Filing for bankruptcy is a significant event that will change your life in many ways. You’ll
receive financial counseling, which can help you learn how to adhere to a budget after
bankruptcy. You’ll also begin re-establishing your credit and you should begin building an
emergency savings account. You’ll also work closely with your bankruptcy lawyer to learn about
the upcoming legal proceedings that will affect your bankruptcy petition.
As soon as your bankruptcy attorney files your petition, an automatic stay applies to your
creditors. This means that they are legally prohibited from attempting any debt collection
actions. In the event that a creditor violates the automatic stay, your bankruptcy lawyer could file
a motion with the court demanding that the creditor cease further action. In some cases, you may
even be able to collect damages.
First Meeting of Creditors
Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, the court sends each of your creditors a “Notice of
Commencement of Case.” This notice advises your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy.
It also informs them of the date of the first meeting of creditors. This is a hearing that takes place
about a month after your petition is filed. The hearing is presided over by a bankruptcy trustee,
rather than a judge. You will be placed under oath and questioned about your finances and
Order of Discharge
If you’ve filed for a Chapter 7 discharge and your bankruptcy petition is successful, you can
expect the bankruptcy court to issue an order of discharge about 60 to 75 days after the first
meeting of creditors. This means that your dischargeable debts have been eliminated.
If you’ve filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the bankruptcy court approves your repayment
plan, the order will be entered upon completion of the requirements. Since you’ll be repaying
some of your debts over three to five years, the remainder of your debts will not be discharged
until the end of this time period.
You can learn more about what to expect once you file for bankruptcy by turning to the experts
at Cutler & Associates, Ltd. Our bankruptcy attorneys have more than 30 years of combined
legal experience helping our Chicago-area clients restore their finances.