Stages of Bankruptcy
If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, you're likely concerned about what will happen to you. Bankruptcy is a work with many scary connotations. If you don't know how it happens, it can be much more intimidating. You're trusting your financial status and your future to a proceeding, and you want to know that you'll be treated fairly.
Bankruptcy can help you get a fresh start when you're in a deep financial hole. It's an option that may be a solution to the difficulties you face. That may be more clear once you know the steps that a debtor takes to file bankruptcy.
Greater Cincinnati Bankruptcy Steps
The Steiden Law Office believes in educating clients and potential clients on the process that they can make informed decisions about their future. We have helped more than 6,000 clients over 15 years, and we can help you. We will make sure you explain every step in the process, and we will take the time to explain to you anything you don't understand. Call our experienced Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky attorneys today at (855) 741-3328 or send an online message to set up a risk-free consultation.
We are proud to represent those facing difficult financial times throughout Hamilton County and Southern Ohio, with two offices in Cincinnati. We can also represent clients in Northern Kentucky, with offices in Covington and Florence.
Steps in Bankruptcy Proceedings
Your specific circumstance may be different than most. At Steiden Law Offices, we will be able to consult with you on the specifics of your case. The basic steps after you start the bankruptcy with us are:
1. Gathering Documents: All of your debts and assets must be reviewed to determine what your debts are and what exemptions you might have. We will discuss with you at your initial what kind of documents you might need. They may include credit card statements, bank statements, loan documents, any debt collection letters, mortgage documents, titles or any other document showing debts or assets. You should only move forward once you know the full extent of your debt and what assets you have that might be exempt from consideration.
2. Determining Your Best Option: If, after learning about all your options, you determine that filing bankruptcy is the best one, you will need to decide what kind of bankruptcy to file for. The most common filings are under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee will review your debts and your assets, determine what assets might not be exempt and whether those should be sold to pay off a portion of your debt and discharge any debts that can be discharged. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court will review your assets and determine a payment plan for you to pay off your debt.
To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income must be below a certain amount, which you can determine by taking a means test. If you do not qualify, you may still be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. People who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may still file for Chapter 13 if they determine it is in their best interests. A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which filing is best for you.
3. Attend Credit Counseling: Before you file for bankruptcy, you must seek counseling from an approved nonprofit credit counseling agency. The session usually lasts about an hour and can be attended online, over the phone or in person. We will be able to provide you with a list of resources. You must attend credit counseling 180 days before filing.
4. Preparing and Filing Your Petition: You must file a formal petition with the federal bankruptcy court that has jurisdiction over you. The appropriate venue is usually where you live. The petition must be entirely accurate, or there could be problems down the road. If you hire Steiden Law Office, we will prepare your petition and file it.
5. Attend Your "Meeting of Creditors": This sounds a lot scarier than it usually is. You will attend a meeting with the appointed bankruptcy trustee and verify that your petition is accurate. If you hire Steiden Law Offices, we will attend with you and assist at the meeting. If any creditors object, they may attend and make their objection to the trustee. They can also make their objection in writing. Usually, they do not attend. The meeting typically happens about a month after filing.
6. Attend a Second Counseling Session: You must attend another counseling session, called the "Debtor Education or Financial Management Briefing." This usually takes about two hours. Under a Chapter 7 filing, the session must be taken within 60 days of your meeting of creditors. Under a Chapter 13 filing, it must be taken before the end of your repayment plan.
7. Receive Your Discharge: Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will receive your discharge usually about two months after your second counseling session. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will be after you have completed your repayment plan.
Steiden Law Offices | Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney
Your process may be different. At Steiden Law Offices, our experienced Southern Ohio, Boone County and Kenton County bankruptcy lawyers will help you determine your next step and will advice you every step along the way. We care about our clients and seek to help them find a new start to life. Call Steiden Law Offices at (855) 741-3328 or send an online message to set up a risk-free consultation.