Chapter 7 is the type of bankruptcy where nothing is getting paid back and you’re simply wiping out what is called unsecured debt. These are things like credit cards and medical bills where after you’re done with your bankruptcy, they go away.
The first step of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to make sure that you actually qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, because not everybody does. You’ll want to make sure that you sit down with an experienced attorney to talk about what you’re looking to accomplish, what you have, what kind of debt you have, and really find out if you’re a good candidate for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Once it’s been determined that you’re a good candidate for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are some documents that need to be gathered and paperwork that has to be prepared. There’s what’s called a bankruptcy petition and schedules, and supporting documents that will get prepared. These get filed with the court.
Once your bankruptcy is filed, you’re going to be assigned a date for your 341 meeting. A 341 meeting, also known as a meeting of creditors, is a meeting that you’re required to attend. Your attorney and yourself will be meeting with someone known as a trustee of the bankruptcy court. The trustee is a person who works for the court. Their job is to review your bankruptcy petition and your schedules, and they’ll be asking you questions about the information that you put down. It’s important that you make sure you know what types of question you’re going to be asked, and to be prepared for the 341 meeting of creditors. Your attorney will prepare you in advance for the types of questions that you can expect. The Trustee of the bankruptcy court will then make a recommendation to the Bankruptcy Judge after your meeting about whether or not to approve you for a bankruptcy discharge, the legal wiping out of your debts.
The process is anything but simple and many people who try to do this on their own either get denied for bankruptcy, make mistakes that they don't know how to fix which can stall or kill their case, or end up losing things that they would have been able to protect had an attorney helped them from the start. Don't go it alone, call O'Connor Cadiz Law if you have too much credit card or other debt that you just can't afford to pay back anymore.