Of course, most of the people who seek out Halcomb Singler, LLP, for advice regarding how to handle their debt problems or bankruptcy aren’t sure what they need to do. At Halcomb Singler we know that and we are here to help. This blog will focus on what a person can expect as far as a timeline after they have made the decision to file bankruptcy.
At Halcomb Singler, once we have met with a potential client who needs to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy we provide them with a bankruptcy questionnaire as well as a list of document that we would like them to get together. We then also inform our client of the need to take a credit counseling course and give them the relevant information. We tell the client that as soon as they have the documents to call and make an appointment to review them. After that appointment our firm creates a draft of a bankruptcy petition for our client.
The time between when a person decides they are going to file bankruptcy and the time that the bankruptcy petition is actually filed with the bankruptcy court could be as short as a day or as long as years. It really just depends on how long it takes for our client to gather the documents and whether there are any strategy reasons for filing the bankruptcy petition sooner or later. Nonetheless, a date to actually file the petition is chosen ahead of time because it will important for our client to plan ahead so as to avoid having any non-exempt assets at the time of filing if at all possible.
On the date that is selected for filing the petition, the client will come to Halcomb Singler. We will review the bankruptcy petition with the client and make any changes necessary. The client will sign the petition and then be on his or her way. Once the client has left, an attorney will file the petition and other required documents with the Southern District of Indiana Bankruptcy Clerk.
About 2 business days after the bankruptcy petition is filed the attorney will receive an e-mail notice of the 341 meeting of creditors. This is a hearing that every bankruptcy debtor must attend. Our office will write a letter to our client with a copy of this hearing notice as well as the address of the Federal Court building in downtown Indianapolis and directions regarding when to appear for the hearing. The hearing typically takes place 30 to 45 days after the date of the filing. As a result, our clients have plenty of time to ask for time off work, line up child care, etc.
The day prior to the hearing an attorney from our office calls our client to confirm the hearing time, discuss parking, what to wear, and to answer any questions that the client might have.
When the hearing date rolls around one of our attorneys meets with the client approximately 15 minutes prior to the hearing to go through any last minute questions our client might have. Halcomb Singler sends the attorney you are familiar with to the hearing. Unlike some law firms, we do not pay another attorney to “cover” our hearings. We believe that it makes our clients more comfortable to appear with a familiar face at their hearing. Even though the hearings typically only last 5 minutes, we know that the hearing is a point of stress for our clients and we want to be there with them.
Once the hearing is over we talk to our clients about what else they need to do as a result of the hearing, if anything. About 60 days after the hearing (so long as the financial management course has been completed) we will receive the final discharge order in the case. This is the legal document that states that our client no longer owes any money to his or her dischargeable creditors.
I must stress that this is a very basic overview of the process. Each case has different nuances and may require additional steps. If you are wondering if you might be a good candidate for bankruptcy keep in mind that Halcomb Singler, LLP, will meet with potential bankruptcy clients free of charge. Some of the people we meet with need to file bankruptcy and other we are able to give some feedback and help them to avoid bankruptcy. Feel free to call our office at (317) 575-8222 for your appointment.
**Halcomb Singler, LLP, is a debt relief agency. It helps people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code. No attorney-client relationship with the firm of Halcomb Singler, LLP, is created through this blog. Also, please note that Erika Singler is an attorney licensed in Indiana and does not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so. The information contained in this blog is general in nature and should not be relied upon for the circumstances of any individual(s) or businesses.