Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is powerful help. With it, you can stop foreclosure, repossession, lawsuits, and creditor harassment, all while keeping property you now own. Questions that are not answered below may be answered by clicking on the Frequently Asked Questions link. If you qualify, you can eliminate debts and/or repay them under the protection of the Bankruptcy Court over 3 or five years.
At Watson Law Firm, our staff generally follow the process listed below, which allows multiple team members to work together to assist in the preparation and review of your case.
Our First Meeting (Review of Financial Position)
At this meeting, your financial situation is examined in depth and you will be provided with substantial information. As such, we prefer that both spouses attend (even though only one spouse may ultimately file). You will learn about different types of bankruptcies, procedures for filing, as well as the advantages and disadvantages involved with each. You will be provided with a list of options along with our recommendation based on your situation. We may be able to present you with other alternatives to bankruptcy.
Our Second Meeting (Final Review)
At this second appointment, only one spouse needs to attend. This appointment is usually held within 7 days of Our First Meeting. At this appointment, we will ensure that we have everything needed to file your case.
Our Third Meeting (Signing)
Depending on the urgency of your case, this appointment is typically held 2 to 15 days following Our Second Meeting. Both spouses, if married and filing jointly, will need to attend and sign the petition. Once completed, our office will file your official bankruptcy request with the local court. Once filed, you are immediately afforded bankruptcy law’s full force and protection against foreclosures, lawsuits, repossessions, and creditor harassment.
After Filing and Before Your Next Meeting
About 7-14 days after we file your case, the Bankruptcy Court will send you and each of the creditors you listed a notice of bankruptcy and the scheduled date and time of the Section 341 meeting (aka meeting of creditors). Also, your first monthly payment under your proposed Chapter 13 repayment plan is due 30 days after we file your bankruptcy case. We will give you the name and address of the Chapter 13 Trustee who will accept and process your payment.
Our Fourth Meeting (341 Meeting)
The third time we meet, we will also be meeting with any of your creditors that choose to attend as well as the Chapter 13 Trustee. At this meeting, you will have an opportunity to meet your bankruptcy trustee who will be reviewing your paperwork and asking you any clarifying questions. Typically, no creditors attend these meetings and several others who have filed bankruptcy are also there. As a result, the meeting is typically short, lasting 10-15 minutes once your name is called. We will provide you with a location map for the meeting.
This meeting is scheduled 2-3 months following the filing of your original bankruptcy case paperwork. If the Bankruptcy Trustee recommends confirmation of your proposed bankruptcy plan, you will not need to attend. The vast majority of people do not need to attend this meeting. As such, I have not listed it as Our Meeting.
This is also known as discharge at it means that once you have completed your payments, you will receive a discharge of any remaining debt owed your creditors you listed. At that point, you no longer have any legal obligation to repay them.