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Practice Areas
Bankruptcy Overview
Alternatives to Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Myths
Bankruptcy Process
Bankruptcy Timeline
Benefits of Bankruptcy
Chapter 7
Chapter 11
Chapter 13
Creditor Harassment
DO's & DON'Ts
Deed in Lieu
Foreclosure
Life After Bankruptcy
Phone Call Harassment
Pre-filing Mistakes
Short Sale
Stop Creditors
Wage Garnishment
What Happens Next
When to File for Bankruptcy
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Bankruptcy Content

What Happens Next?

Ask a Bankruptcy Attorney in St. Petersburg

When you contact the principal attorney, Dion Hancock, at our firm to talk about a potential Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is the most common type of filing, we will advise you about two classes you will have to take as part of the process. One is a credit counseling class and the other is a financial management course. These courses are given by organizations approved by the federal government. They may be taken over the internet or by phone. Credit counseling must be completed within 180 days or 6 months prior to the filing of your bankruptcy. The financial management course must be completed after you file your bankruptcy. A certificate of completion of the financial management course must be filed with the court within 45 days of the date of the first meeting of creditors. If you fail to file this certificate, your bankruptcy could be dismissed.

Where to go From Here

Generally, only one court hearing is scheduled after you file for a Chapter 7. This hearing is called the "first meeting of creditors," and is held by the bankruptcy Trustee. In this meeting, the Trustee is required to disburse assets if available and to ensure that the debtor has not committed fraud. You are asked questions by creditors if they appear and by the Trustee. Creditors have 2 months from the first meeting of creditors to object to a discharge of debt. If creditors fail to file an objection within the 2 month period, they can never make an objection thereafter. In most cases after this first meeting of creditors, the Trustee will recommend a discharge of debts.

Certain debts may be retained rather than be included in the bankruptcy. This can be accomplished by signing a reaffirmation agreement obligating you to continue paying the debt, such as a home or car. These agreements, signed by you, the creditor, and your Tampa Bay bankruptcy lawyer, are filed with the court. The court then issues a discharge notice several months after you have filed releasing you from any obligation on the debts listed under the filing.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.