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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Hayes

The Bankruptcy Process

Anyone considering filing for bankruptcy has many questions and concerns when deciding whether filing is the right choice for them. Thomas L. Abrams as well as the Gamberg & Abrams firm are knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys who can explain any part of the bankruptcy process to you in easy to understand terms, and answer all of your questions. For a brief overview on what is involved in a bankruptcy filing, we provide you with the following summary information as to a Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy About 30 days after filing, a Trustee meeting will occur to meet with your creditors. Creditors may object to any discharge of your debt, but this occurs in limited cases. It is important for you to discuss your various debts with Thomas L. Abrams so he can evaluate whether a potential objection to discharge of debt or to your entire discharge is likely. A financial management course must be completed prior to your final discharge being granted by the court. Following a 60 day period after the creditors meeting when anyone can object to the discharge - with all other requirements completed - your Notice of Discharge will be mailed to you within 4-6 weeks. This formal discharge will eliminate all of your debts except those which may not be discharged or which you choose to reaffirm. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy As with Chapter 7, mandatory Credit Counseling must be completed prior to filing, and all of your income , expense, assets and liabilities information must be obtained for your Petition together with other financial documents. As Chapter 13 involves restructuring your debt and paying it back within 3-5 years, a Statement of Financial Affairs and Plan must be filed with the Court. The plan must outline how each debt is going to be handled within the time frame allowed by Chapter 13. Your disposable income must all go to pay for these debts. This amount is determined by IRS allowed expenses and can sometimes be a hardship to live within the allowed means. Certain creditors must be fully paid back, while other debts can be paid in part. About one month after your filing, a meeting with the Trustee is held to review your paperwork and your repayment plan. As with Chapter 7, your creditors will have a certain amount of time to object to the plan. At a later date a Plan Confirmation Hearing will be held to discuss any objection or changes to the plan.  All Plan payments must be made timely or you risk falling out of bankruptcy protection, allowing creditors to once again pursue you for full payment. At the end of your Plan, you will receive your discharge assuming all of the Plan payments were made. A financial management course must be completed prior to the final filing. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Chapter 11 bankruptcy is normally utilized by businesses to reorganize their affairs or accomplish other goals for which the Bankruptcy code allows that may be unattainable outside of bankruptcy, i.e., rejection of an unfavorable lease agreement, sale of assets free and clear pursuant to a bankruptcy sale/auction. Individuals may also utilize Chapter 11 bankruptcy, however due to the expense and complexity of Chapter 11 cases , it is only sparingly used by individual debtors as it is most often not the best alternative for individuals. Thomas L. Abrams has successfully represented individual and corporate clients in Chapter 11 and prides himself in being able to navigate through this complex process in an efficient and cost effective manner. Guiding You Through the Bankruptcy Process Filing for bankruptcy is complex and involves much legal paperwork, timelines and coordination with the Trustee and the Court. Attempting to file without the benefit of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer could result in delays, unnecessary costs and loss of assets, and debt left out of the bankruptcy protection. When you retain Thomas L. Abrams PA , you can feel confident that you will be provided with sound advice.

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