If you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, below is an overview of the steps involved in the process.
1. File for bankruptcy at the appropriate bankruptcy court. The majority of people in Northern Virginia will file at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Old Town Alexandria. Otherwise the proper venue is the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg. We are licensed to practice in both venues.
2. Upon filing, an "order of relief" is granted which provides an automatic stay to any collection proceedings or efforts by the debtor's creditors. For example, filing for bankruptcy will stay a pending foreclosure sale. When you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you will also file certain schedules containing information about your creditors, assets, liabilities, property that should be exempt from bankruptcy, etc.
3. After bankruptcy is filed, your creditors will be notified. Soon after filing a creditor's meeting will be scheduled. Even if the debtor is represented by an attorney he/she is required to appear at the meeting.
4. After the creditor's meeting, any creditor who objects to your exemptions has up to thirty days to do so. Creditors also have ninety days after the meeting to file proof of any claim they may have.
5. No later than 60 days after the creditor's meeting, the trustee or creditor must file any objections to a general discharge of debts for the debtor. If no objections are filed, generally, a discharge will be granted.
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