Ron Lundquist: What to Expect During the Bankruptcy Process
Bankruptcy cases have a well-defined and predictable process that is specific to the state and case type you are filing. However, the Minneapolis bankruptcy process begins the same no matter which type of case you file.
Before filing, you will be required to take a credit counseling course over the internet (or by phone). This course should not take more than 30-45 minutes. There is a small fee for the course that you pay directly to the provider. Once you complete the course, your provider generates a certificate of completion and sends it to me. I file it with the court, beginning the bankruptcy process.
There are many course providers, and you can choose whichever provider you prefer. I recommend Summit Financial Education, a provider that I have worked with for many years. They offer the course at a reasonable price and with minimum hassle to you, the client.
Once a client finishes the credit counseling and submits the information to me that is required, I prepare the bankruptcy petition, statements, schedules, and forms.
I meet with you and we review these documents, explaining anything that you don’t understand or have a question about. You sign the necessary pages, and I file everything electronically with the court.
The Minnesota Bankruptcy Court is a division of the United States Federal Courts. Years ago, special efforts were made for the bankruptcy system to be the trailblazer of electronic filing. Due to those efforts, everything is now filed electronically with the bankruptcy courts. State courts in Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County and virtually all Minnesota counties still do not have electronic filing. In other words, we can move your case through more quickly than virtually anywhere else in the state!
Depending on what type of case you are filing, the rest of the bankruptcy process after this point will differ slightly.
Following the two steps above, Minneapolis Chapter 7 cases usually take about 90 days from start to finish.
There is one hearing you have to attend. Do not worry about this hearing. I will be present with you as your representation, and I will lead you through what to expect. I have attended thousands of these hearings with clients, and I can assure you that they are nothing like the trials you see on TV. You are not cross-examined. There are no surprise questions. It’s a cut-and-dry process.
Before your case can be discharged, you have to take a second bankruptcy course over the internet or by phone. Again, there are many providers. You can choose whatever provider you like, including the same company I mentioned above.
After you complete the second course, the provider sends me a certificate of completion. Once again, I file it with the bankruptcy court.
Approximately 90 days after filing your case, you will receive your formal discharge, ie a Minnesota Bankruptcy Court order from a Minnesota Bankruptcy Judge. This court order is what legally wipes out your debt.
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process is similar to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Before your case is filed, you must take the counseling course mentioned above and I must file your petition with the necessary paperwork. After case filing, you have to take the second counseling course mentioned above.
A hearing is held approximately 30 days after the case is filed. Do not worry about the hearing. I will make sure you are prepared and be there with you to ensure a smooth process. As with the Chapter 7 hearing, you are not cross-examined and there are no surprise questions.
Unlike the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process requires a second hearing about a month after the first hearing. You DO NOT attend the second hearing. I attend it and inform you afterward of the court’s decision. Your Chapter 13 case gets confirmed, or approved, at this second hearing.
From there, you pay your Chapter 13 payment directly to the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee, and the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee will make distributions to your creditors. Once your payments are completed, you will receive your discharge. The discharge is a Minnesota Bankruptcy Court order from a Minnesota Bankruptcy Judge that legally wipes out your remaining dischargeable debt.
I would be happy to discuss in greater detail everything you will need to know about the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. I am available over the phone or can address the questions and concerns you have during an initial consultation.
I am recognized as a debt relief agency, and provide bankruptcy relief using the laws of the State or Minnesota and the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Together, we can put you back in charge of your finances and give you a fresh start! If you’re ready to escape creditor harassment, schedule your initial consultation by calling 651-454-0007.