When those of us in the United States are facing insurmountable debt, there are many options. Some are better than others. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is one form of financial relief provided by the federal government. It’s often a more viable and beneficial option than others. However, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not a quick fix. It involves a process that must be adhered to in order to receive relief. An experienced Monterey County bankruptcy attorney from our firm can explain more about the process and answer your questions during a private consultation.
Once you’ve decided that bankruptcy is the best way forward, it’s a good idea to meet with a local bankruptcy attorney who can help you determine if you’re eligible for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing. Our firm offers a free initial consultation, where you can review your potential case with a knowledgeable bankruptcy professional at no cost and with no obligation to file. When meeting with an attorney, prepare a list of questions to ask and bring documents related to your income, debts, and taxes to help the attorney understand your finances.
Current bankruptcy laws require that you receive mandatory credit counseling at some point within the six months leading up to your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. This can be a beneficial first step if you’re unsure whether bankruptcy is right for you, since the credit counselor can help you examine your current financial situation in greater detail and provide information about alternatives like debt consolidation.
If you do decide to proceed with a bankruptcy filing, your credit counseling must be provided by an agency that is pre-approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. If you do not obtain this counseling and file a certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court, your case could be dismissed.
To officially begin the process, your Monterey County bankruptcy lawyer will need to file several different forms with your local bankruptcy court. This documentation includes, among other items:
A court filing fee may also be required.
After submitting your paperwork, a trustee will be appointed by the court to handle your case and review it. They will examine your assets to determine if any are nonexempt and review your recent financial transactions. If you have a nonexempt property to distribute to your creditors, they will arrange for that to happen.
After the trustee has reviewed your case, they will schedule a meeting with your creditors, known as a 341 meeting. During this meeting, you will be placed under oath, and the trustee assigned to your case and any creditors that choose to attend can ask you questions. Your Monterey County bankruptcy attorney will also attend this meeting and can object if you are asked questions that are not permitted. This meeting is typically short, and most of the time, no creditors attend.
In between filing for bankruptcy and receiving your discharge, you must take a debtor’s education course. Once complete, you will need to file a form with the court to prove that you have taken the class.
After this meeting, the trustee will determine if you are eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If not, you may qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and can discuss this with your Monterey County bankruptcy lawyer. If you are eligible for Chapter 7, you will need to determine how to manage your secured debts, such as vehicles and properties. You can either:
Finally, between three and six months after your bankruptcy filing, you will receive a discharge of your dischargeable debts. You will no longer have any legal obligation to pay most of them. Your bankruptcy case will be closed shortly after, and you are free to move on with your fresh financial start.
While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy brings much-needed financial relief, it can also create some stress and uncertainty. At Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, bankruptcy clients can count on our Monterey County bankruptcy lawyers every step of the way. You can contact us today to learn more about your options and how we can help. Do not let your unanswered questions or concerns keep you from getting the financial relief you need.
Thank you Miranda and team for the excellent service provided. Miranda is a compassionate, understating, extremely knowledgeable and professional attorney. Her team was always on top of everything making my legal process less stressful. I could never thank Miranda and her assistant Ingrid for holding my hand throughout this difficult process (literally). Miranda is one of the BEST immigration lawyers ever! I would definitely recommend her.
They represented my custody case and handled it like it is their own case and they are best in Monterey County.
The entire team at MMM are superstars! I appreciate all the time and prep that went into my original case many years ago. And now recently, I asked for some help on a follow-up custody matter that I felt I could handle myself but just needed their expertise to properly represent all the important details. They are knowledgeable, extremely thorough, and prepared me for every possible scenario. I can't thank them enough!
My partner and I sought legal advice on bringing my fiance' to the United States with this office after having called a few immigration attorney offices around Monterey County. Having never sought legal advice before it was a refreshing experience in which we both really felt that Patricia listened intently to our goals and needs, and then not only gave us thorough advice, but also she really showed a lot of empathy with our situation and all the challenges we faced in what we trying to do. I would definitely recommend this office for anyone who is unclear about what..
Working with Patricia was a professional encounter unlike any other, an absolute 5-star experience. From the first moment, we walked into our consultation until the moment our case was closed and my husband walked away with his permanent resident card Patricia was communicative, professional, and thorough. Her team contacted us every step of the way providing valuable process and law changes we would not have been able to catch if we tried to navigate this endeavor alone. Patricia answered our endless question stream with thoughtfulness and care, calling us countless times to ensure we were clear on every piece of..
Last year, I had just moved in the area and needed a family law attorney for a custody case. The process of finding/choosing an attorney could be daunting. However, when I went in for my first consultation with Levi my stress level was immediately mollified. He was personable, which made me feel comfortable to discuss my personal matters freely. I had a lot of questions of the legal process that would take place and he took the time to explain everything with meticulous detail. More importantly, when I called Levi he returned my phone calls in a timely/professional time frame...
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