What Does The Process Look Like?
Filing bankruptcy is a big decision to make and it is important that you have all available information before you begin the process. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh start if you are bogged down with medical, credit card, or utility bills.
The process can take anywhere between 3 and 6 months to complete in Minnesota, but the benefits start on the day that the case is filed, which is right at the beginning of this time. The first step in the process is to gather some financial information for your attorney. This includes bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and some worksheets.
The bankruptcy paperwork must contain all of your assets and debts, a budget showing your income and expenses, and the answers to some questions about your recent financial past. Your attorney will make this petition, but they need something to go from. A credit report is useful, but it doesn’t list everything you own, and lots of debts don’t show up on credit reports. The official paperwork contains:
Complete List Of Assets
You will need detailed information for your complete list of assets. The purpose of this information is to determine what items need to be protected and it is not a great idea to leave out any information. To fill out this form, you will need:
- the year, make, model, and mileage of any cars, motorcycles, or trucks
- utility bills, rental and security deposit information
- an estimate detail of all of your household goods (sheets, towels, coffee makers, and etc.)
- list and value your electronics, jewelry, firearms, and any equipment for sports and hobbies
- all retirement, checking and savings accounts, even if they are not yours but are in your name
There is much more detailed information that you will need, so check out the documentation and gather the information before we meet further to discuss your options. Walker & Walker will make this for you by asking you some easy questions over the phone.
Your monthly budget is pretty self-explanatory. We need your rent and mortgage payment information as well as the amount you pay in utilities, and monthly medical expenses. Let us know about your average monthly transportation costs, child support payments, or any alimony responsibilities.
Please also list your charitable donations, student loans, and insurance payments. School and daycare expenses are also important. That includes your student loan payments and other related information.
You may be asked to provide documentation that supports the information you give.
Statement Of Financial Affairs
Your statement of financial affairs is a collection of information regarding your income, debt, and any current litigation information. Several questions must be answered, such as:
- What income have you had within the last two years that did not come from your employer?
- How much have you been paying each of your creditors recently?
- Have you been able to repay friends and family for money they have lent you?
- Has anything been officially repossessed from a creditor?
- Is anyone holding any of your property for you, for any reason?
There are many other questions that need to be addressed, but they must be addressed accurately. This document is a contract and must be signed. It is considered legitimate after you sign it.
Filling out the documents accurately and completely is the first step of the Chapter 7 process. The forms are all pretty straightforward, but we are always available to answer your questions about the details.
Contracts and The Court
Well, after you have gathered and documented your information, it should only take two weeks or so to comb through it and construct your final contracts. You will have your final appointment to sign your documentation and the paperwork will be filed with the courts for final approval.
Once the court has your documents, your creditors cannot sue or harass you. They can no longer garnish your wages, repossess your assets, or foreclose on your home.
Thirty days later, you will need to attend a 341 Hearing, or a meeting of creditors. This meeting was created to allow your creditors to have a chance to ask you questions about your case. Usually, the creditors do not show because bankruptcy protection is a pretty powerful thing, when done right.
You must acquire the aid of an awesome bankruptcy team to get the job done right. Lawyers fees are usually under $2,000, but a debt and harassment-free life is so worth it. Walker & Walker has filing plans with No attorney’s fees up front. It is a priority to work with you to make the case easy to file.
Who Can Help Me Get Started?
We have an exceptional and experienced team who have the knowledge and compassion to help you jump into your new life. It only takes $50 to retain our services and you are protected. Filing alone does not do this for you. You can then tell the creditors to stop calling you and talk to us. It’s what we’re here for.