The Bankruptcy Process
This article addresses how Bankruptcy cases are handled for cases that filed in the Bankruptcy Court located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bankrutpcy cases filed in other courts may progress in a slightly different manner.
Once you decide to file Bankruptcy, your attorney should provide you with some items that you will need your to complete. The main item is usually a questionnaire which should ask to to provide some of the following:
-some personal information (name, address, ss#, ..., );
-information on your assets (a breakdown of bank accounts, cars, homes, ...);
-list of creditors to make sure that we have all of your creditors, since not all of your creditors will appear on your credit report;
-information on your last 6 months of income; and
-information on your living expenses.
You should also gather certain documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, paystubs, divorce decrees, or other items that will be needed to either complete your paperwork or that will have to provided to the Bankruptcy Trustee. You will also then have to complete a Credit Counseling course that is usually completed on the internet.
Once you complete the questionnaire and deliver the requested documents, your attorney should begin to prepare your paperwork. Once done, you should review and sign the Petition, Schedules and related items. Your case is then ready to be filed provided you have completed the Credit Counseling course, and paid the appropriate fees. Keep in mind that once your case is filed, you will have to complete a second course on financial management.
What happens next depends on whether you filed a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 case. If you filed a Chapter 7, about a month after your case is filed, you will need to attend a Meeting of Creditors at the Bankruptcy Court. During this meeting, the Trustee will ask you questions for a few minutes and your creditors may also seek some information from you. Typically, however, no creditors will show up. Usually, clients are understandably quite nervous about attending the Meeting of Creditors. They are relieved once it is over and they see that it is not near as bad of an experience as they feared. Most of the time, about 2 to 2 ½ months after the Meeting of Creditors, you will receive you Discharge. This closes your case and is the final step in extinguishing you dischargeable debts.
In a Chapter 13 case, you will have to start making your monthly "Plan Payments" to the Trustee about a month after your case is filed. Also, the Meeting of Creditors is about 6 to 8 weeks after the case is filed. Then, approximately a month after that you can "confirm" your case, which is the process where the Bankruptcy Court approves your plan. Also, items such as removing your second mortgage, attempting to modify your first mortgage, or negotiating a settlement with the IRS or other creditor, should be taken care before your case is confirmed. Sometimes, the confirmation will need to be continued to resolve these types of issues. After your case is confirmed, you will need to make all of your scheduled Plan Payments. Once this is done, you will receive your Discharge.
As indicated, the above description pertains to Bankruptcy cases filed in the Bankruptcy Court located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bankrutpcy cases filed in other courts may progress in a slightly different manner.
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