Whether you've had emergency bills or succumbed to poor spending habits, a dire financial situation may lead you to file for bankruptcy. Once you begin the process, you may be wondering what happens next? Here is a brief summary of the steps that follow, but you may want to contact a bankruptcy attorney Las Vegas to address your specific situation.
- Paperwork is filed and checked. Once your bankruptcy petition is signed and filed, the court clerk will check all documents to make sure the petition is complete. You'll be contacted for any missing information.
- Creditors are contacted. Once you have a case number, all your creditors will be contacted immediately to prevent them from calling you about outstanding debts. This automatic stay also stops foreclosure and wage garnishment actions.
- Credit meeting is held. Although this is often a formality, you will be required to meet with creditors who want to discuss and question debts. Major creditors like credit card companies are unlikely to show up; however, if you have a spouse or business partner trying to collect from you, that individual may come to argue during this meeting that a particular debt should not be discharged.
- Financial management class is taken. After your creditor meeting, be sure to take any required financial management classes as soon as possible. These classes are designed to help you back to the road of financial stability.
- Close your case. After you receive your discharge from your creditors, you can close your case unless your assets are being sold to pay a portion of your creditors.
- Check your credit report. About a month after your debts have been discharged, your credit reports should reflect zero balances. Be sure to double check these reports and dispute any errors immediately.
- Be aware of scams. Many companies will prey on financially vulnerable or confused individuals. If you are contacted by companies offering payday loans or those trying to collect on discharged debts, be sure to report these to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Be careful in future spending. Although many people find it difficult to secure traditional loans after a bankruptcy filing, there are many businesses ready and willing to loan you more money than you can repay immediately. Be careful not to make the same mistakes again. Focus instead on borrowing small amounts of money to repay quickly to re-establish your credit, and don't spend beyond your means.
- Expect to regain credit privileges within two or three years. With good behavior, you can establish enough credit to secure a mortgage or car loan within a few years. However, you'll want to watch fees, late payment penalties and interest rates to make sure you don't get into another financial tangle.
For help with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy Las Vegas, contact Vohwinkel and Associates. This firm has years of experience in helping clients understand and manage bankruptcy filings.