Important Information for Chapter 7 Clients
One of the most important things you can do after filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is to properly manage your finances and avoid falling back into debt. Keep in mind that you can only file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy every eight years, so you may find no relief if you fall back into debt before that eight year period is complete. Also, actively monitor your credit reports, at least once per year, and do not assume that your credit report will suddenly become a clean slate. If you find anything on your credit report that should have been discharged, Contact Us immediately. Finally, be sure to Contact Us if any pre-bankruptcy creditors continue collection actions against you after the bankruptcy. You are not obligated to pay discharged debts after the closing of the bankruptcy case.
Worried about losing your personal vehicle or your home? Reaffirmation agreements may allow you to keep those and other secured debts, while eliminating unsecured debts. As long as it would not place an undue burden on your finances, and oftentimes as long as you are current on your payments, secured creditors will allow you to sign paperwork to continue making payments on those debts. Please keep in mind, however, that if you reaffirm and change your mind months or years after the bankruptcy, you cannot file for bankruptcy again for eight years.
When Will I Receive a Discharge?
You must complete a financial management course and file a certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court before you will receive a discharge. Please click here for a list of approved financial counselors for the Middle District of Alabama. You normally should not have to attend the discharge hearing.
Please keep in mind that pre-petition interests such as inheritance or lawsuit winnings must be disclosed to the Trustee in a Chapter 7 as property of the estate. Be sure to Contact Us immediately if this applies to your case.