This article will provide a brief overview of the process to file a chapter seven bankruptcy in Minnesota. Assuming that you have already selected your bankruptcy attorney, the first step will be to provide the attorney with all pertinent information as found in the article “What Information You Need to File for Bankruptcy.” While the bankruptcy attorney is preparing the debtors Minnesota bankruptcy petition and schedules, the documents to be filed with the court, the debtor will need to take a court approved instructional course concerning personal financial management. This mandatory course must be completed to avoid automatic dismissal upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition and schedules. Upon the completion of both the course and paperwork, the bankruptcy attorney will electronically file the bankruptcy case with the court.
In the District of Minnesota the court will schedule the 341 Meeting of Creditors within one to two days after the petition and schedules are filed. The 341 Meeting of Creditors will usually take place between twenty and thirty days from the date of filing. The 341 Meeting of Creditors is for most debtors the only appearance before a court. At the meeting the debtor will appear before a bankruptcy trustee who will question the debtor concerning the petition and schedules. The debtor’s creditors have the opportunity to come to the meeting and question the debtor, but the likelihood of a creditor making an appearance is quite rare. If the trustee is satisfied with the answers of the debtor, the trustee will close the 341 Meeting of Creditors within a few days.
Once the 341 Meeting of Creditors is closed the debtor enters the final stage of a chapter seven bankruptcy. During the next sixty days the debtor will have to complete a second counseling course. This course will take a minimum of two hours. The debtor must complete this course to receive a discharge. During this time-frame the debtor will also execute any reaffirmation agreements. A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement between the debtor and a creditor where the debtor reassumes a debt that would otherwise be discharged. The most common occurrences where a reaffirmation agreement is used would be with a secured debt such as a vehicle or house. After the sixty day period, the debtor will receive a discharge from most types of debt. Each bankruptcy case filed in Minnesota may deviate from the process listed above to some extent. It is recommend that a debtor contact a Minnesota bankruptcy attorney to assist with this process.