Becoming debt free can be done in 120 days or less if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota. To ensure the process is completed in three-four months, work with a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney will be your guide through the legal jargon, court meetings and mountains of paperwork, ensuring you complete all steps accurately and in a timely manner.
Day 1: File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 7 begins with the petition. Along with this petition you must file the following:
- Schedule of assets & liabilities
- Schedule of current income and expenditures
- Statement of financial affairs
- Schedule of executor contracts and unexpired leases
- Copy of the most recent tax year tax return or transcript
- Previous unfiled tax returns
- Tax returns filed during the bankruptcy case
- Certificate of credit counseling (copy of debt repayment plan completed during credit counseling)
- Evidence of payment from employers received 60 days before filing
- Statement of monthly net income (plus any anticipated increase in income or expenses after filing)
- Record of any interest in federal or state qualified education or tuition accounts
- Schedule of exempt property
As you can see, there are a lot of legal documents that need to be completed in order for your petition to be filed. Any errors can delay your bankruptcy, which is another reason to work with a bankruptcy attorney. They can help you gather and report all information correctly and then review for completion and accuracy. To complete the above bankruptcy forms you will need to gather the following information:
- List of all creditors plus the amount and nature of their claims
- Source, amount and frequency of your income
- List of all your property
- Detailed list of monthly living expenses
Shortly after you file for bankruptcy you will need to attend a financial management counseling session. This is a mandatory meeting you must attend in order to be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge.
Day 7: Creditors are Notified
Upon completion of filing your petition, any collection actions by creditors must be stopped. This is known as the “automatic stay” and it goes into effect on day one. Within seven days the court will notify all the creditors you named in your petition. Your creditors are required to stop attempting to collect on your debt through lawsuits, wage garnishments, telephone calls, etc.
Day 30: Meeting of Creditors
Twenty-one to 40 days after your petition is filed with the bankruptcy court, the trustee assigned to your case will hold a creditors meeting. You, your trustee and your bankruptcy attorney, if you have one, are required to be present at this meeting, while your creditors are invited to attend. This is an opportunity for your trustee and creditors to ask you questions about your debt and your financial situation. If you have a bankruptcy attorney, he or she can prepare you for this meeting by exposing you to the questions that will be asked and the best way to answer them.
During the meeting of creditors, the trustee assigned to your case will also present to you the outcomes of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota to ensure you are fully aware of the potential consequences. The topics covered include:
- Credit history effects
- Alternative filing options (converting to another chapter)
- Effect of receiving a discharge
- Effect of reaffirming a debt
Day 120: Debts Discharged
Your creditors have 60 days from the creditors meeting to issue objections regarding your debts. If no objections are declared, your debts will be discharged.
Please note, this applies to bankruptcy petitions that are complete, meet eligibility requirements and are accepted by the court. There are numerous exceptions, exemptions, non-dischargeable debts, special circumstances and so on that can affect your case. This is why bankruptcy attorneys or other legal counsel should be obtained before filing for bankruptcy. They can streamline the process, apply best practices, offer advice and assist you in all elements of the process. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney today to begin your short journey to debt freedom.