When you seek advice and help from a bankruptcy attorney, you might learn that you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you decide to use this branch, your attorney will help you through the steps. Most people do not understand the bankruptcy process until they go through it, but you can learn the main steps before using it. Here are the four primary steps of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.
1. Confirm Your Eligibility
Confirming your eligibility is the first step in the Chapter 7 process. You can do this by meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer. The lawyer will ask you to bring evidence of all your income from the past six months. The lawyer will add it up to see how much you earned. Next, the lawyer will compare this amount to the average income in your area. You would qualify for Chapter 7 if you earned less than the average person. If you earned more income than this amount, you could not use this branch.
2. Providing the Necessary Documents
If you qualify, you can move on to the second step of the Chapter 7 process. The second step involves providing your lawyer with all the necessary documents related to your finances. The main documents your lawyer will need is proof of debt. You must show every debt you owe, and you must include every open account you have, even if you do not owe any money to that creditor. Additionally, you may need to supply the lawyer with documentation that proves your assets and their values.
3. Submitting the Paperwork
Your lawyer will prepare and submit all the necessary bankruptcy documents. They send these documents to your local bankruptcy court where a trustee receives them. The trustee's responsibility is to evaluate the information to ensure that you meet the requirements for using Chapter 7. If the trustee has questions, he or she will talk to your lawyer.
4. Attending a Court Hearing
The fourth step is attending a court hearing. You will probably have just one hearing for a Chapter 7 case. The hearing helps the trustee gather more information about your case to decide how to proceed. If approved, you will receive a discharge of all your qualifying debts.
While you must complete these four steps, your lawyer will help you complete the other necessary steps. If you have questions or concerns about Chapter 7, speak with a bankruptcy attorney in your city.