Going through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is typically much easier and faster than a Chapter 13 case, and this is just one of the reasons many people prefer Chapter 7 over Chapter 13. If you choose to use Chapter 13, you may be able to complete the case by only attending three meetings. Three meetings is the minimal requirement for a Chapter 7 case, and here is an explanation of what these three meetings are.
The first meeting you will need to attend is called an initial consultation. This meeting is often free and does not obligate you to file for bankruptcy. It is a meeting that allows you to learn more about bankruptcy, whether you are eligible for it, and the effects it would have. To get the most out of this free consultation, you should aim to bring copies of all your financial documents with you. This includes your tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, credit card statements, and any other debt statements. Your attorney can give you a list of what to bring if you ask for this.
The signing and review appointment
After you attend your initial consultation, you will have a chance to think through your options, and you can decide what to do based on the legal advice the lawyer told you. If you decide to file, you will need to make an appointment to sign and review the documents. During this visit, the lawyer will input all your information and will create a stack of papers you must sign to initiate the bankruptcy process. It is important to give the lawyer everything he or she needs at this appointment to avoid forgetting to include all your debts.
The 341 meeting with creditors
The third meeting you will have to attend is actually a court hearing called the 341 meeting with creditors. This meeting takes place in a bankruptcy courtroom with a bankruptcy trustee, and your creditors will be invited to come. They will only come, though, if they have a reason to challenge your case. Most of the time spent at this meeting will be with a trustee who will ask you questions under oath.
There is a chance you may need to meet with your lawyer more than twice and with the bankruptcy trustee more than once, but the majority of people that file can get by with only having these three meetings. If you would like more information about how bankruptcy could help you, schedule a consultation visit with bankruptcy lawyer services.