While the Chapter 7 process can vary greatly based on the complexity of the case, most cases have very few issues and follow the same basic timeline. Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which can take between three to five years, in a Chapter 7 with few complications, the entire process takes approximately five to six months.
Are you thinking about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Denver, but don’t know where to start or if you even qualify? Our experienced team of Chapter 7 Denver bankruptcy lawyers can assess your financial situation and determine which chapter may be right for you — or if you may not even need to file bankruptcy.
How does Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Denver work?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation process. Any assets not protected by the applicable Colorado bankruptcy exemptions will be liquidated in order to raise money for creditors.
The first thing a debtor facing bankruptcy will have to do is gather the information needed to file their case. Some of the common pieces of information that a debtor will need are tax returns filed in recent years, the past six months of their pay stubs, and information concerning their creditors.
Please contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney for a complete list of what documents are needed to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Denver, as every case is different.
See also: Chapter 7 Denver Bankruptcy Timeline
How will a Denver bankruptcy attorney help me?
After gathering all information important to a bankruptcy case, a debtor’s attorney will draft the documents necessary to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once everything is prepared, the debtor will review and sign the documents, and the attorney will file them with the court.
On the day that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay goes into place, preventing any collection efforts by creditors. Creditors cannot sue a debtor, garnish his or her wages, or even pick up the phone to call them.
See also: Bankruptcy Stops Foreclosure
I’m nervous about my 341 meeting. Should I be?
The next major step in the bankruptcy process is the Meeting of Creditors (aka 341 Meeting). At the Meeting of Creditors, the debtor will sit down and answer a number of questions for the Trustee assigned to their case. The line of questioning will depend on the facts of each case, but the Trustee is generally ensuring that everything that was filed by the debtor and their attorney is true and correct.
If any creditors show up to this meeting, they will also have an opportunity to question the debtor; however, this is rare. The Trustee will then determine whether there are any assets to liquidate. If there are assets to be liquidated, the Trustee will do so and distribute the money raised to the creditors. In most cases, however, there is no liquidation because all of the debtor’s assets are protected by various exemptions.
When you have a good bankruptcy attorney by your side, your 341 Meeting should be painless.
When will my case be discharged?
After the Meeting of Creditors, there is a two-month objection period. While objections are also rare, they can cause major complications in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and should always be handled by a bankruptcy attorney.
Assuming there are no objections in a case and any liquidation is completed, a debtor will receive the Order discharging their debts shortly after the objection period ends and the case will be closed.
Contact an Experienced Denver Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy cases can be complicated, and you shouldn’t have to file them alone. Bankruptcy is full of myths and misinformation, but it actually can be good.
Our dozens of client testimonials speak for themselves, but we can help you get back on your feet through multiple practice areas outside of bankruptcy, including family law, debt settlement, and general litigation. To receive a free debt evaluation and determine if bankruptcy is right for you, contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C. today.
About the Author: Robertson Cohen
Rob Cohen is a Managing Partner of Cohen & Cohen, P.C., serving clients in Colorado and Wyoming. He’s a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Panel Trustee, certified mediator, and has administered over 8,000 Chapter 7 bankruptcy estates.