We work efficiently to resolve your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case quickly. Generally, we can completed your case and secure your discharged debt within six months of filing your petition.
There are a number of important dates that can affect your right to file a case and get the relief available. This is a guide of the relevant dates in the typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
6-8 Years Before Your Bankruptcy
If you are seeking a Chapter 7 discharge and have received a Chapter 13 or Chapter 12 discharge within the previous six years, you will only be eligible for the Chapter 7 discharge if in the prior case you paid at least 70% of your allowed unsecured claims.
If you have filed and received a Chapter 7 discharge within the past eight years, you are ineligible for another Chapter 7.
The Bankruptcy Means Test
1 Year Before Your Bankruptcy
Transactions within the year prior to your filing your petition will be scrutinized. Specifically, if you have:
Delayed or defrauded your creditors by transferring, hiding, or destroying your property. If you have done so in this time period, the court may deny you a Chapter 7 discharge.
Paid back one of your creditors who are considered an "insider." The payment may be deemed an unlawful preference and the court may recover all such payments for the benefit of your other creditors.
Had a bankruptcy case dismissed. Your Automatic Stay will be terminated within 30 days if you cannot show the Chapter 7 case was filed in good faith.
180 Days Before Your Bankruptcy
If within 180 days before your bankruptcy you had a prior bankruptcy case that was dismissed because you failed to obey court orders or you voluntarily requested a dismissal, then you may not file your bankruptcy case until this 180-day period expires.
You must also receive an individual or group briefing from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency. We have a list of approved agencies and can assist you in locating and completing the counseling.
90 Days Before Your Bankruptcy
This period is critical. You must be a resident of New Jersey for at least 90 days before the filing. If you have not lived in New Jersey for at least 90 days, you may only file your case in the state where you have resided, or which has been the location of your principal assets, for a majority of the prior 180 days.
Paying back any of your creditors during this period may be considered an unlawful preference and the court may recover all such payments for the benefit of your other creditors.
If you incurred new credit of $500 or more for "luxury goods or services" within this period before, or if you obtain a cash advance in the amount of $750 within 70-day period before your bankruptcy, the debt is presumed to be non-dischargeable.
Date of Filing
Your order for relief is entered when we file your bankruptcy petition in Federal Court. This means your creditors are prohibited from taking or continuing any collection or legal action against you. Following the filing, the court will send a notice of your case to all of the creditors listed in your petition and assign a trustee to oversee your case.
15 Days After Your Case is Filed
While you have 15 days after we file your petition to file certain financial "schedules" with the court, we typically will have filed all of the schedules with the original petition.
Shortly thereafter, the court will mail the Notice of Commencement to you, the firm, and your creditors. This notice will inform you of the date set by the court for the meeting of your creditors, and the deadlines for your creditors to object to your case and file their claims against you.
30 Days After Your Case is Filed
Within 30 days after you file your case, or before the meeting of your creditors if that occurs first, we will file on your behalf a Statement of Intention. Here you advise the court whether you intend to keep or surrender to creditors your securitized property.
If you intend to keep the property, you must decide whether to 1) reaffirm your debts and continue making all of your payments on those debts; or 2) redeem the property by paying the fair market value for it.
If you pay the fair market value, you will receive a discharge of debt owed in excess of the fair market value of the item.
45 days After Your Statement of Intention is Filed
You have 45 days following your Statement of Intention is filed to comply with your plan and make all necessary payments.
6 Weeks After Your Case is Filed
At this point, the court will hold the Meeting of your Creditors. We will be there with you during this meeting. Here, the trustee will examine you under oath to determine the accuracy of your statements. At least seven days before this meeting, you are required to provide to the trustee and any creditor requesting it a copy of your most recently filed tax return. Within 45 days after you file your petition, you must file a statement containing a certificate from your attorney that you received an explanation of the various chapters available to you under the bankruptcy code, evidence of any payments you've received from any employer within 60 days of your filing, an itemized statement of your monthly income, and an estimate of any increase income or expenditures you expect over the next 12 months.
30 Days After The Meeting of Your Creditors
This is the period during which the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors have to make objections to your exemptions.
60 Days After The Meeting of Your Creditors
During this period, your creditors can object to the discharge of any of the debts listed in your petition and schedules. Usually, creditors will object to the discharge a debt if the debt was obtained or incurred as a result of any of the following: fraud, embezzlement, larceny, any willful or malicious injuries you have caused others, or a divorce or separation. Creditors can object to the discharge of all your debts if you have engaged in any of the following: concealment or destruction of property or financial records; false statements; withholding information; failing to explain losses; or failure to respond to material questions. Assuming none of this takes place, you’ll receive your discharge of debt in the mail.
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