What happens after I file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition?

Curious as to what happens after you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with our office? We have the answers!

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Law Firm - What Happens After I File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Immediately after filing, you will receive an email or package from our office in the mail. Included with be several documents you will need throughout the process.

Chapter 7 Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing

Your Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing is an important form the court issues after we have filed your bankruptcy petition. This Notice contains your case number, district information as well as the date the petition was filed and often, your Trustee’s information. You can use this document to prove to anyone that you have filed bankruptcy and are under the protection of the Automatic Stay, which prohibits any creditors from contacting you or continuing with any collection actions.

Your case number will be important when you go to register for the second (and final) online credit course.

Image: Sample Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing for a Chapter 7 case.

The Court will mail the Notice of Filing to all the creditors you listed in your bankruptcy, but it does take a few days for them to receive that notice. In the meantime, if you get a phone call from a creditor after we file, just let them know you have filed and provide your case number and our office’s contact information.

Financial Management Course

The Financial Management Course (or Debtor Education Course) is required by the court to be completed prior to the end of your bankruptcy. In most cases, your Chapter 7 bankruptcy will last about 3-4 months. Sounds like you have plenty of time, right? The issue is, if it is not completed and the certificate filed with the court before the end of your bankruptcy, you will not get your debt discharged. We recommend you take the course as soon as possible.

Image: BE Adviser 2nd Post-Filing Course Instructions

Our Firm recommends BE Adviser for the post-filing course as they have fantastic customer service and a competitive rate. You will need to know you case number and district information. This information is located on your Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing.

What do I need to prepare for my Chapter 7 341 Meeting of Creditors?

You will receive an email or letter from our office with information on your 341 Meeting of Creditors, including the location, date and time. In most cases, this meeting will be the one and only court date you will need to attend. At this meeting, your Trustee will verify your identity by using your Driver’s License and Social Security Card. If you do not have your Social Security Card, the Trustee will accept a W2 as proof. We recommend, though, that you request a duplicate Social Security card online if you do not have your original copy. You MUST have both your Driver’s License and proof of your Social Security number with you when you come to the 341 Meeting or the Trustee will not hold the meeting.

Each Trustee has different required documents they will request in advance of your 341 Meeting. No matter your Trustee, they all will require your most recently filed Federal Tax Returns. Our office should already have a copy, but if not, we will need them as soon as possible so we can get the documents to the Trustee prior to the meeting. If you do not submit the documents at least 7 days before the scheduled meeting, the Trustee will reschedule the meeting. Our office will let you know what specific documents your Trustee requires by letter or email.

What happens at my Chapter 7 341 meeting?

What happens at my Chapter 7 341 meeting? The 341 Meeting of Creditors is an opportunity for the Trustee to ask questions about your bankruptcy petition. A bankruptcy attorney from our office will attend the meeting with you. There should be no questions you will not have answers to. The Trustee is just going to verify your identity and ask ask some questions about your assets and debts.

How does Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect my credit score?

We’ve covered this topic in more detail in our article “what does bankruptcy do to my credit score?“. More often than not, debtors report an INCREASE in their credit score after filing for bankruptcy. How can this be possible? At ARM Lawyers, we do more than simply help you eliminate your debt. We will work with you to rebuild your credit score after bankruptcy!  After your Chapter 13 Plan is confirmed, we will enroll you in the “7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score” program FOR FREE. This $1,000 program is available to my clients FOR FREE – just for being my client.