Western Springs bankruptcy attorney demystifies the automatic stay. Once the case is filed with the court, there is something called an automatic stay which is created right at the time of filing. The automatic stay is a one-page document that basically states that your case has been filed and it contains a case number and a case name. Once the automatic stay is prepared and sent to a creditor, the creditor is prohibited from taking any further collection activity. The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and the creation of the automatic stay will stop a wage garnishment immediately. The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and the creation of an automatic stay will immediately stop a foreclosure case. This is also the case under the other types of bankruptcy chapters.
Chapter 7 involves at least one court appearance known as the 341 meeting of creditors. This 341 meeting of creditors is mandated by the United States Bankruptcy Code and it involves the trustee in Chapter 7, the debtor, and the debtor’s attorney. The meeting is held approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed. A notice will be sent to all creditors to the debtor and to the debtor’s bankruptcy lawyer setting forth the date and time and location and trustee for the 341 meeting of creditors. At this meeting of creditors, the debtor will be present and should have a photocopy of their Social Security card and a photo ID present with them so that the trustee can verify that they are the person who signed the documents in the petition.
The trustee is going to ask a series of questions based upon the documents that were filed in the case. The trustee is going to ask specifically if the debtor signed the documents under all penalties of perjury. The trustee is also going to inquire about the assets and liabilities, income and expenses of the debtor.
The role of the Chapter 7 trustee is to determine whether or not there are any assets that can be administered for the benefit of creditors. In the majority of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, there are no assets to be administered for the benefit of creditors and the debtor is granted a fresh start. All of the debts that could have been eliminated such as medical bills, credit card bills, utility bills and other unsecured debt is eliminated at the time that the debtor receives a discharge in bankruptcy. Some debts will survive a discharge in bankruptcy and those include student loans, recent taxes, parking tickets, child support, alimony, maintenance, and debts incurred by some sort of fraud. You can learn more by reading the bankruptcy code or by reading a bankruptcy book.