The best course of action is to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney as soon as you think bankruptcy might be a possibility for you. The bankruptcy laws are complicated – it’s best to have an expert assist you in charting your course.
The 2005 Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code established a requirement of credit counseling, both before and after you file for bankruptcy. The pre-bankruptcy credit counseling can be completed prior to your petition being filed, and the course is good for six months. Here is a list of some of the approved credit-counseling courses we recommend: APPROVED PRE-FILING CREDIT COUNSELING COURSES
Date of Filing
This is the day that we file your bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court. The filing of the petition begins the “automatic stay” – which protects you from further garnishment, harassing phone calls, debt-collection letters, home foreclosures, or repossessions.
Notice Goes Out to Creditors
About a week after filing, the bankruptcy court notifies each of your creditors that you have filed for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection.
341 Meeting of Creditors
Aside from meeting with your bankruptcy attorney, this should be the only face-to-face meeting you will be required to attend regarding your bankruptcy. This meeting usually occurs about 30 days after the filing of your bankruptcy petition. Although called the “meeting of creditors,” it is very rare for one of your creditors to actually show up. At this meeting, you will be sworn under oath and the bankruptcy Trustee appointed to your case will ask you questions about your financial situation. This is not a memory test or an attempt to trick you. Just answer the questions truthfully and be honest about your struggle and financial situation. At the Heller & Thyen, P.A., we make it a point to make our clients feel comfortable about the 341 Meeting of Creditors. We discuss possible questions the Trustee might ask and assist you in preparing for this brief meeting.
Generally speaking, most creditors have 60 days from the 341 Meeting of Creditors to file any objection they might have to your bankruptcy petition. If a creditor does not object to the petition within the 60-day window, that debt will be discharged. The Chapter 13 timeline is the same, except that the discharge will not be granted until the end of your three- or five-year repayment plan.
The post-bankruptcy credit counseling must be completed after you file, but prior to receiving your discharge. Here is a list of some of the credit-counseling courses we recommend: APPROVED POST- FILING CREDIT COUNSELING COURSES
606 25th Avenue South, Suite 110Saint Cloud, MN 56301(320) 654-8000 or (888) 570-9899
2701 University Avenue SE, Suite 209 Minneapolis, MN 55414(612) 877-0420
414 Becker Ave SW, 2nd Floor Willmar, MN 56201(320) 235-1117 or (888) 570-9899