08 Nov Bankruptcy Process in Minnesota
If you are looking at your financial picture and it looks bleak you may need to look at your debt elimination options. The two most common options are bankruptcy and debt consolidation. In the vast majority of cases bankruptcy will be the better option. For the purpose of this post I am assuming that you have made the decision to file for bankruptcy protection.
The first step in filing for bankruptcy is choosing a bankruptcy lawyer. The lawyer you choose will make a difference, you want to make sure you hire an attorney who files bankruptcies on a regular basis, and knows all the people who make the bankruptcy process work (judges, trustees, court staff, U.S. Trustee, etc). If your attorney has worked in the field he or she would be familiar with all of the different players in the bankruptcy process. If you hire an attorney the next thing to look for is somebody who is aware of the changes in the law that may affect your case. Has the attorney you decided to hire taken continuing legal education credits in the bankruptcy field in the past few years, does the attorney stay current on changes in bankruptcy case law? How long has the attorney worked with debtors, creditors and bankruptcy? Does the attorney have experience with the issues I am facing in my bankruptcy? Once you are satisfied that you have made a wise choice in retaining an attorney, they will give you information on the next steps in the process.
The next steps in the process typically involve taking a credit counseling class, filling out a questionnaire, and preparing documents to file the bankruptcy. Your lawyer will be able to give you a specific checklist of documents you need in order to prepare your bankruptcy petition. It is important to provide the requested documentation because it allows your attorney to prepare your case accurately. After all the documents have been reviewed and put into a bankruptcy petition, the next step is a meeting to make sure the information is accurate. This is an important step in the process to make sure you have listed all of your debts and assets accurately.
Once your attorney files the bankruptcy petition with the court a 341 meeting will be scheduled. This meeting typically happens 30 days after your bankruptcy is filed with the court. At this meeting you need to bring your most recent pay stubs, bank statements from the date of filing, social security card, and drivers license. You attorney will be able to give you this information. After you attend this meeting you can take your 2nd credit counseling class (you can take the 2nd class anytime after your bankruptcy is filed).
The bankruptcy discharge in generally granted 60 days after the 341 meeting. In the meantime if you have questions you should contact your attorney. For most clients the bankruptcy process involves some paper work but is relatively easy, provided they picked a good Minneapolis Bankruptcy Attorney. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy give my office a call.