What To Expect From Bankruptcy

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Bankruptcy is a significant process that can impact your whole life for years to come. Therefore, before you file for bankruptcy in Maryland, you should be aware of what to expect, as this is a decision that should only be made once you have a good understanding of how it will work.

Bankruptcy Petition Forms

To file for bankruptcy in Maryland, you must fill out the necessary forms, also known as a petition. With your petition for bankruptcy, you must submit a schedule to restructure your debts. For help with preparing these forms, you may want to get assistance from an experienced Maryland bankruptcy attorney.

The forms you submit will include a lot of legal jargon and instructions. They must be typed, include a certain number of copies and contain accurate information. A Maryland bankruptcy attorney would likely use a specific type of computer program to prepare these forms on your behalf.

The First Meeting of Creditors

Once you have filed for bankruptcy in Maryland, it may be 30 to 40 days until your hearing with a bankruptcy trustee but your attorney can help you pin down a more accurate timeline based on your region and their own knowledge of state-specific laws. This hearing will be the First Meeting of Creditors. At this hearing, you will be asked questions regarding your bankruptcy, your assets, your debts and other matters; your creditors may question you as well.

Before you attend your First Meeting of Creditors, your Maryland bankruptcy attorney can prepare you for the hearing. Your attorney will also be present throughout the hearing. Afterwards, your creditors may approach you to negotiate your debts and your Maryland bankruptcy attorney can help you with this process.

Debt Restructuring (Chapter 13)

When you restructure your debts in a bankruptcy proceeding, you can lower your payments and make them over an extended period of time. While this may not eliminate your debts altogether, it will give you a chance to pay them steadily and should improve your credit score.

Timeline

Generally, if all goes well at the First Meeting of Creditors, your debts will be discharged in the coming months. Meanwhile, throughout the bankruptcy proceeding, your creditors will be prevented from taking collection actions against you. This will prevent them from foreclosing on your home, repossessing your car and placing liens on your personal assets.

Pre-Bankruptcy Purchases

Once you decide to file for bankruptcy in Maryland, you should be careful when making financial decisions. Before making any big purchases, you should get the advice of your bankruptcy attorney. Certain purchases may be non-dischargeable, such as luxury purchases more than $1,000 made within 60 days of the bankruptcy filing.

Furthermore, if you provide materially false financial statements during your bankruptcy in Maryland, your debts may be non-dischargeable.

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