The Bankruptcy Process
Many of the people who could benefit most from a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are hesitant to even consider those as options because they don’t understand how the process works. While the bankruptcy process is a very complex endeavor to undertake, as qualified Hartford County lawyers, we can help ensure that your interests are protected at every step.
At Advanced Bankruptcy Legal Services of Connecticut, we represent clients in all aspects of consumer bankruptcy. If you are filing bankruptcy in Connecticut, we will help you navigate the entire process and see your case through to its conclusion. Each bankruptcy is unique, and the process can vary based on the specific facts of your case. The information below is a general overview of the steps involved with a typical bankruptcy proceeding.
How Bankruptcy Cases Proceed
The following steps are a part of every bankruptcy, regardless of whether you choose to file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13:
- Completion of a credit counseling course provided by a court-approved agency
- Completion of your bankruptcy petition with supporting documentation, including an accounting of your assets, debts, income and expenses, as well as other requisite information. We will work with you to gather all the necessary information and ensure that everything is accurate before your petition is submitted to the court.
- Attendance at a creditors’ meeting, where you will be placed under oath and answer questions from your trustee and creditors regarding your financial affairs. This isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Most creditors choose not to attend these meetings, and many are done in as little as 15 minutes.
- Protection under the automatic stay. Upon the filing of your petition with the court, creditors must stop all collection activity and legal actions unless they have received permission from the court to proceed.
The following steps are specific to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing:
- Completion of a means test that compares your income level and disposable income with that of other Connecticut wage earners
- Completion of any applicable voluntary reaffirmation agreements for auto loans, home loans or loans associated with other property that you wish to keep
- Review and liquidation of your nonexempt property – in most cases, it is determined that there is nothing suitable for sale at auction and none of your property is taken
- Discharge of all eligible debts included in your initial filing, after which your personal responsibility for them will be eliminated without adverse income tax consequences
- Completion of the Chapter 7 process, which begins when the case is filed and generally takes as little as four months
The following steps are specific to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing:
- In addition to your bankruptcy petition and supporting documents common to the Chapter 7 case, you will have to submit a proposed repayment plan. We will work with you to ensure that the plan is complete and ready for submission to the court and that you will propose payment on terms most beneficial to you, not to your creditors.
- In addition to the initial creditors’ meeting, a subsequent meeting will be held with the court to confirm your repayment plan.
- Completion of your court-approved repayment plan. These plans typically last three to five years, and you will receive your discharge when yours is complete. You do not need to be concerned about how much each creditor receives or even if the debts are paid in full. Your trustee receives your payment and takes care of distributing the funds to your creditors.
- When the plan payments are completed, the court will then discharge the debts that were not fully paid, should your plan provide for less than 100% payment to holders of allowed unsecured claims.
Discuss Your Questions With A Skilled Legal Advocate
Contact our office to discuss your questions about the bankruptcy process. We offer a free initial consultation to all new clients in which you can learn more about your legal options and what we can do to help you. Call our New Britain office at 860-674-8003 or our Bloomfield office at 860-242-0574 or reach out to us online to schedule an appointment.