Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Overview
Gather together the items on the document list, such as your bills, pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, etc. If you don’t have all the documents, just do your best. We don’t need everything to get started. Call us at 414-445-2590 to schedule an appointment.
We will prepare a bankruptcy petition for you. Your bankruptcy petition will list:
- All of the property you own. If you own too much property, the trustee can take the excess for the benefit of your creditors. This is a very rare occurrence.
- All of the debts you owe. You must list all of your debts. You cannot pick and choose what debts to list.
- Your gross income. If your income is too high, you may not qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- A monthly budget. This monthly budget is forward-looking, assuming a bankruptcy has been completed. So it doesn’t include payments on debts that are discharged in bankruptcy. If this monthly budget shows that your income exceeds your living expenses by a substantial amount, you may not qualify for chapter 7.
Prior to filing, you will need to take a credit counseling class (one session typically via telephone or internet).
We will file your bankruptcy petition with the court. The court will immediately issue an order that stops all collection activity, including bills, phone calls, lawsuits, garnishments, foreclosures, etc.
About a month after filing there will be a meeting of creditors. You must attend and we will be there with you. In most cases, no creditors show up. The meeting typically lasts about 5 minutes.
Creditors have 60 days from the meeting of creditors to object to the discharge (or wiping out) of their debt. Objections are rare. When objections do occur, they’re often the result of large, recent credit card activity (cash advances, purchases or balance transfers) or large recent borrowing.
Prior to receiving your discharge, you will need to take a personal financial management class (also called debtor education). After you have completed your 2nd class and the 60 day period for objecting expires the court will issue your discharge order wiping out all your dischargeable debt and your bankruptcy will be over.