The Bankruptcy Process

After meeting with you, my office and I assemble your bankruptcy petition and make sure it contains all required information and meets all legal requirements. I then review it with you, make sure I have all needed documents from you, and have you sign your petition in the required places.  I will provide you with a copy of your petition along with follow-up instructions.  I will then file your petition and required documents with the Bankruptcy Court and make sure your creditors are notified.

The Trustee Meeting 

After your bankruptcy petition is filed, the Bankruptcy Court schedules a meeting to take place within 20 to 40 days (referred to as a meeting of creditors).  You will get a notice in the mail.  You are required to attend this meeting.  This may be the only time you appear at any court function.  I will be with you at this meeting.

Usually, creditors do not attend this meeting.  The primary function of the meeting is to provide your court appointed trustee an opportunity to question you regarding various aspects of your bankruptcy case, prior to granting you a final discharge of debts.  The actual meeting may only take a few minutes, and is one of many the trustee has scheduled that day.

The typical questions you are asked at this meeting are:

  • Did you sign all parts of your petition?
  • Did you list all your assets?
  • Did you list all your debts?
  • If you own a home or other real estate:
  • How did you arrive at the value of your home? Your other real property?
  • When did you buy the home?  Your other property?
  • What are your mortgage/home equity loans balances?
  • Have you made any significant improvements on this property?
  • If you own a motor vehicle:
  • May I see a copy of your title?
  • How did you arrive at the value of the vehicle?
  • What is the balance due on the motor vehicle?
  • Have you owned an interest in a boat or other real property within the last six years?
  • Did you file a tax return last year? Did you get a refund?
  • Do you have an interest in a pension plan or IRA?
  • Who directs the percentage of income to this plan?
  • Do you have any lawsuits pending?                       

Your creditors have 60 days from this meeting to file an objection to any discharge of their debt.  In most cases there are no objections.  After this 60 day period you will receive a notice of discharge; this is a document that discharges your unsecured debts and prevents your creditors from collecting the debts listed in your bankruptcy papers.  Your case is now officially closed.