It is in your best interest to work with an attorney who is experienced in bankruptcy law and familiar with the process. Bankruptcy is a complicated financial tool, but it is one than can be used to effectively relieve you from the burdensome debt you are facing. Bankruptcy is a powerful tool for Americans to get a fresh start. Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated and stressful process. If errors are made in this process, there is a likely chance of having your case rejected by the court.
I do not charge for the first consultation. During the first, free, consultation, I will explain the bankruptcy process, answer your critical questions, and we will discuss the various and most viable solutions for you. To begin the actual bankruptcy process we will itemize your current income sources; major financial transactions for the last two years; monthly living expenses; debts (secured and unsecured); and property (all assets and possessions, not just real estate). We will need your tax returns for the most recent three two years, deeds to any real estate you own, your car(s) titles, documents for any loans you may have, a complete list of your creditors (including each creditor’s address, account number and balances), if you own real estate the most recent tax analysis and valuation from your county tax assessor’s office, divorce documents if you have been divorced within the past 8 years, and copies of your wage statements for the past six-months. There may be other documents needed, but if so, that need will be identified during the analysis stage of your bankruptcy
2005 Bankruptcy Act Credit Counseling
The 2005 Bankruptcy Act requires all individual debtors who file bankruptcy on or after October 17, 2005, to undergo credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy relief and to complete a financial management instructional course after filing bankruptcy.
2005 Bankruptcy Act Means Test
Under the 2005 Bankruptcy Act your income and expenses will be analyzed to determine if you qualify to file bankruptcy. To apply the means test, the courts will look at your average income for the 6 months prior to filing and compare it to the median income for Wyoming. If the income to debt ration falls within the guidelines, you may continue with your petition for bankruptcy
Petition For Bankruptcy - Filing
Once you have gathered this information, we will then determine which property is exempt from seizure based on the exemption law. To actually file, we will submit a petition and several other forms at your district bankruptcy court. These forms, collectively are referred to as the schedules and ask you to describe your current financial status and recent financial transactions (typically within the last two years). If your creditors or the judge feel or find out that you have not been entirely forthcoming in your bankruptcy filing, it will jeopardize the outcome of your petition.bankruptcy court. These forms, collectively are referred to as the schedules and ask you to describe your current financial status and recent financial transactions (typically within the last two years). If your creditors or the judge feel or find out that you have not been entirely forthcoming in your bankruptcy filing, it will jeopardize the outcome of your petition.
Once you have filed your paperwork with the bankruptcy court, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect. This provision prevents creditors from making direct contact with you or staking a claim on any of your property from the day of filing forward. This will stop any foreclosure proceedings.
Upon filing, the court will assume legal control of your debts and any property not covered by your Wyoming exemptions. A trustee will be appointed to your case by the court. The job of the trustee is to see that your creditors are paid as much as possible. This person will thoroughly review your paperwork, particularly the assets you have in your possession and the exemptions you wish to claim, and can challenge any element of your case.
A debtor may wish to pay a debt, even though that debt would be discharged in bankruptcy. For example, a debtor may wish to keep a vehicle that is financed. As a promise to pay that debt, a debtor must enter into a reaffirmation agreement with the creditor. Reaffirmations are voluntary and not required by law. It is recommended that the debtor carefully consider whether or not the agreed upon payments can be made before entering into a reaffirmation agreement. Any agreement to reaffirm must be made before the discharge is entered and will have to be approved by the court
Within the 180 day period before filing bankruptcy you must receive a credit counseling briefing/course from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency. This counseling briefing is a question and answer session with an approved credit counselor who tries to help you see if there is a way you could repay your debt and avoid bankruptcy. Although you are required to complete the credit counseling within that 180 day period, you can take the course and file as soon as you complete the counseling. In other words, you do not have to wait 180 days from completing the counseling to file bankruptcy. However, your bankruptcy can not be filed until you do complete the course.
60 days post 341 (Creditors’) Meeting
To discharge debts through bankruptcy, you must complete a post-petition financial management course within 60 days after your 341 Meeting. You must complete your post-petition financial management course within the 60 days following the creditors’ meeting but you can not complete the course before the before the § 341 creditors’ meeting. I asked clients to complete the course within 45 days of the creditors’ meeting to give me time to submit the necessary documentation to the bankruptcy court and U.S. Trustee’s Office. This course is of an instructional nature and is tailored around managing your personal finances after bankruptcy. If the course is not completed within the allotted time period, you may not receive a discharge.