Archives for April 2013

Bankruptcy – Difference between Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

Chapter 7 is a liquidation fresh start type of bankruptcy whereby a person who has very little in the way of assets and a lot of unsecured debt can file a Chapter 7 and get a fresh start.  Under Chapter 7, debtors typically keep all of their properties such as houses, cars, personal belongings provided they continue to make monthly payments on those secured items.  Chapter 7 is the most common for someone who is not making a lot of money or doesn’t have the ability to repay their debt and has not received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge within the last eight years.  Chapter 7’s make up 75% of all bankruptcy cases that are filed throughout the country whereby Chapter 13 represents + Read More

What is a 341 Meeting?

A 341 Meeting is a meeting of creditors we acquired and mandated by the Bankruptcy Code whereby a debtor will be examined under oath by a Chapter 7 trustee regarding assets and liabilities.  The Chapter 7 trustee has the duty to examine the debtor and determine whether or not there are any assets that can be taken and sold by the trustee for the benefit of the creditors.  The trustee will examine the debtor under oath and it will be recorded.  The meeting should last anywhere from 2 to 7 minutes and the debtor should not be shocked by any of the questions at the 341 Meeting.  The trustee is going to want to ask if the debtor listed all of their assets, all of their liabilities and did they + Read More

Bankruptcy & How Long The Process Takes

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can last anywhere from 100 to 120 days from start to finish.  It basically works like this: once the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed, there is a notice that goes out to all creditors, the debtor and the debtor’s attorney advising of an upcoming meeting called a 341 Meeting of Creditors.  This meeting is held anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks after filing where a Chapter 7 trustee is going to interview the debtor under oath regarding assets, liabilities and all the information in the bankruptcy petition.  Creditors have an opportunity to appear at this meeting, however most will not under Chapter 7 because they rely on the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee to perform the + Read More

Keep Home When Payments are Current – Bankruptcy

You definitely have the ability to keep your house and car in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if you are current on your payments, provided you do not have significant nonexempt equity in those properties.  Most people who come to see me for a Chapter 7 and who may be homeowners do not have significant equity.  It is definitely the norm for people to have very little in the way of equity in the real estate.  In those cases, they can continue to make their first and/or second mortgage payment and keep the property free and clear from creditors and from the trustee. In terms of vehicles, once again, most people do not have significant equity above and beyond the exemption amount in a vehicle.  Most + Read More

Will I file a Bankruptcy Case Prior To Being Fully Paid?

There are some cases under Chapter 7 where I will file a case prior to being paid in full.  Those cases involve wage garnishments, bank citations or other court appearances required that would be a burden to the debtor and would actually hinder the debtor’s ability to pay the law firm in the long run.  In those certain circumstances, when the debtor must be filed, if they show good working history, if they have the ability to fulfill the obligations under the Bankruptcy Code, then I will consider filing prior to being paid in full.  In those circumstances, we will want a post-petition retainer agreement which basically sets forth what the law firm is going to do after the case is filed and + Read More