13 Feb Bankruptcy Basics: What Happens Once I File?
What Happens Once I File?
Once the case is filed, the Court issues an Automatic Stay. This stops all legal proceedings against you. Foreclosures, repossessions and garnishments are halted, creditors cannot call or write you, and lawsuits against you can not be filed or pursued if they are pending.
The Meeting of Creditors, or 341 Meeting, is usually scheduled 3-6 weeks after your case is filed. Not to worry – it sounds much worse than it is. A better name for this hearing would be the “Trustee’s Meeting,” since creditors very rarely appear. Most 341’s last 3-5 minutes, and consist of the Trustee verifying you are who you say you are, asking a series of standard questions, and going into detail about anything unusual that appears on your Schedules.
In a Chapter 7, once the Meeting of Creditors has been held, nothing usually happens until the discharge is entered and your case is closed about 3 months later.
In a Chapter 13 case, a second hearing, the Confirmation Hearing, is held two to three months after the case is filed. The purpose of this hearing is for the Court to approve the Chapter 13 Plan. In many cases, it is not necessary for you to attend this hearing; your lawyer makes all the arrangements with the Chapter 13 Trustee.
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