Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I received my discharge, but the trustee is still asking me for things.

People often confuse discharge and case closure.   The discharge is the document that eliminates your personal responsibility for your debts.  It does not discharge your trustee from your case.  Your trustee may hold your case open, if there are assets, or there might be assets.  If there are no assets, or if the trustee has collected all assets from you and distributed them to creditors, then the trustee will file a final report.  Once the final report is done the trustee will ask that the case be closed.  In most cases, once your case is closed, the bankruptcy process is over for you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What do you get to keep when you file bankruptcy?

When you file a bankruptcy, a bankruptcy estate is created which consists of all of your assets.  You may be able to exempt certain assets, depending on the chapter and what state you live in.  To exempt something means to cite the law that allows you to retain it.  In most jurisdictions you are able to retain a certain amount of equity in a home, equity in one or more vehicles, certain household belongings and other things.  If you have assets that are of particular value, be sure to consult with a bankruptcy attorney about it BEFORE you decide to file bankruptcy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Credit counseling

Before you can file your bankruptcy case, you will have to obtain a certificate from an "approved" credit counseling agency.  In order to get the certificate you generally go through an interview process with the repesentative of the counseling agency.  The interview will relate to your income and expenses, and the obligations that you owe.  The interview may be in person, by telephone, or on the internet.  You will have to pay a fee, typically $ 50.00 or less for the agency to issue the certificate to you.  You can see a list of government approved credit counseling agencies at

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What is a discharge and how does one get one?

The "discharge" is what most people who file for bankruptcy are seeking to obtain.  It eliminates a debtor's personal obligation to repay a debt or debts. Unless there are some problems with your bankruptcy, the discharge is normally entered automatically at some point after you have filed your financial management course certificate with the court.  In chapter 7, the discharge is usually entered a few months after your creditor's meeting.  In chapter 13, the dischare is usually entered after you have made all of your payments under the plan.  A chapter 11 discharge is usually entered in accordance with directions in the confirmation order.