Many people are intimidated by the thought of declaring bankruptcy, and as such don't really like to think about the process or what might lie ahead of them. However, not knowing what to expect leads to a lot of unnecessary stress caused by uncertainty. To help you better understand the bankruptcy process, here are some of the most common things you should expect.
You Will Be Appointed a Trustee
A bankruptcy trustee is a third-party whose job is to make sure you're following all of the rules associated with declaring bankruptcy and handle the extensive paperwork you'll have to complete when declaring bankruptcy. If you declare Chapter 7, your trustee will take all of your unprotected assets, sell them through a process known as liquidation, and then use the proceeds to pay off your creditors. In Chapter 13, you'll have to make a monthly bankruptcy payment to your trustee for the duration that your court-approved plan calls for.
There's one thing you should always keep in mind throughout this process: your trustee is not on your side. They are not there to protect you—in fact their job is to do everything in their power to make sure you are only allowed to keep what you are able to protect using your exemptions. As such, they are thorough in their investigations to make sure all unprotected assets are accounted for and dealt with.
You Will Go Through a 341 Meeting
A 341 Mearing is more commonly known as a “meeting of creditors,” and happens in every single bankruptcy case. This meeting is mediated by your trustee and usually occurs roughly seven weeks after your initial bankruptcy filing date to give your creditors a chance to object to your submitted bankruptcy payment plan or the distribution of assets. The good news is in most instances your creditors don't even bother to show up to these meetings, and they're usually over in just a few short minutes after your trustee asks you a few questions regarding the documentation you have submitted.
Your Case May Take a While
Bankruptcy isn't necessarily a quick process. Even the simplest of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases can take around three months on average to complete after the meeting of the creditors has been completed. Chapter 13 cases don't issue discharges until the completion of your repayment plan, which takes anywhere from three to five years.Learn more about what to expect during the bankruptcy process, including what unique aspects you may go through, from a qualified Richmond bankruptcy lawyer. Call Bruce W. White, P.C. today at (804) 655-0502 to schedule a consultation.