personal bankruptcy plano txConsumers who file personal bankruptcy in Plano TX often wonder what the bankruptcy process is like. While bankruptcy cases will be different for every person, there are certain trials every consumer bankruptcy debtor will go through. Collins & Arnove, experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers in Plano TX, offer the following for informational purposes only and caution that the details of your bankruptcy case will depend upon your property, your finances, and whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy – anyone considering bankruptcy should discuss the matter with a bankruptcy attorney.
Personal Bankruptcy in Plano TX – What to Expect
You will need to take a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course. Federal bankruptcy law requires that consumers who file personal bankruptcy must take a credit counseling course with a pre-approved provider before filing for bankruptcy. You can take the course either online or over the phone, and the agency will issue your attorney a certificate that he must file with the court. If you try to file bankruptcy without taking the course, unless you show good cause, the court will dismiss your case. The course is nothing to be concerned about – your answers are not reported to the court.
You will need to provide a lot of documentation, including proof of your income and copies of your personal tax returns. Your attorney will ask you for at least 60 days of paystubs or other proof of income, as well as your last two income tax returns, at least two months of bank statements, and documentation showing ownership of your house and the balance due on your mortgage, if any. You may also need a copy of any recorded mortgages, the title to your car, statements for your retirement accounts, and documentation of any businesses you currently own or once owned.
You will need to go to at least one hearing before a bankruptcy trustee. Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, a bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case. While a Chapter 7 trustee’s job is slightly different from a Chapter 13 trustee’s job, both types of trustees will conduct what is called the Meeting of Creditors, sometimes also called a 341 Meeting or a 341 Hearing. The Meeting of Creditors is the trustee’s first opportunity to ask you questions about your property and finances. Your creditors may also appear and ask you questions, although this is somewhat rare in a simple personal bankruptcy case.
You will need to take a second financial management course after you file. Remember that first course you took before you filed? A second one is required after you file. You must complete the second course within 60 days after you attend that Meeting of Creditors. If you don’t take it, your case will get dismissed without a discharge (meaning your debts are still following you around). For that reason, it’s best to take it as soon as that Meeting of Creditors is over, or even beforehand.
You will receive offers in the mail from subprime lenders. Surprisingly, those who file personal bankruptcy often find their mailboxes stuffed with offers for credit cards, car loans and more with ridiculous interest rates and fees. If you receive any of these in the mail, talk to your bankruptcy attorney before applying. While getting new credit can help you build your score after a bankruptcy, it can also get you into trouble again if not used cautiously.
If you are considering filing personal bankruptcy in Plano TX, contact the experienced attorneys at Collins & Arnove today for a free consultation. Call (972) 516-4255 or fill out our form at www.northtexasbankruptcy.com/contact-us/.