WHEN YOU FILE BANKRUPTCY:
The following are steps in the process of a normal bankruptcy case.
- Initial Consultation to get information.
- Decide on case type and sign papers.
- Obtain a Credit Counseling Certificate.
- Case is filed. You are NOT under bankruptcy protection until your case is filed with the court.
- Obtain a Debtor Education Certificate.
- Attend a Hearing.
- Receive your discharge
- If Chapter 7, receive your Discharge of Debtor a few months later.
- If Chapter 13, make payments as agreed in your Plan and receive your Discharge of Debtor a few months after the last payment.
The discharge only applies to debts that arose up to the date you filed. Additionally, if the Judge finds that you received money or property by fraud, that debt may not be discharged. It is important to list all your property and debts in your bankruptcy. If you do not, it is possible that debt will not be discharged.
It is important to note the Judge can deny your discharge if you do something dishonest in connection with your bankruptcy case, such as destroy or hide property, falsify records or lie or disobey a Court Oder.
Some creditors hold a secured claim (for example, the bank that holds the mortgage on your house or the loan company that has a lien on your car). You do not have to pay a secured claim if the debt is discharged, but the creditor can still take the property.