FAQ

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What Happens During the First Consultation?

The consultation is utilized as a tool to provide you with a comfortable means to obtain information and options.  There is no fee for this appointment and no pressure to decide. 

Together we will conversationally work through your current situation and discuss options available.  The entire process and procedure will be presented, and you will receive a fee quote for representation. 

Do You Offer Evening and Weekend Appointments?

We aim to provide appointment options to accommodate your needs.  You are welcome to call us at (303) 816-8976 or fill out our contact form to get scheduled.

How Much Does It Cost?

Fees vary based on the complexity of the situation.  During your consultation we will discuss fees and come up with a plan to make the process fit within your budget. 

When Are Payments Due?

There is no payment due at the first consultation.  If you elect to proceed, we will schedule a retention appointment to get started.  A payment is due at the retention appointment.   The breakdown of the total fees and when each payment is due will be provided in advance.

If the liability is more recent, depending on the amount owed, you may benefit from a structured repayment plan in a Chapter 13, or it may be beneficial to explore options outside of bankruptcy to address this debt.  This issue should be discussed during your consultation. 

 

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How Soon Can I File for Bankruptcy Relief After My Previous Order of Discharge?

After you file for Chapter 7 relief and obtain a discharge, you must wait 8 years from the previous filing date before you are eligible to re-file for Chapter 7.

If you originally filed a Chapter 13 repayment plan, 6 years from the date you filed the previous case must pass before you may file a new case under Chapter 7.

If relief is needed sooner, you may file for Chapter 13, and be eligible for a discharge, 4 years after the date you filed the Chapter 7.

In some situations, a Chapter 13 is beneficial before 4 years have passed.  You may still file for Chapter 13 even if you are not eligible for a discharge. 

What if I Owe Back Taxes?

Contrary to popular belief, older tax liability may be subject to discharge/ forgiveness. The tax liability must come from tax returns that you filed more than 3 years ago and that have not been reassessed within the past 240 days. 

If the liability is more recent, depending on the amount owed, you may benefit from a structured repayment plan in a Chapter 13, or it may be beneficial to explore options outside of bankruptcy to address this debt.  This issue should be discussed during your consultation. 

What About Student Loan Debt?

Most student loan obligations survive bankruptcy filing.  Depending on the situation, Chapter 13 may provide a break from collection efforts and an opportunity to regain control with the liability.

I Recently Received a Summons From One of My Creditors.  Now What?

In most circumstances, a bankruptcy filing creates an automatic stay/ forced stop of all collection activity including pending lawsuits.  It is important to discuss timing at the first consultation or as soon as possible after the Summons is received.

My Home Is in Foreclosure- Can Bankruptcy Help?

A Chapter 13 repayment plan often provides a viable avenue to cure the missed mortgage payments while protecting your home from foreclosure.  During the consultation, calculations for a hypothetical repayment plan will be prepared to provide you with an estimate of the plan payments, in addition to your regular monthly mortgage payment.  Be sure to provide an approximate cure amount for missed mortgage payments at your consultation.

What Will This Do to My Credit?

The impact of a bankruptcy filing on your credit score is contingent upon many factors.  If your score is already low due to over-extension or missed payments, the impact will not be as great as if your score is relatively high.   Proactive measures should be taken after a bankruptcy filing to help rehabilitate your credit and rebuild your credit score.

Who Prepares My Case?

Attorney April Norton will handle your case completely: she will meet with you at your first consultation, handle all case preparation, and will attend any required appearance(s) with you.  It is important to feel comfortable during this process and to know who you will be working with.

What Documentation Will Be Required From Me?

At the retention appointment, a personalized checklist of necessary documents will be provided to you.  Common necessary documents include paycheck stubs, bank statements, tax returns, recent invoices/ collection statements and documents for any pending/ recent legal action.

Do I Have To Take a Class Before I Can File for Bankruptcy?

Yes, you are required to complete a course in credit counseling before you file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.  Depending on the provider you choose, the course typically takes approximately an hour and a half to complete and may be done online or by phone.

Do I Have To Go to Court?

For every bankruptcy case, the petitioner must appear and testify at a Meeting of Creditors. This is a statutory requirement. The Meeting is conducted by a Trustee who will ask questions concerning the case filing and will also look for potential asset recovery for the benefit of your creditors.  Creditors may appear and ask questions, though they rarely do.

These Meetings may be held telephonically or may require attendance in person. 

The majority of bankruptcy cases will not require attendance at a Judge hearing. 

How Long Does the Process Take?

Depending on any pending/ imminent collection efforts or other situational concerns that may impact timing, most cases are filed within 3 months of retention.  A timeline will be discussed, based on your wants and needs, at the retention appointment.

A large amount of timing depends on how long you need to gather and provide necessary information and documentation for the preparation of your case. 

After your case has been prepared, a signing appointment will be scheduled to review all documents together for accuracy before you sign them and authorize the filing of your case.

Protection from creditors is established when the case is filed.  A date for the Meeting of Creditors will be provided and typically occurs 30-45 days after filing.   

For most Chapter 7 cases, as long as all Court filing fees and requirements have been met, the official Order of Discharge will enter approximately 2 months following the Meeting of Creditors.  The whole process after filing generally takes 3– 6 months. 

For Chapter 13, most repayment plans are between 36 months and 60 months in length.  Plan completion is required prior to entry of the Order of Discharge. 

 

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