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How To Quickly Discharge Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Author : Jim Brown

People who come to my office asking about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy often have the same thing in common: They need help, NOW! It can be stressful to be in a lot of debt, but just knowing that relief is in sight can help.

In fact, the moment your case is filed, the benefits begin. After all, you want to keep a roof over your family's head and put food on the table NOW, not just once you've completed the process. When your case is filed you will no longer need to pay balances on any debts listed in the bankruptcy unless, of course, you are keeping property that is collateral for a loan. This should provide you immediate cash to be able to take care of your family. (In fact, in most cases, I would tell you a little known secret your creditors won't want you to know so you could stop paying even before you filed your case. But that is for another time!) In addition, your creditors can no longer call you (and if for some reason they do, you can refer them to your bankruptcy attorney). They also can't garnish your paycheck or take money in your bank accounts. But for some people, the full discharge at the end of the case can't come quickly enough.

So what's the fastest way to get your discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Well, typically the process takes about 90 days if done correctly. And sometimes that is easier said than done, especially if you try to file by yourself. The Chapter 7 process generally goes like this: Once you file, you will have a "meeting of the creditors," within 20-40 days. This name can be a little misleading (creditors generally do not attend these), so I wouldn't get my hopes up that there will be a line of people waiting to ask you questions. I can say in the last 5 years, I have had creditors show up less than 1 to 2% of the time and it is always when there is some alleged fraud going on. The 341 meeting is just a low-key meeting with a trustee of the bankruptcy court, in which they ask you questions about your financial affairs. Your attorney will prepare you for the meeting, make sure you have any paperwork you need, and actually attend it with you. 60-90 days after that (assuming all goes well) your bankruptcy will be discharged.

Working with an experienced bankruptcy attoreny is the best way to make sure everything goes well in that time frame. Not every attorney works at the same level, before you hire an attorney, ask how long they've been practicing (and how long they've been practicing bankruptcy specifically) and how many successful cases they've filed. Also, contact the bankruptcy court or U.S. Trustee to see if the attorney you want to hire does quality work.

There are all sorts of exemptions that an inexperienced attorney may not think of. Even worse, they may make a simple mistake that could devastate your case. Make sure you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to handle your Chapter 7 case.

Author's Resource Box

James Brown is a personal bankruptcy attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. He has filed over 30,000 bankruptcy cases and published many books and articles. You can request his free Missouri and Illinois bankruptcy guide for the best tips on how to prepare for your bankruptcy and find a great bankruptcy attorney.

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Tags:   Missouri Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Missouri bankruptcy attorney, Chapter 7 discharge, Missouri bankruptcy guide

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Submitted : 2011-01-18    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 276