Lawyers are ready to help during these stressful times. Schedule your consultation >
One of the major benefits of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that most collections are automatically stayed. That means creditors generally may not initiate or continue lawsuits, wage garnishments, or even telephone calls demanding payments from the debtor while the stay is in effect. Fairly shortly after filing, usually within 20 to 40 days or so, the bankruptcy trustee schedules a meeting between the debtor and the creditors. At the meeting, creditors can ask the debtor questions about his/her situation, and the bankruptcy trustee will explain what a discharge of debts would mean to the debtors’ credit rating, etc. If the bankruptcy court approves the discharge, then the debtor is released from personal liability for most debts, and creditors are prohibited from taking any further collection actions against the debtor. Because a Chapter 7 discharge is subject to many exceptions, though, even the bankruptcy court recommends debtors consult competent legal counsel before filing to discuss the scope of the discharge. Generally, excluding cases that are dismissed or converted, more than 99 percent of people filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy receive a discharge.