Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Process
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania there are several stages you must follow when you are filing for bankruptcy which are outlined below. A skilled and experienced Montgomery County Bankruptcy Lawyer will be able to answer any questions you have regarding which bankruptcy option is best for you.
Stages Of A Bankruptcy Case In Pennsylvania
Initial Consultation- This takes place at your attorney’s office where your financial situation is reviewed. All viable options are outlined and explained to you. Your alternatives are primarily determined by your debt, expenses, assets, income as well as what you are attempting to achieve.
Financial documentation that is needed includes pay stubs, tax returns, mortgage statements, loan documents, credit card statements, etc. Your attorney will allow you some time to gather all of this information as well as any other relevant documentation.
Credit Counseling- This is typically an online course you must take prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. Proof of having completed the course will be needed before your attorney can file your petition. Your attorney will make you aware of any information or documentation you will need to provide in order to take the course.
Bankruptcy Petition Filing- Once the credit counseling course is completed you will need to return to your attorney’s office to sign the petition. The petition is filed through the internet. At that point a stay goes into effect meaning that your creditors, the people you owe money to, can no longer call you, contact you or approach you. They can also take no further legal action against you. A hearing called a “341 Meeting of Creditors” will be arranged shortly after the petition is filed. Your attorney will let you know when and where the meeting will take place.
Debtor Education Course- This course is needed after the petition is filed. It also takes about 90 minutes over the phone or online. It is usually given by the same organization who gave you the credit counseling course.
341 Meeting- This meeting is part of bankruptcy proceedings and involves you, your attorney as well as the bankruptcy trustee meeting to talk about your financial situation. Numerous questions will be asked by the trustee that require short, succinct answers. You will also need to provide identification at this meeting. In most cases creditors do not attend this meeting although they have the right to do so. The 341 meeting takes place 30-60 days after the petition is filed and takes approximately 10 minutes.
Chapter 13 Plan Hearings- If you opted to go with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will be responsible for making monthly plan payments. Your attorney will outline the plan and payment amounts and you will have to sign the plan. The first plan payment is due approximately 30 days after the petition is filed. You usually do not have to attend the plan hearings unless there is a problem or something regarding your financial status changes.
Discharge- A bankruptcy is discharged at different times depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed. A Chapter 7 is discharged within 90 days after the creditor meeting. If you filed a Chapter 13 your bankruptcy is discharged once the plan is paid in full. A discharge order will be issued by the court and sent to your attorney and they will give to you. The discharge order is also sent to all of your creditors.
To arrange a free consultation with Norristown Bankruptcy Attorney James V. Monaghan visit (610) 275-5800. You can also arrange a free consultation by clicking here.