Bankruptcy Procedures for Action Legal Services
On the Additional Forms tab we have a questionnaire. We use the information on this form to prepare your case. That is why it is important to follow the instructions and complete the entire questionnaire.
Please call for an appointment so that we can go over the paperwork with you. When you have carefully and completely answered all the questions and all of your fees have been paid, your petition will be prepared for your signature.
We will call you to let you know the time to come in and sign, or we will mail the papers to you. Once we have all signatures, this office will file the Petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court. As soon as the filing has been done, all collection efforts by your creditors will stop. This includes any lawsuits, garnishments, repossessions, and foreclosures.
If you are involved in any of these types of proceedings or if you anticipate any serious action from any of your creditors, please advise us at the time your case is reviewed by this office.
Please keep the following three (3) things in mind when filling out the paperwork
- There is a time element in many of the questions; these time elements are crutical. Please read all questions carefully
- Each question must be answered. The answers must be honest accurate and complete.
- Write legibly so that it can be clearly understood
What About Court?
Approximately 1-3 weeks after we file your petition, you will be notified by email or mail to appear at the United States Bankruptcy Court for a “341 hearing” which is also known as the First Meeting of Creditors. We will go over the hearing details with you at the time you sign your petition. If you have any further questions, please feel free to discuss them with us.
The purpose of the hearing is for the trustee to review your case and to enable any creditor to appear and ask questions regarding the debt you have with that company. This seldom happens, but if a creditor should be at your hearing, you should answer their questions honestly. The hearing is extremely brief, maybe 5 minutes. Your attorney will be at the hearing with you. Typical questions inquire how you arrived at the value of your car? Why are you filing? You will be asked to provide your tax returns. Most of our clients are surprised at how easy the hearing is. If you are nervous, show up a few minutes early and watch the hearing ahead of yours.
IF FOR ANY REASON YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND YOUR HEARING, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY. Failure to attend your scheduled hearing may lead to an additional charge.
How Long Will It Take?
For a chapter 7 bankruptcy it takes about 6 months from the time your petition is filed until your bankruptcy is discharged by the Court. For a chapter 13 bankruptcy the case will last 3-5 years depending on the circumstances in your case. You’re considered to be “in bankruptcy” until the Court officially closes your case.