We have met with thousands of people that could benefit from filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. And in meeting with so many people, we have been able to compile a list of topics that frequently comes up in consultations. Below is a discussion of some of the most common topics in our bankruptcy consultations.
What is the 341 Meeting?
the 341 Meeting also known as “Meeting of Creditors” is a mandatory hearing that takes place about (1) month after your bankruptcy case is filed. 11 U.S.C. Code Section 341. The meeting is run by an attorney from trustee’s office. The hearing gives the trustee and creditors to ask you questions about your case and any collateral securing creditors’ claims. When filing a joint case, (both husband and wife), then both must attend the creditor meeting. It is advised to attend the meeting thirty (30) minutes early. Further, it is important to keep in mind that while attending the meeting, you are required to provide a valid ID and proof of social security number. Lastly, make sure to ask for a copy of the 341 Questions Appendix A excerpt from the official Trustee’s hand book if you have not already received a copy.
Will I receive a notice of the 341 Meeting?
Yes. By law, a notice of the meeting will be provided to you by mail. The notice will tell you when your meeting is to take place. A reminder will be sent prior to the hearing date. If address or phone number is changed, of if a correction needs to be made, it is suggested you let the attorney know right away, so address with the Court can be changed. If for some reason, a notice is not received within three (3) weeks after your case is filed, call our office right away.
What should I do after my case is filed?
After the case is filed, if you want to keep your automobile and real property, you will be required to make automobile and mortgage payments. If there is mortgage or mortgages on your residence, and you wish to keep your home, then payments are to be made to the creditors directly every month as they come due. If you wish to keep your automobile, you will be required to make payments on it every month, as they come due when the case is filed. If you are behind on your auto and/or mortgage payments, you must let your attorney know before your case is filed.
You will be required to pay child support and alimony. All on-going child support and alimony must be paid on time after your case is filed.
Once a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed, ongoing criminal proceedings will still be ongoing, if existent at that time. Even if the bad checks are included in your Chapter 7 case, Chapter 7 will not prevent creditors from pursuing bad check arrest warrants against you.
Furthermore, if you are under probation, you must abide by the terms of your probation order, failure to do so could lead to your probation revocation. Lastly, if you are ordered to appear in Court for child support contempt, or for bad checks or any other court or administrative proceeding, you MUST appear in Court or Bench Warrant may be issued for your arrest. Keep in mind, our representation of you does not extend to criminal matters.
What Should I not do when my bankruptcy case is ongoing?
When your case is ongoing, borrowing money (even from family or friends) is not allowed. Further, you won’t be able to use credit cards, finance any purchases, mortgage assets, enter into new loan agreements or otherwise incur new debt without first getting the trustee’s permission.
Sell Your Home
When your case is ongoing, you cannot sell your home or other assets, quitclaim, give away or otherwise dispose of any assets, including real estate, without the Bankruptcy Court’s permission. If you desire to sell an asset, you should obtain a proposed sales contract, make it subject to the Bankruptcy Court’s approval, and provide a copy to our office. Once that is done, motion with the Court to have the sale approved can be filed. Typically, once we have received a copy of the contract, it takes 45 to 60 days to get it approved by the Court.
There are many other activities you should avoid while your bankruptcy case is open (such as gamble, write bad checks, sell or give away assets, etc.) and an experienced attorney should be able to provide you with a list and some guidance.
What do I need to list on my Bankruptcy Petition?
It is required that on your petition, you list all cosigners and cosigned debts. It is also required that you list the names and complete mailing addresses of the people who are liable on the debts with you.
Further, you are required to list all taxes, law suits, child support, alimony, and student loans, if existing. Lastly, in a Chapter 7 case, ALL of your debts or alleged debts MUST be listed as well. How these debts are treated in your case is a different story, but it is a must that we are aware of all your creditors, regardless of whether you agree or don’t that you owe them or may owe something. If you have a question or are uncertain, err on the side of caution and list any and every debt you can think of.
In a Chapter 7 case, all of your assets MUST be listed in your schedules. These claims include, but are not limited to: Personal injury, worker’s compensation, or complaint. If any such actions arise while your case is pending, then you must notify our firm so that we can also disclose it to the Bankruptcy Court, as well. If you fail to list these claims, it could result in you losing the right to recover against them.
If you have a claim against a third party and wish us to assist you with it, we will be more than happy to discuss it with you. If you have retained other counsel, please let us know so that we may help your attorney to be approved by the Bankruptcy Court.
If you need debt relief, read on.
Filing for bankruptcy does not always have to be made complicated. The experienced attorneys at Coleman Legal Group, LLC have helped hundreds of clients find relief from debt under the bankruptcy code. Our attorneys are here to make the process simpler and stress-free. In order to have a successful Chapter 7 case, following through on certain obligations and responsibilities should be your utmost priority. This articles is written for educational purposes and will lay down the expectations when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, and should only be used for for informational purposes. Do not hesitate to call us at 770-609-1247 and ask to speak with one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys today.