Professional Guidance Through the Bankruptcy Process
Filing for bankruptcy is a stressful process. Far too many people that need to do so wait far too long. You may feel like filing for bankruptcy is a failure on your part, but the fact is, that is just not true. It’s a process that was created so when you are so deep in debt that it feels like there is no escape, you can find a way out. Bankruptcy was not created as a mark of shame, but as an act at redemption.
Bad things happen to good people, and sometimes good people have to file for bankruptcy. Whether it was due to a medical expense, poor credit situation, or a lost job, there is no shame in taking the way out that was designed to help people in financial strife.
Of course, even if you decide that you do need to file for bankruptcy, that doesn’t mean you necessarily know how. This is why you need a lawyer. At Blake Goodman, PC, Attorney, we are here to represent you through one of the toughest moments of your life and walk you through the bankruptcy filing process. We will provide you with a bankruptcy consultation, as well as do our best to keep your appearances in court minimal. As a result, while you are out living your life and taking it back from debt, we are fighting for your ability to get a second chance.
While every bankruptcy case is going to be a little different because every person is different, there are going to be some general guidelines that we will typically follow no matter the situation.
- Bankruptcy counseling session
- Filing with the court
- Liquidation or repayment
- Debtor education course
- Debt discharge
Again, the situations themselves will rarely be the same, but this is the general format that most bankruptcy cases are going to follow. Much of the process is required by law, and we will work with you and update you through every step of the way.
Consultations are FREE
The first step for you is to find a lawyer. While you are certainly within your right to file bankruptcy without representation, you will want someone there to assist you with all the legal jargon and just give you advice throughout the process. At Blake Goodman, PC, Attorney, we have been through many bankruptcy cases, and our representation will make the process feel far more simple than it would be on your own.
For starters, with us as your representation, any debt collectors must stop contacting you directly and contact us instead. Debt collectors must contact the legal representation of the debtor once they have received it.
We will also be the ones to represent you in court. You should hopefully only have to make a single appearance in court while we represent you, and after that appearance, everything else should be communicated to you through us. Along with that, we will provide you with a bankruptcy consultation to help you further understand the process.
Credit Counseling Sessions
Before you can begin filing for bankruptcy you must first go through 1 mandatory credit counseling session. These are required by law and cannot be skipped. These counseling sessions are meant to help you see if bankruptcy is truly right for you.
It will explore any potential alternatives to bankruptcy, what your budget looks like, your debts, and how the process itself works. This must be done before any paperwork can be filed with the courts.
Filing for Bankruptcy
After the credit counseling sessions have been completed, it’s time to go through the actual bankruptcy filing in court. Paperwork will be submitted in court, and from this point, debt collectors will be informed to stop contacting you. An “automatic stay” will be placed on you, and no legal activities will continue until your bankruptcy case has been resolved.
During this time, bankruptcy will be placed on your credit report. This will stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.
Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy
The next step in the process will depend on what type of bankruptcy you are filing under.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will see the liquidation of your assets. During this time period, it’s not likely, but you may lose physical items such as any very valuable property or cars.
During Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will instead have all of your debts collected into one large debt. You will then be able to pay off your debts via a monthly lump sum payment. However, if you miss one of these payments, your bankruptcy could be denied and you will go back to owing all your debts individually.
Debtor Education Course
Even if you have paid off all your debts, or had all of your assets liquidated, you cannot be free of debt until you complete this course. This course is intended to teach you financial wellness practices that you can follow after bankruptcy to avoid going through this again.
We also offer a free course to help get your credit score up to 720 or higher within 2 years following your bankruptcy. Contact us for more information.
Congrats! You Are Free of Debt
Now that you have completed all the previous steps, you are completely free of debt. This is an opportunity to begin anew. It will feel difficult now, but this fresh start feels so much better when you earn the peace of mind of no longer being constantly worried about your debts.