The most common type of bankruptcy that individuals and couples in Indianapolis file is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Once my clients have decided that bankruptcy makes sense for them after meeting with me at Halcomb Singler they always want to get the bankruptcy over fast. I don’t blame them….Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an opportunity for a fresh start. The faster that my clients get through bankruptcy the faster that they can obtain a discharge and move on with their lives. So, many want to know, “What is a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline?”
First you need to meet with a bankruptcy attorney in your area to discuss your situation. If you want to meet with me just give me a call at (317) 575-8222 or click here for a free consultation. Many people are nervous to make this call because they feel ashamed and embarrassed about their financial situation. There is simply no reason to be embarrassed. As a bankruptcy attorney, I speak with people every day about these issues and I am not there to judge. I am concentrating on how to best fix the situation. Being afraid or embarrassed to speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your finances is similar to feeling ashamed to being embarrassed at the dentist office when you have a cavity. At the initial meeting, that takes about one hour I will go over your income, expenses, assets and debts. I will also answer your questions and will let you know whether or not I believe Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be helpful for your situation.
Assuming that I can recommend Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you decide that you want to proceed with bankruptcy, there is going to be some information to gather. You will receive a bankruptcy questionnaire to complete and a checklist of some documents to gather including your most recent income tax return, pay stubs and your bills. You will also need to complete a credit counseling course, which can be done online.
It will take about a week for your attorney to prepare your bankruptcy petition for filing. You will come in to review your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with your attorney. You will sign the petition at Halcomb Singler. Once you leave your bankruptcy attorney will file the petition electronically. In approximately 2 business days your case will be assigned a date for your 341 meeting of creditors, which is a hearing in a conference room in downtown Indianapolis. These hearings are typically 30 to 45 days from the date of the filing of your bankruptcy petition, which means that you will have plenty of notice of the hearing date.
On the date of the hearing I will meet you at the meeting room located in the federal court building in downtown Indianapolis 15 minutes prior to the hearing. Unlike many attorneys, I do not have other attorneys “cover” my 341 hearings. I know my clients are often nervous for this hearing and I want to help them feel at ease by representing them at the hearing myself. In addition, my clients do pay me to represent them in bankruptcy and I don’t believe that they are paying to have someone else show up that that they have never met. I will go over questions I anticipate the trustee will ask you during your approximately 5 minute hearing to put you at ease.
After the 341 hearing you must complete a financial management course. Again, this may be completed online. Then you just wait. The US trustee has ten (10) days to file what is called a Notice of Presumed Abuse. In short, this means that the US Trustee’s office believe that the Chapter 7 bankruptcy should really have been a Chapter 13 repayment plan. This notice is not filed in the vast majority of cases. Assuming there is no notice of presumed abuse, 60 days from your 341 meeting of creditors I will receive your discharge order, send it to you with a closing letter in the mail, and your bankruptcy case will be over.
One additional step that is a part of some Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases is that a portion (or rarely the entire refund) must be turned over to the bankruptcy trustee. A qualified bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell you whether your income tax refund is at risk.
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.