Chapter 7 Overview

Belleville 618.236.7000
Granite City 618.656.7941

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Most bankruptcy fears are driven by common misperceptions about the bankruptcy process. In general, people have adopted a misguided fear of being berated by the court or returning to a home stripped bare by creditors after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Fortunately, this is not the case. Here is an explanation of how the process works.

First, after a consultation with our bankruptcy lawyers, and a brief credit counseling session online or by phone, a client’s petition is created and filed with the Court. The Court will assign a Trustee to the case, and will send a notice to all of his creditors, stating that the client has filed for bankruptcy and is under the protection of the Court. This notice will also list the date, time and place of the Meeting of Creditors, which is usually held about a month after the bankruptcy petition is filed.

The client(s) must go to the Meeting of Creditors, at which the Trustee will review their petition and ask any questions necessary to be sure he or she understands the client’s financial situation clearly. A TBC attorney also attends this Meeting to assist as needed. Creditors may also go to this meeting to ask questions of the client, but very few of them generally attend. If the client has more equity in an asset than is allowed under the exemptions provided by the appropriate state, the Trustee can seize this asset, sell it, and distribute the proceeds to the creditors.

If the client has chosen to surrender any collateral to the creditor, the creditor will contact him/her to arrange its return. If the client chooses to keep collateral and continue to pay for it, he/she will sign a reaffirmation agreement, a contract between the creditor and the client that allows the client to keep the property as long as it is insured and their payments on it are kept current. The client must complete a brief financial management course, either online or by phone.

About four months after filing the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, as long as there are no creditor objections to the discharge, the Court issues an order discharging all unsecured debts included in the bankruptcy.

Don't wait until it may be too late to seek protection under the bankruptcy law. Schedule a FREE Consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys and learn how the bankruptcy law applies to your specific situation. Call TBC today at 618-236-7000 (Belleville, IL), 618-656-7941 (Granite City, IL).

Memberships & Associations


Belleville Location

The Bankruptcy Center
5312 West Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226
Tel: 618.236.7000

Granite City Location

The Bankruptcy Center
2021 Johnson Road, Suite 1
Granite City, IL 62040
Tel: 618.656.7941


The Law Office of Ronald A. Buch is a debt relief agency, helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.