The Bankruptcy Process
Are you drowning in debt? Are you tired of being harassed by creditors about your bills? Maybe you are even facing potential poverty? Do you wish there was a way you could put your financial problems behind you and say good-bye to your credit card debt? If so, then filing your bankruptcy may be the necessary option for you.
With the help of our tools and resources at our office, you can get information, advice, and guidance to learn about resolving debt problems, including filing bankruptcy.
John Steinkamp & Associates is one of the top bankruptcy law offices in Indianapolis, Indiana with great accessibility to a wide variety of resources for our clients.
John Steinkamp, the owner, has been recognized as a super lawyer every year from 2019 through 2021. We have personally helped thousands of debtors file their bankruptcy cases and I have received hundreds of referrals from my clients that certify my commitment to helping debtors with financial hardships file bankruptcy.
Not only will I help you understand the procedures and cost of filing for bankruptcy and walk you through every step, but after you file I can help you rebuild your credit. Protecting your credit is very important, and I am happy to answer whatever questions you may have about that. Working with my team of attorneys and other employees, I will fully assess your financial situation and determine whether choosing to file for bankruptcy is the best decision for you and your family. I will explain the benefits of filing for bankruptcy and, if bankruptcy is not right for you, I will explain why, as well as your rights and requirements. I will be personally involved in helping you get back on the road to financial health.
Not only will I help you understand the process of filing for bankruptcy and walk you through every step, but after you file I can help you rebuild your credit. My teams and I will fully assess your financial situation and determine whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the best decision for you. I will explain the benefits of filing for bankruptcy and, if bankruptcy is not right for you, I will explain why. I will be personally involved in helping you get back on the road to financial health.
Filing for Bankruptcy? Find Out Your Next Steps.
There is a very specific process that has to be followed when filing for bankruptcy. Regardless of whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there is a process that must be followed. At the time of filing, payment of a filing fee will be due to the clerk of the court. This fee is part of the attorneys’ fees paid to the office. The district in which you live determines in which court you will file. If you live in or nearby Marion County, you reside in Indiana’s Southern District.
Once your petition is filed, an automatic stay is issued by the court that instantly halts all creditor activity against you, including any lawsuits, garnishments, or other collection efforts. Your creditors will be legally stopped from contacting you in any way while the bankruptcy process unfolds. There are serious consequences for creditors or other financial institutions involved in debt collection that do not follow this obligation.
Once your paperwork is filed, a bankruptcy trustee will arrange a creditor meeting or 341 hearing. The meeting is not in front of a judge and it is not in a courtroom. The hearing is with another attorney called a Trustee. An attorney will attend the hearing with you as your counsel. While the normal location of these meetings is in a court house, due to Covid-19, the meetings are being held telephonically or via zoom. Only trustees, never judges, or Chief Judges, conduct these meetings.
In reality, creditors in rarely attend the meeting and that part of the process is out of the way quickly. You are required to attend this meeting, and an attorney will be at the meeting with you and help you with all aspects of the meeting. Your spouse will only attend the meeting if he or she is filing jointly with you. Before your bankruptcy case is complete, you will be required to attend a financial management course and show proof of completion. Once your completion is certified, proof of completion will be emailed to you with a certificate of credit counseling.
Under Chapter 7, your debts will be discharged after about 4 months, and in most circumstances, you will get to keep what private and personal and property you own. Under Chapter 13, your unsecured debts and possibly some of your secured debts will be discharged after you complete your Chapter 13 debt repayment plan, to be funded monthly. The course of your plan will usually run 3-5 years. Many debtors have gotten caught up with their mortgage with a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Once you receive your order of discharge, you will be free from most of your debts. Remember that certain debts may be non-dischargeable and will not go away if you file Chapter 13 or 7. For example, unless you received a free education while in school, your student loans are not dischargeable, as are most tax debts and alimony (spousal maintenance). However, debt you may owe on your car can be discharged if you do not wish to keep the car. In that case, the car would return to your creditor via repossession, but you would no longer owe that creditor money.
My office will walk you through every step of the process and ensure that you gain the best relief possible under the bankruptcy code. Call me today for a free case evaluation. I am happy to be at your service.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The Bankruptcy Process
Q: How will I receive notice that my discharge as been completed?
A: Your order of discharge will be sent to you in the mail.
Q: I work for a nonprofit company. Will this fact make my bankruptcy any more easy or difficult than it would be if I worked at a for-profit financial institution?
Q: I committed a fraud about ten years ago and the matter has since been resolved. Will this prevent me from being able to file bankruptcy?
A: No, but debt incurred through fraud may not be deemed dischargeable.
Q: Is filing bankruptcy part of the judicial process?
A: It may feel like it, but you will not be appearing in court before a judge or jury, just a trustee.
Q: Do I have to provide you with my credit report?
A: The report will be needed, but we can pull it from the appropriate database with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Q: Can I claim to be debt free after I receive my discharge order?
A: It is very possible. Some debts are non-dischargeable, but plenty of debtors only have dischargeable debts, such as credit card debt.
Q: Will I have to pay any administrative fees while at the meeting?
A: No. A filing fee will be paid to the clerk of the court well before the meeting.
Q: Is there such a thing as a bankruptcy appeals court if I dispute something the trustee said at the meeting?
Q: I worked in sales but was recently laid off due to Covid-19. Will this have an impact on my bankruptcy?
A: Possibly. For example, if filing a Chapter 13, a debtor must show proof of income or some ability to keep up with the monthly payments.
Q: If I do chose to file bankruptcy, will I be placed on any sort of probation?
Q: All of my debts are unsecured. May I still file bankruptcy?
A: Yes. If all of your debts are unsecured, a Chapter 7 would most likely be your best option.
Q: I am not married, but I do live with my girlfriend and we have what we consider to be a domestic partnership. May we still file our bankruptcy jointly?
A: No. To file jointly, you must be legally married to your spouse. A domestic partnership does not qualify.
Q: I want to file as soon as possible, but I plan on moving across town in six weeks. Will my change of addresses be a big issue?
A: No. Just let our office know and we can file the appropriate amendment to your petition to reflect your change of addresses.
Q: Do I need to provide a copy of my driver’s license?
A: You do need to provide a copy of some sort of government-issued photo identification.
Q: I live in Indiana now, but I incurred most of my debt years ago when I lived in Ohio. May I file in Ohio instead of Indiana where I currently live?
A: No. Those who live in Indiana must file in Indiana.
Q: Which bills do I include?
A: All of your bills except your current utility bills.
I will walk you through every step of the process and ensure that you gain the best relief possible under the bankruptcy code. Call me today for a free case evaluation.
WHY CALL MY BANKRUPTCY FIRM?
Unsure of whether or not bankruptcy is right for you? Want to see if you are eligible for bankruptcy? I am ready to discuss all your options with you in a free case evaluation. Find trusted, dedicated advice today at John Steinkamp & Associates.
- I have helped 1,000s of people to a fresh start
- My firm is backed by strong client recommendations
- 14+ years experience handling only bankruptcy cases
- Affordable, hassle-free payment plans