Northeast Ohio Debt Relief Law Firm
How Does Bankruptcy Work?
Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Class & Court FilingsIf you’ve been struggling with debt for some time, it can become suffocating, and can even begin to negatively affect your mental and physical health. One of the biggest steps you can take to get your debt under control, catch up, and get some breathing room, is to file for bankruptcy protection.
Many people have heard of bankruptcy, but most don’t know how it works, which can make the entire process much more intimidating. Here’s what you need to know about how the process works, and what to expect from your case, so you can get started with confidence.
Before You Begin
One of the most important things to remember is that once you file for bankruptcy you shouldn’t incur any new debt, open new lines of credit, and so on. Each case will be different, however, so your bankruptcy attorney will be the best source of guidance on whether or not to open that new credit card or line of credit.
Also, if you’re filing for Chapter 13, you’re filing for bankruptcy protection that allows you to keep your current assets like your car and home. This means if you still have a financial obligation to your auto lender or mortgage lender, you should continue to make payments on those agreements as you normally would.
Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Class & Court Filings
Before filing bankruptcy you will ideally take a pre-filing class which will give you a detailed outline of what to expect, as well as the process as it pertains to your specific case. If you are working with an attorney, they will generally arrange this for you. Once complete, you and your attorney will finalize the last-minute details that must be accurate on the day of filing, like final bank account balances. Your attorney will also handle all of the communication with any parties taking legal action against you for your debt, notifying them of your filing.
Meeting Of Creditors
The next step is generally the Meeting Of Creditors and will be a relatively quick hearing. This is one of the few occasions where, although your attorney will be present, they will not be able to speak on your behalf. You will meet with your assigned trustee, and they will ask you questions about the debts and assets you listed in your filing. In most cases, this meeting will only be 20-30 minutes long.
Discharge Of Debts
The discharge of your debts by the bankruptcy court will only happen once you’ve completed the pre-filing class, and the bankruptcy attorney representing you has filed the certificate with the appropriate court entities. Discharge is usually 30-90 days from when it’s initially filed, and often your bankruptcy case is closed within a week of the discharge order.
After Your Bankruptcy
Once your bankruptcy is complete, it will be time to begin rebuilding the damage to your credit. Start small, and go slowly. The best first step is generally to get a secured credit card with a low limit and maintain that for a while, as you continue to make payments to all other obligations on time.
Moseman Law Can Be Your Trusted Bankruptcy Advocate
If you’ve had enough of spiraling debt and feeling like there’s no way out, the first step is generally to contact a trusted, local attorney that specializes in the bankruptcy process. Not only will they be able to guide you through the process with much more ease than stumbling through it individually, but they can also act as your advocate and negotiator when dealing with your creditors. Reach out to the bankruptcy experts at Moseman Law to discuss the details of your needs in a private and confidential environment, and get started on a brighter financial future today.
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Best Practices When Filing for Bankruptcy
Once you have decided to file for bankruptcy there are things that are generally advised to do and not do. However, each situation is different so you should follow the specific plan created by you and Attorney Moseman. You should stop using and paying your credit cards. You will stop paying on medical and other debts that you are discharging in your bankruptcy.
If you are keeping your car(s) and house you should continue to pay on any loans against those assets. You should not pay family members back within a year of filing bankruptcy. You should not incur new debt or ‘run up’ your current debt. You should discuss any loans you have taken against your retirement accounts or life insurance policies with your attorney. You should create and follow a plan with your attorney.
Pre-Filing Class and Court Preparation
Once we have all the information (and the fees for service and case filing) we will make sure that you have taken the pre-filing class. Then the client and Attorney Moseman meet to go over the case information and enter last minute details like current bank account balances and the case is filed that day. The case is usually filed while the client is in the office. If there are lawsuits to receive notice of the filing that documentation is sent out by Moseman Law.
Meeting of Creditors
There is one hearing that each client must attend. If is called the ‘Meeting of Creditors’. The hearing will be held approximately 30 days after the case is filed. The attorney is with the client at this meeting but cannot speak for the client. The creditors, while they can attend the meeting, do not attend the hearing 99% of the time. The hearing is conducted by a Trustee appointed to the case and generally lasts less than 20 minutes. The trustee asks questions regarding the assets and debts listed in your bankruptcy filing.
Discharge of Debts
The next step is waiting for the discharge of your debts by the court. The discharge cannot be granted until the client has completed the post-filing class and the attorney has filed the certificate with the court. The discharge usually occurs approximately 90 days from the date the case was filed. The case generally closes within a week of the discharge.
After bankruptcy, the client will want to start to rebuild his or her credit. This can be done by acquiring a secured credit card, charging less than $50, and paying it off each month. It can help by making utility and other payments timely.
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Debt Relief Law Firm in Ohio
Moseman Law Office, LLC wants to help you get out of debt and find the relief you need to live a full and satisfying life. Your debt may result in bankruptcy, but we are here to assure you that it’s not the end of the world. There are laws in place to help you, and at Moseman Law Office, LLC, we are here to give you guidance and help you through the process. As an Ohio debt relief attorney, Attorney Heather Moseman understands the laws and will answer your questions. Contact us today for an appointment!
We are a debt relief agency.
Moseman Law Office, LLC
Moseman Law Office, LLC is a full-service legal firm located in Mentor, Ohio, serving all of Northeast Ohio and providing personalized legal solutions to its clients.
Moseman Law Office, LLC
8500 Station St., Ste 210
Mentor, OH 44060
Phone: (440) 255-0832