Step 1: Your FREE Consultation
It all starts with a phone call to schedule your FREE & CONFIDENTIAL debt consultation at our convenient Brentwood location, easily accessible from anywhere in the St. Louis area. You will meet with bankruptcy attorney David Gunn personally and there is absolutely no charge or obligation at your free consultation. This is your oppotunity to learn how bankruptcy may help you and ask your questions from an experience bankruptcy attorney. If you decide to hire The Bankruptcy Company, you can refer your creditors to attorney David Gunn.
Step 2: Gather Documents & Complete Credit Counseling
Once you have hired The Bankruptcy Company, you will need to gather all your bills, documents and other information necessary to get your case filed. Once you have the information gathered, we offer an appointment in our office with one of our staff to review the documents, make sure you have the right paperwork and that we have answered all of your questions. We will also help get you set up with Credit Counseling at that time. Credit Counseling takes about an hour of your time and can be done online or over the phone, even after business hours.
Step 3: Your Signing Appointment
After we receive all your documents and papers, you will come in for a signing appointment to our office. At this appointment we will review and explain your paperwork, after which you will sign all the bankruptcy documents.
Step 4: Filing Your Case at Court
We file the signed documents with the Court. When your case is filed, the Court issues an order called the "automatic stay" which stops all collection, foreclosure, garnishment and repossession activity. Creditors and debt collectors cannot even talk to you, and they certainly cannot harass you.
If they violate the automatic stay, they can be sued for contempt of Court. The creditors will leave you alone after the case is filed. If they do not, the Court will fine them.
Step 5: Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing) About 30 days after we file your case, you will attend the Meeting of Creditors (also called a 341 Hearing). This meeting is the creditor's opportunity to show up and ask you questions. However, most creditors do NOT show up. In most cases this meeting would be more appropriately called "Meeting Your Trustee". You can think of your Trustee as a sort of "bookkeeper/gatekeeper" for the Court. The Trustee's job is to review the schedules filed in your case to ensure your information is truthful, accurate and complete. In most cases, the meeting is usually over in 15 to 30 minutes.
Step 6: Financial Management Course
Following the 341 meeting you need to complete the second financial management course. This takes about 2 hours and is usually arranged by our office. Most people find it gives them useful information and is interesting.
Step 7: Discharge
About three months after your case is filed, the Court issues your discharge. The discharge is the court order which says you do not owe your bills. Furthermore, it forbids creditors from trying to collect. However, there are some debts Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate. These debts include child support, student loans and most taxes.