Whether you file for protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the bankruptcy process includes four steps:
- 341 Meeting
Your attorney will tell you precisely what information and documentation you must prepare before he can initiate your paperwork. You will need to show proof of all household income. You will have to list all assets and their value if you were to sell them today. You will have to prepare a list of all creditors, the amount of your debt with each of them, and the timeframe in which the debt was incurred. And you will have to list all your basic living expenses. Based on this information, your attorney can determine whether you are best advised to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
When your attorney has all the information he needs, he will prepare all forms and documents that are required by the court. You will have an opportunity to review this material and, if it is correct to the best of your knowledge, sign the documents. Your attorney will then file them for you. Unless you’ve retained your lawyer on a limited scope basis, you won’t have to appear in court at this time.
3. 341 Meeting
Your case will be reviewed by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. If the trustee has questions or objections to any part of your petition, these will be communicated to your attorney and you will have an opportunity to revise your plan. When the trustee deems your paperwork in order and your plan acceptable, a 341 meeting will be set up. This is a gathering of your creditors together with you, your attorney and the trustee. The meeting provides an opportunity for your creditors to issue any objections they have to your plan. This usually does not happen, but you are required to be present at the meeting regardless.
Under Chapter 7, the discharge is usually granted about 60 days after the 341 meeting. Under Chapter 13, you will not be issued a discharge until the 3- or 5-year repayment period is completed, provided that all payments were made on schedule.
Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney will keep the process running more smoothly. Someone whose practice consists solely or primarily of bankruptcy cases will be familiar with the ins and outs of the courts and aware of some of the pitfalls that could arise. He can smooth the way and keep the wheels of justice turning in your favor.
If you need to speak to a bankruptcy attorney in Dallas contact the Law Firm of Warren & Migliaccio L.L.P at 888-584-9614.
Warren & Migliaccio, L.L.P. practices law in Dallas County, Collin County, Rockwall County, and Hunt County. Whether you live in Dallas, Garland, Richardson, Plano, Allen or other Dallas, Texas suburbs, we are dedicated to delivering the highest standard of legal representation and putting you first.