911 Veterans Blvd.
Metairie LA 70005
Bankruptcy is not defeat
Contrary to popular opinion, Bankruptcy is not defeat. It’s a fresh start.
You are not alone
A large percentage of my clients have already tried various debt repayment plans without success. Usually, a combination of unfortunate events contributes to significant financial woes. Sometimes the client is an older person, on a pension, whose spouse has passed away. Sometimes, it’s due to divorce or it may be someone whose income has decreased due to illness or disability. Other reasons include job loss, lay-offs, and staggering medical bills. By the time I see clients for the first appointment; they have often spent months or years agonizing, trying to make minimum payments to no avail.
Beginning Steps to file for Bankruptcy
Upon first interviewing a client for Bankruptcy representation, I inquire about their income, debt and any property that they may own. Then I patiently explain the details about Bankruptcy, explore other options, and make sure that the client understands all of the steps involved in filing a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy consists of preparing a petition, various schedules and documents. Using the latest Bankruptcy preparation software, I interview the client personally to prepare the documentation. The petition, schedules and documents are then filed with the Bankruptcy Court. Our local court is the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. It has jurisdiction over these 13 parishes:
Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles,
St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebone, and Washington.
As soon as the petition is filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court, an automatic stay order goes into effect. This is a powerful protection for the person filing bankruptcy (the debtor). The stay order means that creditors cannot take or continue action against the debtor. The court sends a notice to all of the creditors advising of the stay order. The notice also states the date, time and place of the Meeting of Creditors.
Meeting of Creditors
The Meeting of Creditors is attended by the debtor and the debtor’s attorney. It is presided over by a Trustee. The meeting usually occurs 4 to 5 weeks after the filing of the Bankruptcy petition. You will know the date and time of the meeting at least 3 weeks in advance. It is a meeting, not a hearing in a courtroom. I will attend with you. The meeting usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Between the filing of your case, and attending the meeting, I make sure to cooperate promptly with any requests that the Trustee may have. These vary by Trustee, but may include things such as copies of car registration(s), or 1 to 3 months of bank statemets. I prepare all the filings properly, cooperate with the trustee, and I'm careful to comply fully with all laws and regulations. This ensures that there are no surprises, and that my meetings go smoothly.
Chapter 7 Discharge
About 60 days after the meeting of creditors, the court issues a “discharge order”. In most cases, the “discharge order” discharges all of the debtor’s debt so that they no longer have an obligation to pay them. Of course, this is a general overview of the bankruptcy process. Only by meeting with a potential client, can I advise regarding their particular situation.