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What Should I Know About Bankruptcy Before I File?

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A Merrillville Bankruptcy Lawyer Is Here To Help With Your Filing Process!

For many people bankruptcy is an unfamiliar area of law. Since it is not every day that you file for bankruptcy, many people who are getting ready to file for bankruptcy might be overwhelmed by the filing process because they do not know what it entails. Making a small mistake in your bankruptcy filing could seriously impinge your rights down the road, which is why working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is in your best interest when filing for bankruptcy.

Overview of the Bankruptcy Filing Process

Below is an overview of things that you should know about if you are getting ready to file for bankruptcy in Indiana.

  • Work With A Bankruptcy Lawyer. First and foremost, it is important that you work with an experienced business lawyer as you go through the bankruptcy process. Your lawyer will make sure that you have considered all of your legal options, that you have evaluated the possible consequences you face by filing for bankruptcy, and that you have determined that bankruptcy is the right choice for you. There are many intricacies in bankruptcy law that your lawyer will be best equipped to handle. For instance, while bankruptcy falls under the purview of federal law, bankruptcy filings are made at the local level and each bankruptcy court has its own specific rules regarding how to properly file for bankruptcy.
  • You Must Complete Your Prerequisites Before Filing. Before you file for bankruptcy there are a few prerequisites that you must meet. For starters, you will need to complete your pre bankruptcy credit counseling session within six months before filing for bankruptcy. During your pre bankruptcy credit counseling session, you will work with a counselor to make sure that bankruptcy is the right choice for you and that you have explored all of your other options. At the conclusion of your counseling session, you will receive a recommendation from the counselor, but the recommendation is not binding and you can proceed with bankruptcy if that is what you want to do.
  • Prepare Your Bankruptcy Filing Paperwork. Before you can file for bankruptcy you will also have to complete your bankruptcy paperwork. These are standard forms and other paperwork that you must provide to the bankruptcy court that disclose your financial situation in great detail. You must complete these forms truthfully and accurately to the best of your ability. If you are ineligible for a waiver of your bankruptcy filing fee, you will have to pay a bankruptcy filing fee at the time you file your paperwork with the bankruptcy court.

What Happens After Filing?

After you have filed for bankruptcy, there will be some additional follow-up activities that you must complete. First, you will be assigned a bankruptcy trustee. This person is often a lawyer apart from your bankruptcy lawyer, who oversees your bankruptcy. Shortly after you file for bankruptcy, you will also be required to meet with your bankruptcy trustee for a meeting with your creditors. At the meeting with your creditors, negotiations will be held in an effort to reduce the amount of debt you owe. Next, your bankruptcy case will be heard by a judge, and a decision ill be made whether to discharge your debts (for Chapter 7 bankruptcy) or to adopt your negotiated repayment plan (for Chapter 13 bankruptcy). Finally, at the end of your bankruptcy proceeding, you will be required to attend a debtor education course.

Dedicated Lawyers With Experience Handling Bankruptcy Cases Like Yours

Bankruptcy is confusing and you can lose out on some of your legal rights and protections if you make a mistake during your bankruptcy filing. Let the knowledgeable and skilled Indiana bankruptcy lawyers at Whitten & Whitten can help you prepare your bankruptcy petition today.  

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