Filing Chapter 13 Bankrutcy
Bankruptcy Attorneys: Belleville, IL | Glen Carbon, IL | Highland, IL

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Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Once someone has decided to file bankruptcy, one of the most common questions we get asked is what are the steps involved in filing bankruptcy. The steps for filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy are very similar with one major exception: filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy has one additional step.


  1. FREE Consultation If you're thinking about filing bankruptcy, you should not rely on information found on the internet or the advice of friends or family. Every situation is different. We offer a FREE and Confidential Consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer with no obligation. Learn how the law can help you in your specific situation. Get answers to your questions and learn about all of your options, which may not include bankruptcy. Schedule your FREE Consultation online or call our office.
  2. Gather Documents
    After your FREE Consultation with one of our bankruptcy lawyers, you will have a list of documents to collect. Your bankruptcy petition will require quite a few documents as supporting material. Yeah, we know this is the hard part but you should think of this as the fun part - soon you won't have the burden of debt looming over you.
  3. Credit Counseling Class
    You will be required to attend a credit counseling class prior to any submission to the court. This class only takes about an hour and can be done online or over the telephone at most times of the day.
  4. Sign Paperwork to Get Your Case Filed
    You will be scheduled for a signing appointment with your attorney, which will take between 30 - 60 minutes. Your attorney will review each paragraph of each page with you to be sure you understand what you are signing.
  5. File Bankruptcy Petition with the Court
    The Bankruptcy Center will file your bankruptcy petition with the court using many of the documents collected at stage 2. Once the bankruptcy is filed, an "automatic stay" is ordered by the court which stops all creditor and bill collector actions - everything! It's the law!
  6. Trustee Meeting
    No more than 40 days after your bankruptcy filing you will have a Trustee Meeting, sometimes called a creditor meeting. You can learn about the Trustee Meeting here, but this is usually just a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case as most creditors do not show up for this meeting.
  7. Financial Management Course About a month after your Trustee Meeting, you will need to complete the second financial management course. Generally, it is about 2 hours long and many people find the information helpful. It is required in order to complete your bankruptcy.
  8. Repayment Plan
    A repayment plan has been determined as part of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. You need to follow the repayment plan, which will take 3 - 5 years. If your circumstances change during this time you should contact your bankruptcy lawyer at The Bankruptcy Center immediately. In many cases, we can obtain a modification to your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan.
  9. Discharge
    This is it! You made it to the end, congratulations! You now have a fresh financial start and most of your debt has been discharged, which means it is eliminated. Creditors and bill collectors can no longer take any action against you for the debt discharged in your bankruptcy. Keep in mind there is some debt that is not eliminated by Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and you will need to take action for this type of debt.  For example, you will need to resume making mortgage payments if you kept your house as part of your bankruptcy.