1. The first step is to find out about Chapter 13 is speaking to an experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney. After we explain why Chapter 13 is necessary to put you into the best financial position, we usually request an initial retainer of $100 to retain our services.
2. After retaining our services it is time to pay us the rest of our attorney fees, stop using your credit cards, stop making payments on debts that are dischargeable and inform your creditors that call and bother you that you have retained our services to file bankruptcy and they should contact us with any questions.
3. After you have paid us the total of the upfront fees it is time to gather all of the documents necessary to draft the Chapter 13 petition for bankruptcy. It is also time to complete the first required course, credit counseling, on the internet with a follow up phone call or by phone), with an approved provider.
4. Once we have all the necessary documents it usually takes us five to ten days to draft your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and Chapter 13 Plan or reorganization. We will then schedule a signing appointment to review each page of the petition and make any necessary changes before signing the bankruptcy petition.
5. Now that you have completed the credit counseling course and we have reviewed/signed the Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, we will file it with the Bankruptcy Court. As soon as we file your petition the Automatic Stay takes effect stopping any and all efforts to collect your debts including foreclosures, repossessions, wage garnishments, lawsuits or bank levies.
6. After the petition is filed the 341 meeting of the creditors will be scheduled approximately 30-50 days after the petition for bankruptcy protection is filed with the bankruptcy court. We will let you know that date and time of the 341 meeting of the creditors as soon as we know it and you will receive the official notice directly from the Bankruptcy Court approximately 14 days after the case is filed. We will attend the 341 meeting of the creditors with you. The trustee assigned to your case will ask you a series of questions under penalty of perjury. In most bankruptcy filings this is the only hearing you will need to attend.
7. Your first Chapter 13 Plan payment is due 30 days from the date the bankruptcy petition was filed. The Chapter 13 plan payment must be made to the Chapter 13 Trustee assigned to your case.
8. The 341 meeting is attended and concluded.
9. After the bankruptcy case is filed you may complete the second course, Financial Management (on the internet with a follow phone call or by phone) from an approved provider.
10. Now that you have attended the 341 meeting of the creditors and completed the second course there should not by anything else left for you to do, unless we need additional information from you to help get the Chapter 13 plan confirmed. A confirmation hearing will be held to approve your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan of reorganization. Most jurisdictions do not require that a hearing take place unless there are significant problems with the Chapter 13 plan. If there are any issues they will be worked out so that the chapter 13 trustee can recommend confirmation/approve the Chapter 13 Plan.
11. Once the Chapter 13 plan is confirmed/approved YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED all the steps necessary to reorganize your debt, you will now continue to make the confirmed Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payment each month for the term of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan (usually 3 to 5 years).