These days millions of Americans are looking to bankruptcy as a solution to their financial problems. For some, bankruptcy provides the fresh start they so desperately need; however, it is a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you and your family do decide that bankruptcy is the right decision, here are the 5 steps you will need to take, courtesy of Mortgage11.com.
Consult a competent bankruptcy lawyer
Proper bankruptcy information could be essential before you actually file for chapter 7. Hence, it could be vital for you to consult a competent bankruptcy attorney who is well versed with the new bankruptcy rules and regulations as well as filing procedures. But you need to furnish complete information regarding your current financial position during the free consultation.
Do your home work thoroughly well
You need to do some preliminary homework after knowing chapter 7 bankruptcy requirements from your bankruptcy lawyer. Normally, you are required to submit copies of past 6 pay stubs, statements from bank or on retirement accounts, credit card statements, copies of tax returns for the previous 3 years, details of property assets and credit report too. In addition, you need to answer a lengthy questionnaire and even undergo credit counseling which is mandated by the new bankruptcy laws.
Prepare the paperwork and sign the petition
Once you are ready with the required information, your lawyer would prepare a petition. All that you need to do is just review and sign it. In any case, while doing so you need to verify that every information provided in the petition is correct and accurate. After you sign the documents, the bankruptcy attorney would file your case in the court. In the next step, you would come to know what happens when you file bankruptcy.
Attend the “341 hearing”
The entire bankruptcy filing process can give you a lot of anxiety. After you have filed the case, you could be required to attend a “341 Meeting” involving your lawyer, creditors and the court appointed “Trustee”. Usually, such a meeting lasts for hardly 3 minutes and could be over within no time.
Go for post-filing class and wait for 60 days
You need to go for a post-filing class at the earliest. This could be important otherwise all your hard work could go in vain. And after the “341 Meeting” is over, you could be required to wait for about 60 days, as per bankruptcy rules, during which your creditors or even Trustee can file an objection. If there are no objections, you could qualify for a discharge of debts.