I Want To File For Personal Bankruptcy: Now What?
Once you have made the decision to file for personal bankruptcy, the process moving forward is not always immediately clear. Should you determine which type of bankruptcy you want to file for, or should you make that determination with assistance from a St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer? And do you need to take any steps concerning your finances in advance of your bankruptcy filing, such as avoiding spending or alerting creditors to your plans to file for bankruptcy? These are important questions, and our experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with the information you need to get ready for your bankruptcy case.
Begin Working with a Bankruptcy Lawyers As Soon As Possible
Now that you have decided to file for bankruptcy, it is important to hire the best bankruptcy attorney for your case as soon as you can. The sooner you begin working with a bankruptcy lawyer, the sooner you can be sure that you are taking all necessary steps and meeting all requirements under U.S. bankruptcy law.
Determine Your Eligibility for Consumer Bankruptcy
With assistance from your lawyer, you will next determine your eligibility for the type of consumer bankruptcy you are considering. For a Chapter 7 case, you will need to pass the “means test,” while you will need to be able to prove that you are a wage earner who can meet the terms of a repayment plan for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
Avoid Unnecessary Spending on Credit Accounts for Which You Are Seeking to Have Debt Discharged
Once you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you should avoid any unnecessary or non-essential charges on credit cards or other credit accounts where you are seeking to have that debt discharged. Making charges once you know you are filing for bankruptcy can look like fraud.
File Your Bankruptcy Petition
Next, you will file your bankruptcy petition, which includes all related and extensive documentation.
Know Your Rights Concerning the Automatic Stay
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, the automatic stay will protect you from contact and action by creditors or debt collectors seeking to collect. Your lawyer can tell you more about your rights concerning the automatic stay. The bankruptcy process that follows will involve financial counseling, attending a 341 meeting of creditors, and other necessary requirements that your attorney can help with.
Understand How Your Bankruptcy Discharge Will Work
After the 341 meeting of creditors and completion of required financial courses, and after completion of your repayment plan if you have filed for Chapter 13 as opposed to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can be eligible to have your eligible debts discharged. You should know that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge will occur much faster than a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge. Indeed, Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges typically occur months after you initially file your bankruptcy petition, while Chapter 13 discharges occur once the terms of the repayment plan have been completed, which is typically a term of three to five years.
Seek Advice from One of Our Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers in St. Petersburg
Have you decided to file for bankruptcy and need assistance with your case? An experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer at our firm is here to help you. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz for more information.