Things to Bring
February 25, 2010
By: Rob Chambers
Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP
At Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP, we offer a free initial consultation either by telephone or in person. Many of our attorneys and staff members are available for evening and Saturday appointments. Oftentimes our lawyers are able to discuss your case over the telephone allowing you to remain at your job or stay with your small children. We recognize that our potential bankruptcy clients are faced with one of the toughest decisions of their lives. We will provide a professional, courtesy and compassionate consultation regarding this important personal decision.
Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, each are filed in the Northern District Federal Court located in Gainesville, Georgia. While many filings are done electronically and online, regardless of the county you live in, your bankruptcy hearings will be held at the Federal Courthouse in Gainesville, Georgia. This is one of the factors you should consider when choosing your bankruptcy attorney. While you may live in Barrow, Forsyth, Dawson, Jackson, or White Counties, an attorney from those counties would still be required to travel to Gainesville for these hearings. Our office is located less than two miles from the Federal Courthouse in Gainesville. Directions to our office can be found at our main web site, http://www.colemanchambers.com/.
We recognize that a bankruptcy filing should be one of your last options, perhaps chosen if there are no other options available. The consequences of filing a bankruptcy can in many cases follow and impact your credit for seven to ten years. After meeting with your attorney, should you determine that bankruptcy is your best option, it is important to understand the process of filing bankruptcy which will help prepare you to face this process. Bankruptcy filing procedures are different depending on your state and perhaps depending upon the Judge's rules and regulations for each District within the State of Georgia. This article is not intended to be an all encompassing review of bankruptcies. Rather, this article shall provide a brief outline of important documents needed by your bankruptcy attorney and the general process of filing a bankruptcy.
First, it is important to gather personal financial information for your consultation with your attorney. Tax returns and W-2's for the past two years are necessary. Additionally, any debts, whether secured or unsecured need to be documented. An example of secured debts is a Security Deed on your home or other real property or properties you own. Another example of secured debts is a car title which may be held by an automobile dealership, bank, credit union or other lender. Examples of unsecured debts include credit card bills such as MasterCard, Visa, or Discover. Unsecured debts may also be personal loans from friends or family members, hospital and/or medical providers, or Judgments stemming from lawsuits, liens, and other contracts concerning intangible items are those which a lender does not hold an item in its possession nor any type of paper such as a title or Security Deed in its possession. Also copies of past credit card statements, car titles, Warranty Deeds and Security Deeds, Notes and any other information set forth above should be copied and taken to your bankruptcy attorney for your initial consultation.
At the initial meeting with your bankruptcy lawyer, it is likely that you will discuss whether filing bankruptcy is advisable, and perhaps possible. If after consulting your attorney, you decide bankruptcy is the option for you, the types of bankruptcy are generally Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The advantages and disadvantages of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are set forth at our web site where this is discussed more fully. Basically under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are preparing a repayment plan with is filed with your Petition of Bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy plan does not consider a repayment plan but is considered a "total bankruptcy".
Once either of the above Petitions is filed with the Bankruptcy Court, your creditors are notified and they are prohibited under Federal Law from making direct contact with you. At the date of filing, all of your assets and property are placed in the arms of a Bankruptcy Trustee. This Trustee in many ways is similar to a Judge who will review the assets and within 30 to 45 days of the filing, will call the first meeting known as the "Meeting of Creditors". It is typically during this time period that the Meeting of Creditors that your creditors may object to your filing of bankruptcy. Objections may be negotiated between yourself and your bankruptcy attorney and the creditors' attorney. Any objections or problems which are not negotiated between the attorneys would be resolved by the Trustee subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Judge. If there are no objections to the Petition for Bankruptcy, your Petition could move through the process in 16 to 20 weeks and at the conclusion, you will be "discharged" at which time you can start fresh without the threat nor the obligation of the looming bills and worries that you had prior to filing bankruptcy.
After the bankruptcy process is concluded, it is very important to begin rebuilding your credit. Helpful tips to resolve your credit after a bankruptcy are set forth in an article entitled, Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy which is on our website for your review.
Should you have questions or concerns about any information contained in this article or should you be considering filing bankruptcy, please do not hesitate to contact Rob Chambers, Cale Rogers or Jim Edge at Coleman, Chambers, Rogers & Williams, LLP in Gainesville, Georgia. We will be glad to help you in any way possible.
"We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code."