Overview of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process in Colorado: What Are The Specific Steps Necessary to Actually File Chapter 7 And Get A Discharge of My Debts?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a straightforward legal process for cancelling debts and getting a fresh financial start. Almost all debts except child support, taxes, and school loans are cancelled forever. Lawsuits and collection actions are stopped immediately upon filing.
The basic principles of Chapter 7 are simple, but the terminology and maze of documents necessary for processing a case through the Federal court system can seem overwhelming.
Do I really need a bankruptcy or are there other options? Where do I go for help and what do I need to bring with me? How long does the process take? Can I keep my home and car? And what happens to my credit after the case is over?
People who contact Mile High Bankruptcy know they are in trouble and need help, but are unclear and worried about how the process actually works.
The purpose of this article is to set forth in plain and simple terms the steps necessary to successfully process a bankruptcy through Mile High Bankruptcy in Denver, Colorado.
- The first step is to call the law firm at 303-831-0733 and have a short consultation with attorney Peter Milwid. Mr. Milwid is a very experienced and considerate person who will ask a few questions to focus on a client’s specific problems and needs and explain over the phone what can be done to solve the client’s problems.
- The client then schedules a free consultation in Mr. Milwid’s office (1888 Sherman Street, Suite 650, Denver, Colorado 80203) for a thorough review of their situation and a complete explanation of their options and how the Chapter 7 process will get them out of debt. Generally, no documents are needed for this first meeting, but it is helpful if they have a current paystub and a simple hand written list of debts. This consultation usually takes less than an hour, all questions are answered, and a strategy and timeline is established for processing the case. If a client hires Mr. Milwid at that time, which most people do, they can pay a small retainer (often $100) and can refer all creditor phone calls to the office from that time forward to immediately stop harassing calls. The client is given a one page “to do” list, and their next appointment with Mile High Bankruptcy’s experienced paralegal, Cheri, is scheduled. This second meeting can be any time, but is usually within about two weeks of the initial consultation.
- When the client next meets with Cheri, they bring in two years tax returns, six months paystubs if they have been employed, and a list of all their bills, and copies of any lawsuits. The “to do” list contains a website where a free credit report is available if a client is unsure as to who all their creditors are. This meeting also involves a question and answer session about the person’s finances, debts, and assets, which is very thorough, and provides the firm with the raw data necessary to create the documents necessary for filing the case. This meeting generally takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
- After the case has been prepared and reviewed by Mr. Milwid, the client returns to the office, signs the documents. The case is then filed with the Federal Bankruptcy Court electronically within approximately one week, and all creditor activity is stopped by the immediate issuance of a Federal court Order called an Automatic Stay.
- Approximately one month after the case is filed, the client will attend a very brief meeting with a Bankruptcy Trustee and Mr. Milwid at 1999 Broadway in Denver on the 8th floor. If you reside far outside the metro area, your meeting may be set elsewhere in the state, closer to your home. The trustee generally asks a few required questions about the client’s debts and assets for the purpose of determining if there are any non-exempt or unprotected assets that must be paid to the Trustee to settle the case. In the vast majority of cases, no payment is required and the Trustee schedules between 10 and 15 people per hour, so your individual interview only takes a few minutes.
- The client is then usually done with their requirements in processing the case. There is sometimes follow up to requests by the Trustee which is handled by Mr. Milwid’s office. If there are no follow up problems or objections, which are rare, the client will then receive their discharge paperwork in the mail in approximately 60 to 90 days.
- The final requirement in the bankruptcy process takes place before and during the case involving a credit counseling agency on-line, once before and once during the case, to conduct a pre-bankruptcy briefing and a debtor education class. These steps are done from home and are very beneficial as they provide valuable information about reestablishing credit and getting back on your feet financially after the case is over. Mile High Bankruptcy provides all the information and timing requirements for these steps as part of the organization and processing of the case.
In conclusion, processing a Chapter 7 case in Denver, Colorado is a linear process that works smoothly if prepared correctly with a great deal of attention to analysis and detail—qualities you are assured of receiving when the case is handled by the people at Mile High Bankruptcy.