Deciding to file bankruptcy is a difficult decision. If you are considering bankruptcy, or have already decided to file, it is important that you understand the bankruptcy process and what to expect.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can erase debts, including most unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills. It is generally the quickest and simplest chapter and is typically completed in four to six months. The following is a brief overview of the step-by-step of what happens in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Meeting For A Free Consultation

First, come meet with us for a free consultation. We’ll answer all of your questions and help you understand how filing for bankruptcy can help you.

We offer free consultations because we know this is the best way to serve our community and help people get out of debt. Our goal is to help you gain financial freedom and to help you make today the first day of the rest of your life.

Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, it is necessary to gather the necessary documents, prepare the bankruptcy petition, and complete a Credit Counseling course. We invite you to learn more about these pre-filing steps in the following articles:

When you work with The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel, we will prepare your bankruptcy petition. Then we will review it together to make sure that it is complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Bankruptcy is a complex area of law, and bankruptcy petitions are filed under the penalty of perjury.

Filing the Bankruptcy Petition

Once your bankruptcy petition is complete, we will file it with the Bankruptcy Court on your behalf.

As soon as your case is filed all creditors must stop trying to collect from you. This is the power of the Automatic Stay. The Automatic Stay stops foreclosure proceedings and repossessions (at least temporarily), stops wage garnishments and bank levies and puts an end to collection phone calls.

The Meeting of Creditors

You must attend a Meeting of Creditors, also known as a 341 Hearing, approximately one month after filing for bankruptcy. Many of our clients are concerned when they hear this, so we want to put your mind at ease. First, while your creditors will be notified of the meeting, creditors rarely attend. In the unlikely event, they do attend, they cannot badger you or question you about why you filed for bankruptcy. Second, the meeting is not held in a courtroom and there will not be a judge present. The Meeting of Creditors is conducted by the Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case.

Within 60 days of the Meeting of Creditors, you must complete a Debtor Education course. This is the second of two mandatory courses of the Debt Counseling Requirement when you file for bankruptcy. Debtor Education is a two-hour course in personal financial management. It can be completed online or over the phone and is relatively inexpensive. The curriculum is designed to teach you strategies on how to handle your finances after bankruptcy.

Otherwise, in general, there is little a Chapter 7 debtor must do after the meeting of creditors concludes.

The Bankruptcy Discharge

Getting the Bankruptcy Discharge Order from the Bankruptcy Court is the goal of any bankruptcy filing. This is the legal document that releases you from personal liability on your dischargeable debts.

You are no longer legally required to pay back any debts that are part of your bankruptcy discharge. Further, the creditors of discharged debts can never legally attempt to collect payment on those debts.

When you hire us to help you get out of debt, we will help you through every aspect of your case from start to finish.

Life After Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can give you a fresh financial start. It can be your chance to get your financial life in order. Once you are out from under the burdensome weight of debt, you are empowered to make wise financial decisions for your future.

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We Are Here to Help You File for Bankruptcy Protection

Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult financial decision, but bankruptcy can also be the best financial decision. Come meet with us for a free consultation to learn about how bankruptcy will affect you. You may be surprised to learn that many people who file for bankruptcy get to keep most or all of their belongings. You may also be surprised to learn that bankruptcy is not a courtroom battle.

Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we will make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with affect you and your family. We invite you to learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Reach out to us by email at or call (912) 351-9000.


We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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