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The Bankruptcy Process

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Learn What to Expect from New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer Georgette Miller

Filing for bankruptcy is a process. Whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, there are several steps you need to take to get the financial relief through the bankruptcy courts. Here is an overview of what you can expect from New Jersey bankruptcy attorney Georgette Miller:

10 Key Steps in the Bankruptcy Process

1. Credit Counseling

Before you can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you must complete a credit counseling course provided by an approved counseling agency. Once you complete your credit counseling, you will receive a certificate that you can file with the bankruptcy court.

2. Chapter 7 “Means Test”

For many people, filing for a “liquidation” bankruptcy under Chapter 7 is their best option. However, not everyone qualifies. To determine if you qualify, you can take the Chapter 7 “means test” with the help of your New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer.

3. Pulling Together Your Important Documents

Before you file for bankruptcy, you will need to gather several important documents to share with your lawyer. Your lawyer will use these documents to evaluate your options and prepare your bankruptcy petition. This includes documents such as:

  • Paystubs or other proof of income
  • Recent state and federal tax returns
  • Monthly expenses
  • Secured and unsecured debts
  • A list of your personal and real property
  • Deeds, vehicle titles, and other proof of ownership

4. Identifying Your Dischargeable and Nondischargeable Debts

In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, some debts are eligible for discharge, and some are not. Your New Jersey bankruptcy attorney can help you identify your dischargeable and nondischargeable debts.

5. Deciding Which Debts You Want to Discharge

Just because a debt can be discharged, this doesn’t necessarily mean that discharging it is your best option. For example, many people will choose to keep (or pay off) debts such as automotive loans so they can keep their cars.

6. Filing Your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition

After taking all of the necessary steps to prepare, you will need to file your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. This is a formal legal document that is best prepared by an experienced lawyer.

7. Debtor Education Class

In addition to credit counseling, you will also be required to take a debtor education class. You will need to take this class while your bankruptcy case is pending.

8. Meeting of Creditors

As part of the bankruptcy process, your creditors will meet with the assigned bankruptcy trustee. You and your lawyer can (and should) be involved in this meeting as well.

9. Development of Your Chapter 13 Repayment Plan (if Applicable)

If you file under Chapter 13, then you will need to work with your attorney and your creditors to develop a repayment plan—which you will then submit to the court for approval.

10. Finalizing the Bankruptcy Process

Finally, the bankruptcy process will be over. Once you’ve done everything you need to do, the bankruptcy court will issue an order finalizing your bankruptcy—and then you can start fresh with a new financial lease on life.

Request a Free Consultation with New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney Georgette Miller

Do you have questions about filing for bankruptcy? If so, we invite you to get in touch. Call 866-964-6529 or contact us online to request a free consultation with New Jersey bankruptcy attorney Georgette Miller.