The court filing fee for a Chapter 7 case is $335.00. Legal fees will depend on the complexity of the case, the type of bankruptcy filed and whether the case is contested or uncontested. We will generally quote a fee after meeting with the client and determining what must be done from a legal standpoint. You will find that our fee schedule is very competitive with other attorneys experienced in bankruptcy law. Payment plans are available.
As soon as a bankruptcy petition is filed, creditors are automatically stopped from any collection efforts including lawsuits, foreclosures garnishments and harassment. A few days after the bankruptcy case is filed, the court will send a notice to all creditors, advising them of the bankruptcy filing, and setting a time for the First Meeting of Creditors.
The First Meeting of Creditors is attended by the debtor, his or her lawyer and the Bankruptcy Trustee. Creditors can appear but in most Chapter 7 cases no creditors are present. This meeting generally takes 10 minutes and its purpose is to verify the information in the initial bankruptcy paperwork. In a routine Chapter 7 case, there are no other meetings or hearings that the client needs to attend.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case there is a sixty day waiting period after the First Meeting of Creditors within which creditors can object to your case. There are very limited circumstances where a creditor can object to its debt being discharged. During this sixty day period, if a debtor intends to keep a debt ( i.e. house, car or furniture loan), a reaffirmation agreement may or may not be signed by the debtor and the creditor and then filed with the Court. Not long after the sixty day period elapses, the final order of the Bankruptcy Court will be entered officially discharging debts. A discharge means that the debts are permanently unenforceable and uncollectible. The procedure in Chapter 11, 12, and 13 cases is more complicated. Feel free to ask us about it.
Generally, a debtor will not lose any property by filing bankruptcy. There are some exceptions, of course. Certain property, under state and federal law, is declared exempt and unreachable by creditors, including:
Generally, the following debts are not discharged in bankruptcy, although there are some exceptions: