The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process:  Step By Step

Here is the basic step-by-step process involved in the filing for bankruptcy:

Step 1. Read the mandatory disclosures that our Firm will provide to you after your over-the-phone consultation, but before you sign your Retainer Agreement.

Step 2. Once you indicate that you would like to retain our services in handling your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case, we will prepare a Retainer Agreement that sets forth the cost, the scope of services, the responsibilities of the parties, and all of the other terms and conditions regarding the representation.  It is basically a contract for our services.

Step 3. Upon the full execution and return of the Retainer Agreement to our office, we will provide you will a few different questionnaires and forms to complete, that are necessary for us to collect all of the information and documentation used in the preparation of your bankruptcy petition. 

Step 4. Upon the return of your fully-completed questionnaires and the other documentation that are required, and after we have performed our required due diligence to confirm certain data and information to be included in your bankruptcy petition, through third party sources, our team will begin to construct your bankruptcy petition.  The bankruptcy petition is the compendium of information (statements, schedules, forms, and disclosures) regarding your assets and liabilities, your income and expenses, other information pertaining to your eligibility to file, and your recent financial transactions.

Step 5. You take Part I of the on-line credit counseling course.  The completion certificate will be e-mailed to our office automatically when you complete it. (can be taken over the phone as well).

Step 6. Once your bankruptcy petition has been fully-populated by our Law Firm, it is time for the final review of your petition by the Attorney responsible for its filing.  Any last minute corrections or updates are made to finalize the draft petition as much as possible.  Your petition is now ready for the pre-filing review session, to be held via a video-conference call, between you and Attorney Taub.

Step 7. A copy of the finished draft of your bankruptcy petition will be converted to a .pdf file and e-mailed to you in advance of pre-filing review session along with an invitation to join the video-conference call at the appointed date and time.  During the pre-filing review session, we will go through and verify the information contained in the entire petition.  After the conclusion of the pre-filing review session, assuming you have met all of the other conditions precedent to the filing of your petition, Attorney Taub will file your case with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court electronically.  You will receive an e-mail from Attorney Taub later that same day or the morning after, with an attachment confirming the filing of your case with the Court, and what the next steps in the process will be.

Step 8. About 3-5 days after the filing, you will receive a letter in the mail from the Bankruptcy Court containing information about your bankruptcy case, especially the date, time, phone #, and meet ID for your upcoming bankruptcy hearing. The bankruptcy hearing, also referred to as the 341 Meeting of Creditors (even though Creditors almost never participate in the hearing), is presently held telephonically. You will also be reminded that it is time to complete Part II of your credit counseling requirement, to be completed prior to the date of your bankruptcy hearing.

Step 9. About 14 days after the filing of your bankruptcy petition, our office will receive a document request from the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case.  In turn, we will request certain documents from you that we don’t have in your file, but are necessary to satisfy the Trustee’s request.

Step 10. About 3-5 days before you bankruptcy hearing is scheduled, I will send you an e-mail that will provide you with all the information you need to prepare you for a successful hearing experience.  You will receive a list of the questions that you may be asked, certain information pertaining to inheritances, and a link to click so you can listen to a previously held bankruptcy hearing conducted for another client of mine.  This e-mail will enable you to fully-prepare for your bankruptcy hearing, so you will know exactly what to expect when it is time for your hearing.

Step 11. Assuming all of your assets have been protected, and we have provided the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee will all of the documentation and information that he/she requires to close the hearing, the Trustee will file a Report of No Distribution with the Court.

Step 12. There is a 60-day waiting period that must first elapse commencing on your hearing date, before the Bankruptcy Court will issue your Discharge Order.  So, during the week that follows the 60-day waiting period, the Court will issue your Discharge and put it in the U.S. Mail to you for delivery.  I will receive a copy of your discharge electronically.  The Discharge Order is the final step in the bankruptcy process, and represents the permanent injunction against your creditors ever being able to take any actions to collect your eligible pre-petition debts.

Step 13. Approximately 14-days after your Discharge Order has been issued, the Bankruptcy Court will administratively close your case in the Court’s docket system.  Your bankruptcy case is now officially closed, and it is now time to start the process of rebuilding your credit score.  You will receive an e-book that I have authored to help you understand your Discharge, take steps to rebuild your credit score, and educate you with regard to making smart financial decisions for the different life stages that remain in your life.  It is now time to take full advantage of the Financial Fresh Start that you just received!  Congratulations!

Step 14. Provide our Law Firm with a 5-star review.  Our Firm relies on a strong word-of-mouth referral base as well as excellent reviews posted on the internet to help others find our Firm’s website and ultimately hire our Firm to represent them in their Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filings.  We humbly ask all of our Clients to post a 5-Star Review on one or more of the designated review sites that are the most popular for legal service providers.  A 5-start review on the Better Business Bureau website, the Google Review website, the Avvo website, the Yelp website, and the Martindale-Hubbell website would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you!

Finally, we are always here to help you moving forward.  If you have a question about your bankruptcy discharge, or you have a need for other legal representation such as the drafting of a will, the sale/purchase of a home, a personal injury claim to pursue, etc., you can call on us to be of service!

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