What do I need to bring to my initial consultation and what is the fee for the initial consultation?
Usually when you come in for your first appointment, we do an analysis of your specific situation, give you our recommendation and educate you on the bankruptcy process. You do not need any documentation; just a general understanding of your financial situation will allow us to give you our recommendation. There is absolutely no cost for the consultation with the attorney.
What do I need to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how long will it take to file my case?
Last years tax return, pay stubs from the past 60 days, evidence of income the prior six months, certificate of credit counseling, list of all creditors, both secured and unsecured and the amount owing to all creditors. You do not need a detailed list of creditors; we just need to know who they are, their address and a ballpark amount owed to the creditors. If you do not have some of these items, come anyway and we can normally work around missing documents. The attorney will meet with you in person and fill out all schedules for you so that when you leave our office your case is ready to file. Usually we file cases on Thursdays, but for an emergency filing or if your situation necessitates a same day filing, we can usually accommodate any situation.
What will it cost to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Once you have retained the firm, you can direct all creditors to our office. The retainer fee is not an additional fee and is applied toward your initial attorney fees. We will file your case for an attorney fee of $600, plus the filing fee with the Court that is $335. So, the total fee to file a Ch. 7 that will impose an automatic stay and stop all collection efforts by creditors including lawsuits, harassing phone calls, garnishments, etc. is $935. If you come to the office with $935 we will file your case immediately. We will discuss payment options for the remaining Post-Petition attorney fees due after filling. The a fore mentioned fees are for a standard consumer bankruptcy. If you own a business or have a complex case the fees may vary based upon the facts. Our fees are very competitive and we realize you are currently in a difficult financial situation. Even with our clients who rely solely on Social Security or fixed income, we can work out payment arrangements to suit your budget.
What debts does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge?
Generally a Ch. 7 bankruptcy discharges unsecured debts. Including, but not limited to Credit Cards, Medical Bills, Signature and Payday Loans, Collection Accounts, Repossession Deficiencies, Cellular Bills, Lawsuit Judgments, Utility Bills, and Some Tax Liabilities.
Will I be able to keep my house and vehicles in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Generally Yes. If there is not an equity issue, which will be analyzed by the attorney in your consultation, then you can keep your house and vehicles by simply continuing to make your payments directly to those creditors. In some circumstances through a redemption of your vehicle in a Ch. 7 bankruptcy, you can lower your vehicle payments.
What is the credit counseling certificate required to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
The new bankruptcy law enacted in 2005 added a few minor steps to the process of filing a bankruptcy case under Ch. 7 of the bankruptcy code. This is one of the added steps. However, it is not very burdensome. Generally, it includes filing out a list of assets and debts and submitting the documents to an approved agency. Once the agency has the documentation a counselor needs to speak to you for approximately 10 minutes. You can either do the consultation in person, by phone or over the internet. The Courts have approved hundreds of agencies for this service and we believe you should complete the counseling where you feel most comfortable. Your attorney will give you the exact details in your free consultation.