How long will it take? The Maple Grove Bankruptcy Attorneys At Kain & Scott, get this question often. We don’t blame you either. Once you have made the decision to file a bankruptcy, get your life back, and protect your family, you want to get on with it and get this done. Scores of other clients feel the same way. Most former clients felt that the longest part of the process is deciding and agonizing over how to resolve an overwhelming debt problem. However, once they made the decision, and what once they got their lives back, they have all found that they had wished they would have filed bankruptcy much sooner than they did. I suppose it’s human nature to anguish over any problem whose resolution is a word most people would rather not hear- the “b” word or bankruptcy. Now maybe there are better words in the English dictionary, but I can think of far worse too.
Step 1- Initial Consultation
Once you have decided to pursue finding out whether bankruptcy makes sense for you, there are 5 easy steps to file with our bankruptcy attorneys in Maple Grove, MN. The first is to set up an initial consultation. Most Minnesota bankruptcy practitioners offer a free, no obligation consultation. Make sure you meet with a bankruptcy attorney, insist on it, or you may end up with a paralegal or another person within the firm but not a bankruptcy attorney.
Most of us can see you within 1-5 days of calling us- for Kain & Scott it would never be longer than this.
STEP 2- File Bankruptcy
After you meet with the Maple Grove Bankruptcy Attorneys and have made the decision to file a bankruptcy, the next step is to file a bankruptcy. Exactly when your bankruptcy petition and schedules get filed with the bankruptcy court is largely determined by the law firm you have hired.
I have heard people tell me it took a year or more to file their bankruptcy case! Others have told us it has taken months and months. At Kain & Scott, we can typically file a bankruptcy for our client within days, not weeks or months. I don’t know about you, but once I have made a decision, especially a painful decision, I just want to get on with it. The last thing I want to do is drag it out, longer and longer.
STEP 3- Attend a 341 Meeting
Once the bankruptcy petition and schedules have been filed with the bankruptcy court, you must attend a 341 meeting. It’s called a 341 meeting because the requirement to attend a meeting is contained in Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. Clever uh? Whether you file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, your 341 meeting is scheduled out about 4-8 weeks after filing the bankruptcy case.
The reason there is such a variation of when your 341 meeting will be is due to demand in large part. The higher the case volume, the longer out your meeting will be and vice versa. Most of our clients will have roughly a month’s notice of when the meeting is so you can let employers, family, and daycare know you need the time off. We have covered in other blogs what happens at these meetings but here is a short synopsis. The 341 meeting is typically 5-15 minutes long and usually is attended by your attorney, you, and a bankruptcy trustee (typically a lawyer appointed by the US Trustee’s Office to be a trustee for a particular location).
It is unusual for creditors to appear even though they have the right to. Our experience is it is REALLY rare for any credit card company, mortgage companies, vehicle lenders, and medical companies to appear.
This is a meeting where the trustee, acting as a representative of the United States government wants to know that what is contained in the schedules is true, complete, and correct. Most meetings are really smooth and occur with no problems. These are typically the meetings where the case is well prepared and the client and lawyer have met and thoughtfully gone over the entire schedules to make sure they are true, complete, and correct.
Sometimes, when we watch meetings go awry, it is often due to a lack of planning and preparation on the part of the lawyer and client. We even hear stories about how the client and the lawyer never even spoke about what is in the petition and schedules?
STEP 4- Recieve Your Discharge
After the meeting, what happens in a chapter 7 bankruptcy and a chapter 13 bankruptcy are different.
In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, after the meeting, you get your discharge in approximately 60 days later. Once you get your discharge, if there are no non-exempt assets, the bankruptcy court typically will close your case soon thereafter.
For a chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is a government sponsored debt consolidation plan, the duration of the plan can be 36-60 months. Whether your plan will be 36-60 months is the subject of another blog altogether. However, once your plan is completed in 36-60 months you get your notice of discharge and the bankruptcy court later closes the case.
So, in conclusion, if Joe files a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maple Grove, Minnesota, from the time we file his chapter 7 bankruptcy case until the time he is discharged, it is approximately 3-4 months later.
If Sheila files a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Roseville, Minnesota, from the time her petition and schedules get filed with the court, it is approximately 3-5 years.
STEP 5- Get Your LIfe Back
No matter how long the process is it is never short enough for those of our guests waiting to get their lives back. One of the Top 5 Reasons Minnesotan's Meet With Our Maple Grove Bankruptcy Attorneys is that they have been miserable for so long that getting their lives back just can’t come soon enough.
At Kain & Scott, the Maple Grove Bankruptcy Attorneys honor the courage and anxiety of our clients in facing an overwhelming debt problem. For the KainScott team, dealing with debt issues is as normal as a doctor treating an infection. Either way, it is just a problem in life to deal with. One of the best e-mails I ever received had a picture of the ocean, with waves coming in, and the caption read “you cannot stop the waves, but you can learn how to ride them.” Isn’t that beautiful? I love this quote because it is so true. Life is so darn humbling. I am humbled often. The older I get the less I fear problems. Once you understand that life is humbling and problems occur, facing them is less daunting than before.