An Overview of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process
While choosing to file for bankruptcy is a serious decision, the bankruptcy process itself is fairly straightforward and need not be intimidating. Learning more about what happens during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can take some of the mystery out of bankruptcy and help you feel at ease. The bankruptcy process will be even smoother with the help of a skilled and experienced Kentucky bankruptcy attorney. Read on to see an overview of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process in Kentucky.
When it’s time to prepare your bankruptcy petition, you’ll need to gather important financial documents and records for your attorney to use when completing the petition on your behalf. Look for any recent tax returns, title documents to cars or property you own, bank account statements, credit card or medical bills, or loan documents in your possession. Once your attorney has all the necessary information, she will complete your petition.
It is also during this time that your attorney will determine whether or not all your assets are exempt, or if you may have some assets which are not exempt from being forfeited to the court for sale. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers do not have any non-exempt assets, and your attorney will help to ensure that your most valued items remain in your possession.
After your petition is completed and filed with the US Bankruptcy Court, the court will enact an automatic stay which will prevent your creditors from contacting you about your existing debts, and will pause any ongoing foreclosures. The court will also assign a trustee to your case, who will review your filing, communicate with your creditors, and conduct the sale of any non-exempt property so that the profits can be distributed among your creditors.
Within 45 days of your petition being filed, the trustee will arrange for a meeting of creditors, also known as a § 341 meeting. This meeting is generally held in a room at the federal building, and while your creditors are invited to these meetings, they rarely attend. The trustee will ask you questions about your petition and ensure that it is truthful, and may ask specific questions about your debts. These meetings are often very brief and straightforward.
The trustee and your creditors have 60 days from the filing of a petition to challenge a bankruptcy. Provided that there is no objection to or technical issue with any part of your petition, the court will approve of your bankruptcy and grant your discharge. In simple cases, this can happen in as few as 90 days, though some cases require more time.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Kentucky, speak with a seasoned attorney to determine your options, and contact Bowling Green bankruptcy and consumer law attorney Lanna Kilgore for a consultation at 270-846-3700.