Chapter 7 Filing Steps

Here are the steps involved in filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7.

U.S. Trustee Program
Completion of coursework in credit counseling and money management through agencies recommended by the U.S. Trustee Program is required. They must be completed no earlier than six months and no later than one day prior to filing. You will receive a certificate upon completion of these courses. Whether or not you choose to accept the agency's guidance is up to you, but you must obtain the certification. Through this counseling program you may find that filing for Chapter 7 can be avoided.

The Automatic Stay
This is issued after you have filed. Your creditors are, under the terms of this court order, not permitted to get in touch with you. All dunning letters and calls from collection agencies are stopped. You will, however, also no longer receive any statements for loans that you want to continue payments on, so you will need to mark your calendar in order to avoid falling behind.

The Creditor's Meeting
No courtroom appearance is necessary. Instead, some four weeks after you have filed, a creditor's meeting is held at the office of the trustee. It does not involve any kind of cross-examination, nor do you go before a judge. The trustees, bankruptcy lawyers themselves, will conduct the meeting. It normally lasts about fifteen minutes.

You will be required to verify under oath that the value of all assets or property has been accurately defined, that no property has been omitted from the list and none of your property, assets or funds have been illicitly passed over to anyone else. You may have to account to the trustee for the sources used in setting the values on your property.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact Equal Justice Law Group attorney at 209-418-7504.


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