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The average chapter 7 bankruptcy in Colorado can be an uncomplicated process that takes approximately five to six months. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation process and every case is assigned to a chapter 7 bankruptcy Trustee for administration. Certain real and personal property is exempt under state and federal law – an experienced Colorado bankruptcy attorney can advise you on which exemptions apply to your assets. Any non-exempt assets can be liquidated in order to raise money which will be distributed to creditors. It is important to consult with a Colorado bankruptcy attorney as soon as you face financial hardship in order to properly plan and protect your property. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney in a timely manner could potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Once it is determined that chapter 7 bankruptcy is your best option, you will need to gather information regarding your financial situation in order to prepare the bankruptcy Petition and Schedules. You will need to disclose all information regarding your income, assets and debts. An experienced Colorado bankruptcy attorney can help you prepare your bankruptcy Petition and Schedules.
Once the chapter 7 bankruptcy Petition and Schedules are prepared, you will review and sign the documents and your Colorado bankruptcy attorney will file them with the Bankruptcy Court. On the day that a bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay takes effect and prevents almost all collection efforts by creditors. This means that creditors cannot sue, garnish or even demand payment after you have filed for bankruptcy protection. Your Colorado bankruptcy attorney can advise you on exactly what creditors can and cannot do once the Automatic Stay is in place.
The next major step in the bankruptcy process is the 341 Meeting of Creditors. At the Meeting of Creditors, the chapter 7 bankruptcy Trustee appointed to your case will ask you questions regarding your Petition and Schedules. The questions asked will depend on the facts of each case, but the bankruptcy Trustee is generally confirming that everything listed in the Petition and Schedules is true and accurate. Although creditors have the right to show up and ask questions, it is rare for them to do so. If you believe a particularly aggressive creditor will show up at your Meeting of Creditors, it is important to have a bankruptcy Attorney who will provide full representation and can prepare you for the 341 Meeting of Creditors.
After the 341 Meeting of Creditors, there is a 60 day objection period during which time creditors could object to the discharge of your debts. Creditors must have a specific basis for objecting such as theft or fraud. While objections are rare, they can cause major complications in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and should always be handled by an experienced Colorado bankruptcy attorney. Assuming there are no objections in a case, you will receive the Order discharging your debts shortly after the objection period ends. After the Discharge Order enters, your bankruptcy case will still be open while the liquidation process is completed. It is important to be responsive and cooperate with the bankruptcy Trustee until your bankruptcy case is closed by the Bankruptcy Court. Our experienced Colorado bankruptcy attorneys can make sure your dealings with the bankruptcy Trustee go as smooth as possible.