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A quick overview of the bankruptcy process.

  1. Prepare and file the petition and schedules
  2. Attend the meeting with the Trustee in about 30 days.
  3. Provide any information requested by the Trustee.
  4. Surrender any property you are giving back.
  5. Negotiate any reaffirmation agreements.
  6. Attend reaffirmation hearing, if required.
  7. Receive discharge notice from court about 120-150 days after filing.
  8. Check your credit report 2-3 months after receiving your discharge.
  9. Dispute any incorrect items on your reports.
  10. Call your lawyer if you have any problems with creditors or credit reports.
  11. Put the bankruptcy behind you and rebuild.

What happens after I file?

Prior to bankruptcy discharge:

About 30 days after you file your bankruptcy case you will need to appear at a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee. This is called the 341 meeting or "meeting of of creditors".  However, creditors do not show up very often. About 70-75 days after the meeting with the trustee you should receive your discharge from the bankruptcy court.

After bankruptcy discharge:

Once your case is discharged and closed, your creditors cannot collect any debt that was discharged. This is called the "discharge injunction" An injunction is a court order that prohibits certain actions, in this context, to collect a debt.  Generally you do not have to worry about your case being opened or the trustee being able to go after your property once your case is closed except in a few circumstances. First, if you receive an inheritance or a marital property settlement within 6 months of the filing of your case.  Second, if you concealed assets.  If assets are concealed, the trustee has essentially an unlimited amount of time to reopen the case and pursue the undisclosed asset.

Will I ever get credit again?

The simple answer is yes.  Most people that file for bankruptcy will be offered credit shortly after they file their case such as offers from car dealers and credit cards.  It will usually take about 2 or 3 years to bring your credit rating up to the point that you will get interest rates as good as someone that has never filed a bankruptcy.  The secret is to get some kind of credit. A small credit card. A modest car loan. Something. Then pay on that debt perfectly until it is paid off, then do it again.  This is the best way to reestablish good credit.  Also check your credit report to make sure everything on your bankruptcy is shown as "discharged" or "included" in bankruptcy. The error rate on people's credit reports is astounding.  If something is wrong you need to dispute it in writing. The websites of the credit bureaus will have information about how to dispute something on your credit report. If after you dispute and item and it is still reported incorrectly call your lawyer.

Mr. Grear is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the Kansas City Bankruptcy Bar Associations


Important Disclaimer: I provide this website for information and advertising purposes only. It is not intended to and does not constitute bankruptcy assistance services or specific legal advice on a specific matter.  As I am sure you understand, I can only offer to provide such people that participate in a telephone or office consultation directly with me. The information contained on this website does not and should not be construed as legal advice.  You should not act on any of the information contained in this website without first conferring with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by visiting this site or by sending unsolicited email. Initial emails should not contain any confidential information or information you want to keep secret. I am licensed only in Kansas and Missouri and offer my services only in Kansas and Missouri. The applicable laws may have changed after the information on this website was published. While I strive to keep the information current, you should not presume that all information is up to date since laws change frequently.  You must confer with an attorney to be sure you have current information.  Sections 341, 342, 527(a) and 527(b) of the Bankruptcy Code require that an “assisted person” be given certain required disclosures and notices.  I urge every person who is considering bankruptcy to seek the advice of a competent attorney.

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