The Bankruptcy Attorney’s Role in Bankruptcy Procedures (Part 2)

Arising from the meeting with creditors, all of them would want you to reaffirm your debts to them. However, this might not be to your advantage. Your bankruptcy attorney should review each of debts to determine which you should reaffirm and then negotiate with the creditors concerned for the best repayment terms. Your attorney should also arrange for a reaffirmation agreement and go through it with you before you sign it. Should the reaffirmation necessitate you to be in court, your bankruptcy attorney should be there to represent you.

Any of your creditors may file a proof of claim. If such an occasion arises, your attorney should take the necessary steps to file an objection where applicable. Furthermore, upon expiry of the proof of claim, your attorney should file a notice to prevent any late proofs of claim from being included in your bankruptcy case.

If you have any liens on your properties, your attorney’s job is to file a Motion to Avoid Lien where applicable. Generally, a Motion to Avoid Lien is filed to avoid a lien on any of your property that you claim as exempt. Your attorney would tell you which liens are avoidable and which are not.

30 days after the creditors meeting you will have to attend a confirmation hearing. Your bankruptcy attorney should brief you on this and attend the hearing with you. This confirmation hearing is very important so your attorney will ensure you have all your documents ready and you have complied with all the stipulations of the Bankruptcy Code. You payment plan should have been made and there should be no more objections from any quarters. If you have fulfilled all these requirements, you should be granted your confirmation.

One more step in the procedure is your attendance at a personal financial management course. This is a standard legal prerequisite to getting your debts discharged and has to be complied with within 45 days after the meeting with creditors. It is your attorney’s obligation to prepare you for this.

Your bankruptcy attorney should help you fulfill all legal requirements and conditions in order for you to be given a discharge at the soonest possible time. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case would normally take about 90 days to receive a discharge. On the other hand, if you file under Chapter 13, you can expect your discharge to be granted within 3 to 5 years after filing your petition depending on your payment plan.