Gonzales, CA Bankruptcy Attorneys
Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legal process that provides debt relief to thousands of consumers each year in the United States. If you decide to file, it is important to have the assistance of a Gonzales, CA bankruptcy attorney from beginning to end of the process. Our legal team can meet with you and answer all of your questions about how bankruptcy works and how it might impact your life. Below are only some of the common questions we can answer.
What is a Bankruptcy Trustee?
A bankruptcy trustee is appointed and oversees Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. The trustee discovers the assets available to liquidate and is in control of all assets in the bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy estate includes all of your property except that which is exempt from being liquidated to pay creditors that you owe. Exemptions that you claim when filing are reviewed by the trustee. Once the process is complete according to the law, the trustee will decide that a debtor is entitled to discharge their debts.
What is the Means Test?
The law requires a debtor to first determine that they are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy by showing they pass the means test. The means test asks whether your monthly income is less than that of the state median for your household size, as reported by the Department of Justice (DOJ). If the answer is yes, then you qualify. However, if you make more than the state median, then abuse of Chapter 7 is presumed. Your lawyer will consider all sources of income you have, as well as qualified expenses to determine whether you pass the means test and qualify.
What is the 341 Meeting?
A 341 meeting is a hearing that requires your attendance as the debtor. It allows the trustee and creditors to ensure that the information in your bankruptcy filing is accurate and complete and is conducted by the trustee. However, unlike regular court hearings, there is no judge present in a 341 meeting. While creditors are not required to attend the meeting, they are not prohibited.
The 341 meeting begins with the trustee verifying your identification. The trustee will then swear you in. During the meeting, you are asked questions regarding your bankruptcy filing under oath by both the trustee and the creditors, should they choose. However, due to time constraints, creditors are generally limited to asking questions regarding the nature of your property and its location. It is important to answer the trustee’s and creditors’ questions completely and accurately. Anything you answer in the 341 meeting can be used as evidence in an action against you to dispute a discharge.
Meet with Gonzales, CA Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
If you are deciding on whether to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, speak to the attorneys of Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP. We will help you understand the likelihood of passing the means test, your property exempt from liquidation, and what happens in a 341 meeting. Visit our website to schedule your consultation with bankruptcy attorneys in Gonzales.