Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy relief will give your life a reboot and a fresh start. Upon filing Bankruptcy you are protected by the “automatic bankruptcy stay” that immediately stops all collection and legal proceedings against you. Indeed, there is nothing more powerful under federal and state laws than the “automatic bankruptcy stay.”
So, the filing for your bankruptcy petition immediately STOPS home foreclosures, car repossessions, wage garnishments, driver’s license suspensions, lawsuits, sheriff sales, utility shut-offs, or any other type of creditor harassment.
Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, you can still keep your your home(s), car(s), personal property, pension(s) and retirement account(s). So, please don’t give away your property to friends or relatives. Don’t deplete your retirement accounts. Don’t borrow against the equity in your home. Let us help you protect your assets from your creditors now.
During the past 33 years, we have represented both individuals and businesses seeking Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. Let our knowledge and experience help get you a “fresh start” today.
Even if you’re just thinking about bankruptcy and just want to know more about protecting your assets, call Dimitrios Makridis at (614) 349-4490, or Irene Makridis at (330) 394-1587. Don’t forget to ask about our affordable payment plans and our discount rate for the disabled.
1. What happens after my free initial interview?
We will open a file for you and you may refer any collection calls to our office, after you pay our retainer. However, retaining us as your attorney does NOT stop foreclosures, car repossession(s), wage garnishments, or other lawsuit(s). Only the filing of your bankruptcy petition with the U. S. Bankruptcy Court will immediately stop the lawsuits. We suggest that you make regular payments towards the fees (including attorney, credit counseling, and Court filing fees), and once paid in full, we will proceed with the filing of your petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In the meantime, while you are making payments, you will need to gather all the required information.
2. What happens next?
Once all the information is gathered, credit counseling requirements have been met, and all the fees have been paid, we will prepare your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition. It will take us approximately 10 to 14 days to prepare your petition. During this time we will be contacting you to verify or obtain additional or updated information. Once your petition is prepared, you must review it and sign it. A bankruptcy petition cannot be filed without your signature.
3. What happens after my bankruptcy case is filed with the Court?
After your case is filed, please do not speak to any of your creditors, except perhaps to provide them with your Case Number, and to refer them to our office. Also, upon filing, an Automatic Stay Order (a Federal Court Restraining Order) will be issued by the Bankruptcy Court. Although it is not mailed out by the Court for 7 to 14 days after filing, the Automatic Stay is effective from the moment of filing. If you notified us of any pending lawsuit, we will notify the appropriate Court and creditor with a “Notice of Stay” within a couple of days after the filing of your petition to stop the lawsuit. The “Notice of Stay” informs the Trial Court that you have filed bankruptcy, and the Court will immediately stop the lawsuit from going any further. Any wage or property garnishments should stop, but sometimes there is a delay in the notice. Please advise our office of any garnishment that occurs after your case is filed so that we can notify the Court again on your behalf.
4. When is my First Plan payment due under my Chapter 13 Plan?
IF YOU FILED A CHAPTER 13 PETITION (not a Chapter 7 Petition), your First Plan payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee is due 10 days after you file your Chapter 13 Petition, and PRIOR to the Meeting of Creditors. Your MONEY ORDER or CERTIFIED BANK CHECK must be made payable to “Chapter 13 Trustee.” Please do NOT send a personal check or cash. A wage withholding may also be available. In the event of a change in your income, your Plan payments will have to be modified, so please advise us of any expected increase or decrease in your income as soon as possible.
5. Must I attend the Meeting of the Creditors?
Yes. You, and all your creditors, will receive a Notice from the Court containing the date, time, and place for the “Meeting of Creditors” which you MUST attend. You will need to bring your Driver’s License (or other photo identification), as well as your Social Security Card (or other document containing your social security number such as a W-2). We will attend the Meeting of Creditors with you. You will be sworn in and asked questions similar to those asked of you during your initial interview in our office.
The Meeting of the Creditors will take place approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the filing date of your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition. Depending on where you live, the Meeting of Creditors hearing will take place at the United States Bankruptcy Court (not the United States District Court) nearest to your home.