The United States Bankruptcy Code is written in various chapters. Different types of bankruptcy are dealt with in each chapter. Chapter 7 deals with a Liquidation.
Essentially, any non-exempt assets are converted to cash and given to a trustee. The trustee then disperses that cash to creditors. Once any non-exempt assets have been dealt with, the bankruptcy is discharged, and the debtor is released from all listed debts.
Each state has its own list of what assets and the amount of each that is exempt. When you meet with our attorneys they will gather information on your assets and liabilities and discuss any exemptions with you. These are then filed with the court on Schedules prepared by your attorney.
Usually, in Chapter 7, you will have to attend one meeting. This meeting is called a 341 hearing. The trustee will meet with you and your attorney to ask a few questions about assets. This is also the meeting where creditors sometimes show up to ask questions as well.
After that meeting, there are some deadlines that need to pass that give time for creditors to question or object to the bankruptcy. When those deadlines pass, the court can then discharge the bankruptcy.
Overall, this process is fairly short, around 6 months or so, sometimes less, sometimes more.
If you have any questions or are considering a bankruptcy, please contact us at 219-615-0064.