Making the choice to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not easy. If you are making this decision, it is likely because you are dealing with certain types of debt you can no longer manage on your own. While this step may not be your first choice, it is a way you can deal with unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, and emerge to a better financial future.
Before you move forward, you will need to know what to expect from this process. This will allow you to avoid missteps and complications, and it can allow you to feel confident about the choice you are making. Chapter 7 bankruptcy not only allows you to deal with certain types of balances in an effective and organized manner, but it can also protect you from continued collection efforts from creditors and debt collectors.
The process of bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally takes a few months to complete. The first step of this process is to prepare a petition and file with the appropriate court. In addition to the paperwork, an applicant will also have to provide information on assets, liabilities, income, expenditures, financial affairs, leases and more. After the assignment of a case trustee, the applicant will provide him or her with a copy of tax returns. After these steps, the following may happen:
- The applicant will have to pay filing fees, but it may be possible to pay these fees in installments.
- The automatic stay will go into effect after filing, which halts all creditor contact and debt collection efforts.
- Between 20 and 40 days after filing, there will be a meeting of the creditors. Creditors and the trustee may ask questions about finances, assets and property.
Every case is different. You will find it beneficial to work with a Missouri bankruptcy attorney at every step of this process to ensure the protection of your rights and to make sure you know what to expect from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Your financial future
If you have overwhelming credit card debt, personal loans and medical bills, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right choice for your situation. While there are significant benefits available to financially struggling consumers by filing, it is also important to know about all of your options before you move forward. An assessment of your case can help you understand if this is the best way for you to achieve a better financial future.