Filing for Chapter 7: The Process

The bankruptcy process is a step-by step process no matter which type you are entering. Here is a brief summary of the steps within a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • Analyze your debts. Decipher which of your debts are non-dischargeable, such as child support and certain income taxes, as well as if you paid collateral for a debt, the creditor can take the property if the debt isn’t paid.
  • Determine your property exemptions: determine which assets are exempt in your state.
  • Make sure you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with The Means Test.
  • Redeem or reaffirm your secured debts. Whether you need to pay the creditor current replacement value of your property, agree on new contract terms with the creditor, or surrender your property.
  • Complete your bankruptcy forms, after which you would file the bankruptcy petition, the main bankruptcy form. This officially begins your bankruptcy case.
  • Attend a meeting at court, called the 341 meeting, with a trustee. In some cases creditors will appear. You will review your case and answer any questions about the information on your forms.
  • File for objections or motions if needed.
  • Faithfully comply with any trustee’s requests for documentation or additional information.
  • Take care of your secured debts.
  • After all of these steps are complete, you receive a discharge from bankruptcy!