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Bankruptcy FAQ

Considering bankruptcy?

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is never easy. And if you’re like most people, you have a lot of questions about the process, how it will affect your lifestyle and which type of bankruptcy is right for you.

Here are the most frequently asked questions we hear from clients.

  1. Sit across the table with a member of our team. Don’t forget to bring a list of your creditors, debts and any property you own.
  2. Complete a required pre-bankruptcy counseling session to get your credit briefing certificate. Cost is around $20.
  3. Our team will prepare drafts of the documents (also called schedules) needed to file bankruptcy.
  4. Meet with our team to review and sign documents. This is typically a two-hour appointment.
  5. Your case is filed with a court date set in 25-45 days. Now your case is official; creditors cannot collect on debts while waiting for your court appearance.

Fees vary depending on the type of bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 “fresh start” usually costs $900-$1200, plus a $338 Bankruptcy Court filing fee. In these cases, all fees must be paid before the case is filed.

For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, most or all of the attorney and court filing fees are paid through your repayment plan, either by payroll deduction or direct monthly payment.

Probably not. Tennessee law allows certain exemptions to protect some assets like a car, home, household goods, jewelry, bank account, etc. But each case is different. After looking at your unique situation, we’ll come up with a plan to help you keep as much of your personal property as possible.

That depends on the type of bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 takes about 3 months start to finish.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a little different. Instead of getting a clean slate, repayment plans are set up that can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to complete.

For starters, all we need is a list of your creditors and a copy of your most recent pay stub. Even if your information is incomplete, we can help you gather what you need.

No. Bankruptcies are public record, but no newspapers in the Cookeville area publish that information. And your dealings with us will be strictly confidential.

Bankruptcy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require some time from you and our team. We’ll need to meet in person to get everything in order, even with emergency filings.

Yes, but we promise it’s easier than you think. You’ll have one court appearance in front of a Trustee which usually takes about 10 minutes. But plan to be in court for a half day because each docket contains several cases, not just yours. Most people don’t need to appear in front of a Bankruptcy Judge unless there’s a dispute with the case.

Up to 10 years according to federal law.

Yes. Regardless of which type of bankruptcy you file, you must list anyone to whom you owe money on the filed documents, whether you plan on paying them back or not. Failing to do so could result in perjury, a serious criminal offense.

Yes. A Chapter 7 can be filed every 8 years. A Chapter 13 repayment plan can be filed anytime with certain limitations.

Have more questions?

No matter how big or small your questions, our team is standing by.

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