The bankruptcy court’s electronic filing system means that your case can be filed at any time night or day. It also means that you do not actually have to be present for the filing.
The greatest thing about the day your case is filed, is the bankruptcy court is going to issue an order that will stop all collection efforts against you.
Think of this as payback time to your creditors! (not literally – your debts will most likely all be eliminated through your bankruptcy). All your creditors from here on out will be barred from contacting you. No more phone calls, no garnishments, no lawsuits. Nothing.
The biggest benefit to have a bankruptcy attorney help you out is that if that attorney has done their job right, now that your case is filed things should proceed pretty smoothly for you. The way I approach a typical chapter 7 case is by gathering as much information as possible prior to the filing of your case so that we can draft air-tight documents.
There should be no surprises going into your bankruptcy case if you have been completely upfront with your attorney.
Now that your case is filed a couple more people will come into your life.
Bankruptcy Judge – bankruptcy law is federal law, and because of this you will have a federal bankruptcy judge assigned to your case. In the typical chapter 7 bankruptcy the only time you will likely see your judge is if there are issues outside the norm.
In most cases the only interaction you will have with your judge is when they sign your Discharge Order.
Bankruptcy Trustee – most of your interaction with the bankruptcy process will be with your bankruptcy trustee. In Arizona, your bankruptcy trustee will send you a letter shortly after filing requesting various documents. It is important that you comply with the request.
The bankruptcy trustee will also be there person you meet at the Meeting of Creditors. Again, in Arizona the bankruptcy trustee will ask you a series of questions at the Meeting of Creditors and if all goes well that will be the extent of your interaction with the bankruptcy trustee.
In my next post I will go over in detail what you can expect from the Meeting of Creditors, but for now, you made it. If you are like most this is not a place you ever planned on being, but if you have been dealing with debt for a long time there may be no better place.