The Bankruptcy Process in Illinois
Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer
The First Step
- Sitting Down With Us. The
bankruptcy process begins at your initial consultation with one of our experienced
After discussing and evaluating your specific situation, we will make a
recommendation concerning which type of bankruptcy will be the best for
you. Our recommendation will not only be based on the bankruptcy laws,
but also on your goals. Rest assured we will not file a bankruptcy for
someone unless it will make their life better! Once you have hired us,
we will begin working for you immediately. We will stop the harassing
telephone calls and begin gathering the information necessary to file
The Second Step - Credit Counseling. One of the requirements necessary to file a
Chapter 7 or
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you must take a credit counseling class prior to filing
your case. There are several United State Trustee approved credit counseling
agencies. Many of these agencies offer classes on-line to accommodate
busy people. This class must be taken within 180 days prior to the filing
of your bankruptcy. Once completed, you will receive a certificate of
course completion. That certificate will be filed with your bankruptcy
case. We are happy to assist our clients in finding an approved agency
to take this class.
Filing Your Bankruptcy - The Hard Part Is Over
After you have completed your credit counseling class, we will have you
come in to our office to review and sign your bankruptcy papers with one
of our attorneys. We will then file your case with the Bankruptcy Court.
Once your bankruptcy is filed, the Automatic Stay is imposed. The Automatic
Stay stops anyone from continuing or starting any collection efforts against
you without the Bankruptcy Court's permission, including law suits,
repossessions, garnishments, and foreclosures.
When your bankruptcy is filed, a Trustee is appointed. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,
the Trustee's main job is to review your Bankruptcy Petition and to
sell any non-exempt property you have. Don't worry! Most people don't
lose anything. We will let you know before your bankruptcy is filed if
you are in danger of losing any property.
In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy the Trustee's job is different. The Chapter
13 Trustee reviews your Bankruptcy Petition and Chapter 13 Plan to make
sure your plan to re-pay your bills will work. The Chapter 13 Trustee
also collects payments from you each month. The money collected by the
Chapter 13 Trustee is then distributed to your creditors according to
your Chapter 13 Plan. The amount of money you will have to pay to the
Chapter 13 Trustee and the length of your plan depends on a variety of
factors, such as your monthly income, expenses, and the type of bills
you have. Our experienced attorneys will sit down with you and formulate
a plan that suits your budget.
Your "Court" Date - The Section 341 Meeting
It's not really court. It is a meeting with the Bankruptcy Trustee
assigned to your case, otherwise known as a Section 341 Meeting of Creditors.
This usually takes place approximately 30 days after your bankruptcy has
been filed. We will be there with you and prepare you for the meeting
beforehand. Even though it's called a Meeting of Creditors, creditors
rarely show up. The meeting typically takes only 10 minutes and is generally
pretty simple. The Bankruptcy Trustee will ask you questions, under oath,
based on the information contained in your Bankruptcy Petition.
One Last Class To Take
In order to receive your bankruptcy discharge (which is what you are shooting
for) you are required to take a Debtor Education Course. This course is
very informative and our clients have told us that it has helped them
identify financial issues to work on in the future. Like the Credit Counseling
Class, the Debtor Education course can be taken on-line and we can assist
you in registering for this class. This course typically takes a little
over an hour. Once completed, you will receive a Certificate of Completion
which we will file with the bankruptcy court.
Discharge - You're All Done!
In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will receive your discharge approximately
75 days after your Section 341 Meeting of Creditors. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy,
you will receive your discharge once you have successfully completed your
Chapter 13 Plan. The Discharge is the document issued by the Bankruptcy
Court which officially relieves you of your dischargeable debt. Please
note that some debts cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. Examples of
non-dischargeable debts include most student loans, most taxes and other
debts owed to the government, child support obligations, and debts that
were not included in a Chapter 13 plan. Our experienced attorneys will
advise you concerning which of your debts will be discharged and which
debts will not.
To ensure that your bankruptcy process goes smoothly and that all of your
eligible debt is successfully discharged, we highly recommend you contact
our office to have a qualified Chicago bankruptcy lawyer handle your bankruptcy for you.
Contact a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer at Law Offices of David Freydin today!