Its no joke being broke and bankruptcy is a way to a fresh economic start. A Flint Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you.After you make the decision to file a Bankruptcy Case —Here are the next steps
- Once a bankruptcy case is filed, the Bankruptcy Court and the Bankruptcy Code impose a number of deadlines
- Section 341 meeting of creditors—this meeting is held approximately 45 days after the bankruptcy case is filed. At this meeting, the debtor is placed under oath, and the Trustee (if the case is a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13) or the United States Trustee (f the case is a Chapter 11) asks the debtor questions about its schedules, statement of financial affairs, and any documents requested by the Trustee ahead of time. Typically, debtors are required to provide the Trustee with bank statements, pay stubs, real estate documents and, if requested, credit card statements.
- Creditors typically have 90 days after the date of the 341 meeting to file claims against the debtor (in Chapter 11 cases, especially if they are large, the debtor often requests a longer period of time)
- Creditors have 30 days after the date of the 341 meeting to object to an individual debtor’s exemptions.
- Creditors have 60 days after the date of the 341 meeting to object to the discharge of a particular debt or to object to the debtor’s discharge (in a Chapter 7)
- In a Chapter 11 case, a debtor has 120 days after the case is filed to file its proposed disclosure statement and plan of reorganization. If the Chapter 11 debtor does not extend this deadline and fails to file a plan, then the debtor’s exclusive right to propose a plan terminates and any creditor may then file a proposed plan and disclosure statement
- In a Chapter 7 case, after the 341 meeting, the Trustee typically investigates the debtor to determine if there are any undisclosed assets or any non-exempt assets to administer. If there are, the Chapter 7 Trustee typically begins any sales during this time. If there are not, the Chapter 7 Trustee files a “no asset report”.
- In a Chapter 13 case, the Chapter 13 plan is filed with or shortly after the petition. The Chapter 13 Trustee and creditors use this next period to evaluate the plan and determine whether to object to it. If no objections are filed, or if all of them are resolved, the case is “fast tracked”, the confirmation order is entered without a hearing, and the debtor begins making payments into the plan. If there are unresolved confirmation objections, then a confirmation hearing is held and the Bankruptcy Judge determines whether the plan meets the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code and can be confirmed or whether it does not.
- In a Chapter 11 case, depending on its size, the time after filing can be quite frenetic. The debtor often files a number of “first day” motions, which ask for various types of relief (for example, the ability to pay certain “critical” vendors, the ability to pay employees, the ability to stop utilities from shutting off service and the like). These motions are often heard approximately 20 days after the case is filed. In addition, the Chapter 11 debtor uses this time to evaluate whether it should assume or reject various leases and contracts, and to prepare financials and a business plan that will support the filing of a plan of reorganization. If the debtor intends to use the Chapter 11 to sell its assets and liquidate, the debtor often files a motion for approval of the sale of its assets during this time.