
We file the official bankruptcy “petition” with your local federal bankruptcy court serving your geographic area. The day we file, all creditors’ actions that may be in the works will have an automatic stay (stop) put on them. Your bill collectors will be required by law to contact only us regarding any collections actions.
This is the waiting step. The bankruptcy court will review your petition and contact us about any further financial information they may need or to ask for clarification about some things. We may need to contact you for more records or to ask a few follow up questions, but we try to handle this part of the process ourselves.
We may need to negotiate with your creditors about some of the debts you want to discharge. For Chapter 13 filings, we negotiate with your creditors to accept a reduced amount of debt to include in your debt repayment plan.
This step is where your creditors get their day in court. For Chapter 7, there will be a 341 hearing, which will allow your creditors to challenge any of the debts you wish to discharge. You must attend, although your lawyer and the court trustee will do most of the talking. These hearings usually go smoothly, but a creditor may present an argument to repossess large new purchases you made on credit over the previous six months, such as new furniture from a department store. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be present and you will have us advocating strongly on your behalf. The judge will make the final decision.
In about 90 days following your discharge hearing, you will receive written notification from us that your bankruptcy has been handed down by the court. If you filed Chapter 7, you are basically finished with the process. If you filed Chapter 13, you will receive instructions about your monthly payments due.
We Will Be With You During Every Step
Throughout the process, you can trust that Hoard Law, P.C., will be with you. We will answer your questions honestly and clearly about how to file for bankruptcy. We will explain every legal detail that may come up during the bankruptcy process. We will assure you that we will do everything we can to help you get the fresh start you need.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.