What To Expect During The Bankruptcy Process

Pursuing a bankruptcy filing can feel like a stressful thing to even think about. It is, however, an opportunity to get a fresh start, and you should approach it with that mind. Here are three items the folks at a bankruptcy law firm will tell you to expect during the process.

Hard Questions About Finances

The two main forms of personal bankruptcy in the U.S., Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, represent different ends of the spectrum in terms of a person's ability to keep paying their creditors. In both instances, the court will want to feel satisfied that the petitioner is going down the right path.

During a Chapter 13 proceeding, the debtor is asking the court to give them time. Creditors may take a small haircut on the debts they're owed, but they should stand a good chance of recovering most of what they're owed. For that reason, the court will want to know that you'll continue to have the resources to keep paying once a structure has been put in place.

Chapter 7 proceedings involve completely liquidating all a persona's disposable assets to satisfy debts. In these cases, the court will want to see proof the petitioner absolutely cannot ever afford to get back on track.

Lots of Documentation

When presenting a petition for relief to the bankruptcy court, you're going to be asked for a lot of documents. You should try to be able to provide all recent bills, including both credit card and utility bills. Likewise, you should be able to show all the obligations you have, such as rent payments. Your goal is to make sure the court has a clear understanding of what your baseline is for getting by financially.

What Ultimately Happens

In a Chapter 7 case, as much in the way of surplus value will be extracted from your belongings. You will be able, for example, to keep a car for transportation to work, but the court will leave you with the most practical vehicle you own and not necessarily the nicest one.

During Chapter 13 proceedings, the court will appoint a trustee to see that the plan agreed upon is being followed. You will have between three and five years to pay according to the plan. Any debts that might remain at the finish of the term of the plan will be discharged as long as you kept paying on schedule.