The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Process
Like many other people in Florida and the rest of the country, if you are drowning in debt you are probably wondering what exactly is involved in filing for bankruptcy. Do you qualify? How long will it take? What is involved? Our bankruptcy attorneys can help you understand your options.
The First Steps To Achieving A Fresh Start
If you are thinking about bankruptcy and would like to know more about the process, the laws or if you qualify, your first step should be to contact DiTocco Law Group, PLLC, online or call 954-566-9000. One of our experienced assistants will conduct a short information-gathering call where you will be asked a series of questions to see if you qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you do qualify, we will set up a one-hour consultation with an experienced Miami Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney at one of our six offices conveniently located throughout West Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
During this consultation, we will conduct an in-depth interview to learn more about your situation and your financial goals. We take the time to get to know each person’s history so we can best understand how to help them, including analyzing all relevant documentation you can provide. We will then make recommendations outlining what your specific rights and exposures in a bankruptcy filing will be, which may include how much debt may be discharged, what assets will be liquidated and what assets will not be affected.
What Happens After You Become A Client
If you choose to retain our services, you will sign an agreement and make a small retainer payment against the ultimate bankruptcy fee. Once you make that retainer payment, our bankruptcy attorneys will immediately begin to help you collect the relevant information we will need to prepare the filing. You will also be able to tell all creditors you have retained counsel, and all debt inquiries must be directed to our staff only.
More importantly, at DiTocco Law Group, PLLC, our policy is that there is no firm payment schedule. You can pay at your own pace with the understanding that your case will be filed once you have paid the fee, including the court-ordered filing fee and credit counseling course fee that is required by federal law. Once you have paid the retainer fee and the court filing fee, you have completed the course, and we have all the documents we need, we will process your case expeditiously and file it with the court right away.
All filings are made electronically, and within moments of filing your case, a trustee will be assigned. A trustee meeting will be scheduled for 30-45 days following the filing, at the following location depending on what county you live in:
- Miami Federal Courthouse (51 SW 1 st Avenue, Miami, FL 33130), which services Miami-Dade and Monroe counties
- Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse (299 E. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301), which services Broward County
- Palm Beach Federal Building (1515 N. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33401), which services Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties
The Legal Process And The Result
On the day of your 341 hearing, you will meet with the Chapter 7 lawyer who has been working with you since the first consultation and go to the appropriate courthouse. You will be required to bring your driver’s license and Social Security card. Even before this meeting, we will have thoroughly discussed which issues the trustee is likely to focus on so we will be prepared to respond and there will not be any surprises.
Generally, the hearing is quite short for a Chapter 7 liquidation, and we will typically know if the trustee intends to assert their rights against any of your assets at that hearing. After the hearing, creditors have three weeks to file an objection to a discharge, which we will respond to promptly. Assuming no objections are filed (and in almost all cases there are none), your bankruptcy filing will enter the final discharge phase.
Once the hearing is complete, the trustee and bankruptcy judge communicate back and forth for approximately eight weeks to process the final paperwork. At the end of that period, you will get your final discharge and be well on your way to a fresh financial start. Believe it or not, this entire process can be wrapped up in as little as four months, depending on your situation.
Our firm is committed to being by your side every step of the way. You do not and should not have to figure out how to climb out of debt all alone. Our bankruptcy attorneys are always here to answer questions, counsel you about your options and help you execute the right plan that will achieve your goals and alleviate stress. We are here to help people from all areas of South Florida.
Fort Lauderdale Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
Contact our office online or call 954-566-9000 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your specific Chapter 7 bankruptcy concerns with one of our knowledgeable associates. We have satellite offices located throughout Miami-Dade (Coral Gables and Aventura), Broward (Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Miramar) and Palm Beach (Boca Raton, West Palm Beach) counties, so you can take comfort in knowing that there is a DiTocco Law Group, PLLC, office near you. Translation services are available for our Spanish-speaking clients. Se habla español.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.