Using The Chapter 7 Timeline To Prepare For Your Filing
One of the many advantages of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the efficiency and speed with which the process can be completed. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcies are finished in six months or less. During those months, however, several events must take place at certain times. An experienced debt relief attorney can help you understand the entire process and your role in it.
Attorneys Bruce Levitt and Shelley Slafkes have both practiced law for more than 30 years, helping thousands of clients in New Jersey get out from under the burden of crippling debt. We know the Chapter 7 timeline and will do our best to explain the timeline and to prevent surprises so you can have peace of mind. Call us today at 973-323-2953 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation.
What To Expect When You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The first step toward regaining control of your financial life is to arrange a free initial consultation with our lawyers. When you visit our Essex County office, we will use the means test to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7. Assuming you qualify, then we can move forward with the process.
Within the 180 days prior to filing: You must complete an approved consumer credit counseling course that can be done online or by telephone. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate that must be filed with your Chapter 7 petition.
Residency requirement: In most situations, you will need to show that you have lived in New Jersey for most of the last 180 days. If you moved to New Jersey very recently, you may need to file in your old home state. We will let you know if that is the case for you.
90 days prior to filing: It is a good idea to avoid making credit card purchases in the 90 days leading up to filing, because the debt could be considered nondischargeable.
Filing the bankruptcy petition: Once you provide us with all the necessary information, we will file your Chapter 7 petition with the court. This officially begins your case. The court issues an automatic stay, which puts an immediate end to harassing creditor calls, wage garnishments, foreclosure proceedings and other things.
About 30 days after filing: You must file a statement of intention that tells the court what you want to do with property that is collateral for loans (such as a car). You could allow the property to be sold or you could reaffirm the debt and promise to continue making payments.
Roughly six weeks after filing: You are required to attend a meeting of creditors (also called a 341 meeting). You will be asked, under oath, questions about your debt, assets and income. One of the attorneys at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., will attend the meeting with you. Creditors generally do not attend the meeting.
60 to 90 days after the creditors’ meeting: Most people are eligible for debt discharge at this point. You will need to complete a debtor education course, either online or by telephone, before you can receive the discharge. At this point, most of your debts will be considered eliminated and you will have the fresh start you have been looking for. Keep in mind that alimony and child support payments will not end. You are still obligated to make those payments.
Discuss Your Chapter 7 Strategy With A Lawyer At No Cost. Contact Us Today.
You need not worry about missing deadlines in the process. The team at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., will be by your side each step of the way. Get started today by calling 973-323-2953 or by sending us an email. Your initial consultation is free.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.