What do I Need to Know About Bankruptcy Court?
If you are considering bankruptcy or have already filed a bankruptcy petition, find out what you can expect during the bankruptcy court process
Bankruptcy provides a way for honest debtors to make a fresh financial start. It can eliminate some debts completely while restructuring others so that they fit more easily into your budget. Whether you are in the process of deciding if bankruptcy is right for you or have already filed a bankruptcy petition, you will want to know what to expect during the court process.
Filing for Bankruptcy
According to statistics from the U.S. Courts, roughly one million people file a bankruptcy petition each year. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to completely eliminate past due balances on credit cards and other unsecured debts, while Chapter 13 restructures payments on belongings such as your home or vehicle. The first step is filing your petition with the bankruptcy court. Here is what you can expect:
- Our office will meet with you to discuss your financial situation, reviewing your income, assets, and debts to determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you.
- Once we have the necessary information, we will complete your bankruptcy petition.
- Prior to filing your petition with the court, you are required you to take a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course;
- Once completed, we can officially file your bankruptcy petition.
A bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to oversee your case. They will review all your information and arrange a meeting with your creditors, at which both you and your lawyer will be present.
Eliminating Debts in Philadelphia Bankruptcy Court
The meeting with creditors, otherwise referred to as a 341 hearing, will be conducted through the Philadelphia district of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. As your main court appearance, it allows creditors to dispute the facts in your case. You can expect to be asked questions about your income, your current finances, and your debts, which our bankruptcy lawyers will review with you beforehand.
If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to make an additional court appearance to approve your payment plan. Other, less common types of hearings you may be required to attend include:
- Motions to extend or dismiss the automatic stay. An automatic stay is what keeps creditors from hounding you during bankruptcy proceedings. It generally lasts until your debts are discharged.
- Motions to add additional debts. If you are restructuring your debts via Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to get court approval before taking on additional debts during the repayment period.
- Motion to dismiss your case: If you miss Chapter 13 payments, the trustee may make a motion to dismiss your bankruptcy, allowing creditors to take whatever actions needed in collecting on debts.
- Adversarial proceedings: In some cases, a creditor may challenge your bankruptcy case, requiring additional court proceedings.
Contact Our Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyers Today
To discuss your options in filing for bankruptcy and more about what to expect, reach out to Tadross Law. Call (267) 382-4451 or contact our Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers online and request a free evaluation of your case today.