The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Process

Filing for bankruptcy is never anyone’s first option—but it is usually their last. Life is paved with unexpected turns and financial challenges. Even those who have chosen bankruptcy as their best option may hesitate to initiate the process because they feel overwhelmed. Get a new start to rebuild your credit and savings by breaking this down into small steps.

Will This Help?

If you have spoken to a bankruptcy attorney, you are likely aware of what filing for Chapter 7 can do for you and what it cannot. For those who haven’t, Chapter 7 will probably not wipe out your student loans, tax debt, or child support. If these are the financial burdens you wish to escape from, this will not improve your circumstances. 

Furthermore, you have to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7. You do this by taking the means test. 


If you are eligible to file for Chapter 7, you will be required to attend credit counseling. This must occur inside of the six months before you file. Overlooking this step will add time to your process and will prevent you from moving forward. 

The United States Trustee’s Office has a list of approved counseling services that you may access and choose from.

The Legal Process

You should strongly consider having a bankruptcy attorney to assist with the process, including filing. The information you need to submit is significant. Overlooking or omitting information will hinder your timeline. 

In addition to the actual petition, you submit detailed financial information and records. There are federal laws that may allow you to keep your home. If you have an attorney, he can ensure you take advantage of every opportunity the law provides for. 

Trustees & 341s

The court will appoint a trustee to take control of your non-exempt property. For example, if you were able to keep your home, this would be considered exempt property. And you should consult with your attorney about any liens still on it from the money you owe to the financial institution that likely lent you the funds to purchase it. 

The trustee is responsible for distributing your assets to your creditors. Lastly, the court will require you to attend a 341 meeting where you answer questions about your finances related to the bankruptcy process. This is done under oath—and your attorney can advise you more on how a 341 meeting is conducted and what is expected of you. 

Hedtke Law Group

If you have additional questions about the bankruptcy process, contact the Hedtke Law Group to schedule a free case evaluation. Anyone can find themselves in an unexpected financial challenge, and we are committed to helping them.