When someone files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he or she must include schedules of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and expenditures, as well as a statement of his or her financial affairs. In addition, the debtor must provide his or her assigned bankruptcy trustee with a copy of the tax return or transcripts for the most recent tax year. As soon as the Chapter 7 petition is filed, the court will appoint an impartial bankruptcy trustee to oversee and administer the case.
Reviewing bankruptcy petition
Bankruptcy papers include information about debts, property and income. Not only do petitioners need to file this paperwork with the court, but also they need to provide the assigned bankruptcy trustee with their pay stubs, tax returns, and information about their assets. Once the trustee receives this information, he or she will review the petition to ensure that the information and calculations on the financial documents are correct.
Examining the bankruptcy filer under oath
About a month after the petition is filed, the debtor is required to attend a hearing in front of his or her assigned case trustee. This hearing is usually referred to as a 341(a) meeting of creditors, as the creditors are also free to attend and ask questions. The bankruptcy trustee conducts the hearing, asking any questions about the information contained in the bankruptcy documents. The petitioner is under oath when answering these questions.
Liquidating non-exempt assets
Chapter 7 bankruptcy does allow the debtor to keep a certain amount of property, but he or she must surrender non-exempt assets to the trustee. The bankruptcy trustee will then sell the nonexempt assets in order to pay back a portion of the owed debt.
Cutler & Associates, Ltd. has more than 25 years of consumer bankruptcy experience in the Aurora area. Our bankruptcy attorneys are dedicated to helping clients resolve their debt issues and achieve a fresh financial start. For more information, give us a call at (847) 505-0380.
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The federal bankruptcy process requires all those filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 to attend two separate credit-counseling sessions. These are intended to reinforce or teach financial management skills that may help households avoid bankruptcy in the future.
The Department of Justice certifies local clinics to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling and pre-discharge education. To find the list of approved centers, consumers must go to the Department of Justice’s website for the U.S. Trustee Program, and then select their state of residence to find in-person and online class options. Illinois residents have several hundred certificated classes from which to choose.
A judge will not sign off on a bankruptcy until the debtor has completed both rounds of credit counseling. The law office of Cutler & Associates has decades of experience with Illinois bankruptcies, and often helps clients find effective counseling services to meet their needs. If you would like to see how our skilled team could solve your case, call our Schaumburg and Aurora offices at (847) 849-1834.
The market is constantly fluctuating, and it is difficult to decide on the best course of action for investing your money. This video from the Wall Street Journal offers a theory for how to intelligently manage your finances without paying too much in brokerage fees.
The video’s main argument is that most investors should be putting their money in index funds that go up and down along with the market. These often have very low administrative costs and negligible fees - allowing each dollar to go father than with individual stocks or handpicked funds. However, investors should be aware that index funds work best when the money stays in the fund for long periods of time. This means resisting the urge to withdraw the funds during a recession or downward slump.
Household finances are complicated, but the Chicago-area team at Cutler & Associates has helped hundreds of Illinois clients manage their debt through bankruptcy and loan modification. If you are considering a debt discharge, call our office today at (847) 849-1834 to schedule a no-obligation appointment.
Millions of Americans struggling to pay off credit cards and medical bills may be able to benefit from discharging debt during bankruptcy. For those with unsecured loans, the best course of action may be a Chapter 7 filing. While potential filers should consult a local attorney before filing, the following are three key mistakes to avoid when filing for Chapter 7:
Forgetting the Statement of Intention
Bankruptcy is a bureaucratic process administered by the federal government, which means that every debtor hoping for a discharge must file a whole host of paperwork. One such required document is a Statement of Intention that lists any and all debts secured by pieces of property. This may not be applicable to your Chapter 7 case, but you still have to submit it to the court, or else the clerk may decide that your application is incomplete.
Lying On Your Application
Do not knowingly omit any important financial information on your bankruptcy documents. If the trustee or judge finds out about any lies, he or she may stop the Chapter 7 proceeding and maybe even refer you for criminal prosecution in state or federal court. It is essential to be as honest as possible when disclosing your debts, assets, and liabilities to the judge.
Not Submitting Documents to the Trustee
Another important part of a Chapter 7 filing involves meeting with your court-appointed trustee do assess the state of your finances. This individual is a bankruptcy professional, but he or she may need additional information about your income and expenses. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to provide documents to the trustee. The quicker you turn in your paperwork, the better.
Are you a Schaumburg-area resident facing creditor phone calls and letters from collection agencies? If you hold unsecured debt, the law office of Cutler & Associates may be able to help you file for Chapter 7. If you would like advice about your specific financial situation, call our office today at (847) 849-1834.