Category: Bankruptcy

What is the Meeting of Creditors?

What is the Meeting of Creditors?

What is a Meeting of the Creditors?

What is the Meeting of Creditors?

The court schedules a meeting of the creditors after the filing of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. This meeting is also known as a “341a Hearing”.

At this hearing, the trustee will “swear in” the debtor.  After that, the trustee will ask the debtor a series of questions to determine if there are assets or income that can be recovered from the debtor and paid to the creditors. Attendance at this hearing is mandatory. If a debtor fails to appear at this meeting, then they will not receive a bankruptcy discharge.

The bankruptcy trustee controls the meeting. Creditors have the right to show up to question the debtor as well. It is rare that a creditor will actually appear at the meeting. This is not a formal court hearing.  For most debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, the hearing can be completed in a matter of minutes.

When is the Meeting of Creditors?

The meeting is typically scheduled 21-40 days after a bankruptcy petition is filed.

Contact Jessica Nomie Law today if you have questions about filing for bankruptcy. We offer free consultations 7-days a week.

The information and materials provided in this article have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. If you believe you have a legal case or claim, you should contact an attorney promptly; strict time limitations may apply to your case or claim.

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

What is the Bankruptcy Means Test?

What is the Bankruptcy Means Test?

Bankruptcy Question: What is the “Means Test” in Bankruptcy?

Answer: The “Means Test” is one method for determining whether someone qualifies for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case.

One qualification to file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy requires that your household income be at, or below, your state’s median income for a household of your same size. The Median Family Income by Family Size can change.  Your bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine if you qualify to file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

If your household income is above median income for a household of your same size, then you must complete the entire means test form to determine if you can qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  In this situation, you can make certain adjustments to still qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help with this.  A lawyer will determine if adjusting the timing of when you file for bankruptcy, or certain other factors such as taxes paid, insurance and healthcare costs, and other regular household expenses, can help you “pass the means test”.

If your income remains too high to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then consider a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  The Means Test can help determine your monthly payment in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.

Updated Median Family Income by Family Size for cases filed in the State of Oregon on or after May 15, 2021* can be found below:

Household Size:

  1. $62,059
  2. $74,283
  3. $89,565
  4. $101,773
  5. Add $9,000 for each additional individual in excess of four

*These figures can change and are specific to bankruptcy cases filed in the State of Oregon.

Please note that there are other factors to consider when determining if you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  Jessica Nomie Law offers free bankruptcy consultations and will help you determine if bankruptcy is the right option for you.

The information and materials provided in this article have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. If you believe you have a legal case or claim, you should contact an attorney promptly; strict time limitations may apply to your case or claim.

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

Covid-19 and Bankruptcy

Covid-19 and Bankruptcy

Question: Can I file for bankruptcy during COVID-19?

Answer: Yes.

The Oregon Bankruptcy Courts remain fully operational during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Oregon Bankruptcy Court was quick to react to the Covid-19 pandemic.  New court procedures have been implemented and continue to be improved.  This has allowed continued access to justice for all bankruptcy filers.  All court hearings are being conducted telephonically or via zoom video conference.  This includes the 341a Meeting of the Creditor Hearing that bankruptcy filers must attend after their Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is filed.

What does this mean?

  1. You can still file for bankruptcy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  2. You will be able to attend your hearings via a telephone conference line, rather than in person, until further notice.
  3. If you contact our firm, you will also have access to a virtual attorney, if that is your preference.

What if you are not comfortable with technology?

If technology intimidates you, we can help make the process easier.  We have been involved every step of the way to assist our clients with their Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.  During the pandemic, this has included facilitating the technological requirements for our clients in this unprecedented time.  We offer completely virtual representation, as well as safe in-person appointments.  At our firm, we guide our clients through technology such as printing, Zoom video conference calls and calling into the hearing conference lines. We do our best for our clients, including scheduling practice calls in advance of hearings to ensure that our clients are prepared for the technological aspect of their upcoming bankruptcy hearing.

It is certainly a unique time, but your access to justice and the bankruptcy courts remains fully available and functional.  If you are considering debt relief and bankruptcy options, then we recommend you consult with an attorney.

The information and materials provided in this article have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. If you believe you have a legal case or claim, you should contact an attorney promptly; strict time limitations may apply to your case or claim.

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

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

There are three initial considerations for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

(1) Income:

To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy your gross income must be at or below the median household income for a household of your size. Sometimes this requirement is referred to as the “means test”. If your income is above the median household income for your state and household size, then with the help of a lawyer you might still be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or else you will need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

(2) Type of Debt:

Certain debts to do not qualify for discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Credit card, medical, auto loan deficiency, and lease break debts are common debts that qualify for discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Debts that are not dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy include, restitution, certain tax debts, child support and student loans. You may need to file a Chapter 13 to pay these debts.

(3) Equity in Assets:

You are allowed to have some equity in assets if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can have certain amounts of money in your bank account or may be able to keep your car. If your equity in assets exceed certain thresholds, then you could be forced to give up that asset in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To protect your property, you could file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can keep all assets in Chapter 13 bankruptcy by paying back certain amounts of your debt back.

Call a lawyer:

There are several factors to consider when evaluating if you qualify for a Chapter 7.  Your particular case might be complicated or time sensitive. 

If you live in Oregon and have questions about bankruptcy, you can call our firm.  Jessica Nomie specializes in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We offer  in person and virtual bankruptcy representation for individuals throughout the state of Oregon.

The information and materials provided in this article have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. If you believe you have a legal case or claim, you should contact an attorney promptly; strict time limitations may apply to your case or claim.

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

Will My Bankruptcy Filing Impact My Spouse?

Will My Bankruptcy Filing Impact My Spouse?

Question: Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse? Will It Impact Them?

Answer: Yes, you can file without your spouse. But, it might impact your spouse even if they don’t file for bankruptcy with you.

First, if you are married, you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse. They do not have to file with you.

However, if you file for bankruptcy without your spouse, then it could impact their credit if you share joint debts. If you and your spouse share debts, then your spouse would remain legally liable for the debt. That means, if they do not want their credit impacted by virtue of you filing for bankruptcy and they share an account with you, then they will need to make arrangements to continue payment on that debt.

Second, if you are married and your spouse does not file for bankruptcy with you, their income still matters. Even though your spouse does not want to file with you, and even if it makes sense that they not file, their income matters. What this means, is household income and budget are factors in your bankruptcy case. Determining whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy or determining your payment plan in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy would require disclosure of your spouse’s income. So, while your spouse’s name would not appear in your paperwork, it would be required to report their income.

Third, while your bankruptcy filing might not impact your spouses’ credit, it still impacts the household. If you are in a Chapter 13 payment plan, then that would impact the household budget. Further, you may have to pay your tax refunds into your Chapter 13 case. For that reason, and many others not listed in this article, your bankruptcy filing could impact your spouse.

There are other factors to consider when you are making the decision to file for bankruptcy. There are additional considerations when you share debts with someone else or are married. It is a good idea to speak to a bankruptcy attorney before deciding whether to file for bankruptcy. Jessica Nomie Law offers in person and telephone meetings, as well as same-day appointments.

The information and materials provided in this article have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. If you believe you have a legal case or claim, you should contact an attorney promptly; strict time limitations may apply to your case or claim.

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