THE PROCESS

The vast majority of people qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 under the "means test".  The first step in the means test is the median family income qualification.

1 EARNER Kansas $50,687 Missouri $46,488       2 PEOPLE Kansas $65,112 Missouri $58,796

3 PEOPLE Kansas $73,760 Missouri $70,089        4 PEOPLE Kansas $85,507 Missouri $83,180

(Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2018 ) * Add $8,400 for each individual in excess of 4.

Step Two fill out the online questionnaire, and call or email my office about your situation to set up a consultation.     

https://drive.google.com/open?id=14MQQ64mBI-cohBxp_vDMMyNIIubUu9pm                           

Meet with Attorney in person Your attorney will discuss your income and expense and home and cars with you and how to exempt them. Preference payments, mean test, business issues, pending claims against others, and in the fall and winter, anticipated tax returns will normally be discussed. 

  • "Red flag" issues like recent credit card cash advances or balance transfers, other recent debt and payments to family. - see Do's and Don's page for more details

    • Stop buying on Credit.  

    • Do not lend or borrow money.

    • No large payments to anyone.

    • Keep making payments on secured debt you plan to keep.

Bring with you to the consultation:

  • Questionnaire

  • Statements, bills, and letters from any creditor you owe including collection agencies, attorneys, etc. received within the last 90 days; 
  • Statements from your mortgage creditor(s), your car creditor(s), and all other secured creditors;
  • List of each creditor, name, creditor address, account number, amount of debt to each creditor, date debt was incurred;
  • Any and all lawsuit paperwork including garnishments, and foreclosures;
  • Copies of all federal, state, and local (if applicable) tax returns including W2s and all other attachments for the last 3 tax years;
  • List of all income that does not appear on your tax returns;
  • Documentation that will support your income and expenses for the last 4 months;
  • Evidence of child support payments and alimony;
  • Pay stubs from the past seven months and Year to date income from all source received this year;
  • Copy of driver’s license and copy of Social Security card;
  • Bank statements for day of filing and last 4 months - more than $10 in the bank at the time of filing is a non-exempt asset that can be used by the Trustee to pay debts; 
    • If you do not have some of these items, come anyway and we can normally work around missing documents

 

Drafting of the Petition While your attorney drafts your petition she will pull a credit report to further assure the petition has all creditors.  You are required to attend a Credit Counseling Course before and after the filing of the bankruptcy petition. 

 https://www.myonlinebankruptcyclass.com/ 

 The petition is the document that will list all of your assets, debts, income and other information the Court may consider in granting a discharge. 

Review & Filing  Meet with Attorney to review the draft petition before filing.  This meeting will allow you to review many topics covered in the consultation and to ask as many questions as you have regarding the remaining process.

Notes on how a chapter 7 works may be found here on the Court website.

http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-7-bankruptcy-basics

Once your case is filed, you can take a 2nd online course that is required. After filing, the Trustee may request additional or previously provided documentation. Be sure to promptly and fully comply with these requests since your case could be dismissed for a simple failure to cooperate even though the documents would otherwise be fine if provided.

Bankruptcy Hearing - About 30 Days after Filing This meeting of Creditors is required by the Bankruptcy Code, and provides your creditors an opportunity to ask you questions about your assets. The trustee will verify the contents of your petition. Your attorney will attend your hearing and address issues that may arise. You will normally be done within an hour.

Discharge- About 9 1/2 weeks after Hearing - Discharge normally occurs about nine weeks after the hearing. As a practical matter most cases are over when the discharge is issued, but you still need to cooperate with trustee requests like providing your tax returns if you are filing late in the year. You should save a copy of your discharge in your permanent file since you may occasionally need it in the future.

After Bankruptcy - Once discharged, your case will normally remain on your credit report for 10 years. However, many debtors are offered credit right away and many purchase homes within two years of filing. The most important thing is to have stable employment and income, save a reasonable down payment and avoid taking on new credit card, furniture or other debt that would impair your debt to income ration.