Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of a few questions that our clients often ask about us. They are quick answers not complete answers or legal advice concerning your particular situation. For bankruptcy questions look for Bankruptcy Questions under the Bankruptcy Tab or click here.
- If I hire Law Offices of Patrick M. Hunter, how does a bankruptcy work?
- What documents do I need to provide?
- If I don’t have the documents, then what happens?
- I am not sure who I owe or how much I owe, is that a problem?
- How long does a bankruptcy take?
- I live outside of Casper, Wyoming, can I hire your firm?
- How do I find your offices?
- Why is there a charge for the initial consultation?
- How much does a bankruptcy cost?
- How long has Patrick Hunter been practicing bankruptcy law?
- Is Patrick Hunter a certified specialist in bankruptcy?
- Is Patrick Hunter a member of bar associations which provide continuing education in bankruptcy law?
- Does Patrick Hunter work with other experienced bankruptcy attorneys?
If I hire Law Offices of Patrick M. Hunter, how does a bankruptcy work?
The process of a bankruptcy with our firm generally follows this process:
1. The clients call to arrange an appointment or request an appointment . Patrick Hunter talks to the clients, determines the clients’ general situation, and assesses preliminary bankruptcy options If a bankruptcy is an option, an appointment for a initial consultation is set.
2. A confirmation email (or letter) is sent to the clients with the forms and documents which need to be brought to the initial consultation, or the client downloads the “New Client Documents” from our web site.
3. The initial consultation is held, lasting at least 90 minutes. This consultation costs $200 to be paid at the time of the consultation. The clients’ situation is evaluated, their goals are determined, the bankruptcy options are discussed in detail together with the costs and benefits of each option. The clients select an option. Based upon that decision a fee agreement is prepared and signed. A plan is prepared as to when to file the petition and what needs to be done before it is filed to optimize the clients’ results. If the clients have not yet received a questionnaire they are provided one.
4. The clients complete the questionnaire and gather the documents required, and deliver them to the firm. The clients complete any pre-petition actions which will optimize their bankruptcy experience.
5. The firm’s staff prepares the appropriate petitions and schedules based on the information provided.
6. The clients complete the credit counseling course and the certificate is sent to Law Offices of Patrick M. Hunter.
7. Patrick Hunter reviews the petition and schedules and in Chapter 12 and 13s, prepares the plan.
8. The clients come to the office and review the documents with Patrick Hunter, corrections are made as required. The documents are signed under oath.
9. Fees which are due before filing (determined at the initial consultation) are paid by the clients.
10. The bankruptcy is filed electronically at the best time for the clients. When the case is filed the automatic stay prevents creditors from doing anything to collect the debt without permission of the court, other than filing a claim.
12. The “first meeting of creditors ” is held 22-45 days after the bankruptcy is filed. The clients must attend with two forms of identification. If the bankruptcy is a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 12, the first plan payment is due at this meeting.
13. The case is administered by the trustee. In a Chapter 7 the trustee collects the non-exempt assets, turns them to cash and pays the creditors. In a Chapter 12 and 13, a plan is confirmed, the clients make the payments according to the plan, and the trustee distributes that money to the creditors.
14. The clients complete a debtor education course.
15. A discharge is usually granted. In a Chapter 7, 90 days after the first meeting of creditors. In Chapter 12 and 13 at the conclusion of the plan.
This is a summary of a complex process. More detail may be found under the bankruptcy tab on this site.
What documents do I need to provide?
A full list of documents may be found under the Client Forms tab. Generally we need proof of income and expenses over the last six months, titles, mortgages, lien statements, Tax returns and Tax Transcripts, and recent bills from creditors. In short most, if not all of your financial documents.
If I don’t have the documents, then what happens?
Most of the documents are recorded somewhere and Mr. Hunter can help you locate them.
I am not sure who I owe or how much I owe, is that a problem?
It is important to include in the bankruptcy everyone that you owe, so the debt can be eliminated. The amount you owe is less important. You may obtain a free credit report on the internet, or the law firm has access to credit reports at a reasonable cost. This may help you find creditors.
How long does a bankruptcy take?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually is over about 4 to five months from when it is filed. If the trustee is going to collect property or money to pay creditors, it may last a year or more, but your involvement should be over within the first 6-7 months.A Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually is over about 4 to five months from when it is filed. If the trustee is going to collect property or money to pay creditors, it may last a year or more, but your involvement should be over within the first 6-7 months.
A Chapter 13 and a Chapter 12 bankruptcy will last from three to five years. The bankruptcy plan should be confirmed within the first six months. The balance of the bankruptcy just involves the clients making the payments and the trustee distributing the payments.
Chapter 11 bankruptcies usually last at least a year, but can last much longer.
I live outside of Casper, Wyoming, can I hire your firm?
Probably, the Law Offices of Patrick M. Hunter handles bankruptcies throughout the state of Wyoming, from the Casper office. Most of his clients come from near the Casper, Sheridan and Riverton areas. Mr. Hunter also assists Law Offices of David A. Tilem with some cases in California.
How do I find your offices?
Our offices are at 142 N. Park, Casper, Wyoming. This is a small grey cottage between 1st St. and A. St. on the west side of Park. For maps and more details go here
Why is there a charge for the initial consultation?
The initial consultation is not a sales presentation. Patrick Hunter spends at least 90 minutes with his clients providing a full analysis of their financial situation and options. If the only way he were to get paid for doing that analysis were to sell the clients on a bankruptcy how could they expect that advice to be unbiased.
How much does a bankruptcy cost?
That depends on the kind of case and the complexity of the case. The Law Offices of Patrick M. Hunter do not have a “one price fits all” rate. This way simple bankruptcies cost less than more complex ones.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy runs from $1,300 to $10,000 (attorney and filing fees) with typical cases ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. Chapter 13 bankruptcy start at $3,500 and could cost as much as $15,000, typical cases costing between $3,800 to $5,000. For more see the Fees tab.
How long has Patrick Hunter been practicing bankruptcy law?
Patrick Hunter has been handling bankruptcies since 1983, when he first was admitted to practice law in Wyoming. He has represented at least a thousand debtors, numerous creditors and several trustees.
Is Patrick Hunter a certified specialist in bankruptcy?
No, since Wyoming does not recognize specialties, nor allow an attorney to advertise as a specialist, Patrick Hunter has not seen the benefit of obtaining a certification. His private practice of law has always emphasized bankruptcy, consisting of at least 50% of his work. He has provided seminars and consultations to other attorneys concerning bankruptcy law.
Is Patrick Hunter a member of bar associations which provide continuing education in bankruptcy law?
Yes, Patrick Hunter is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
Does Patrick Hunter work with other experienced bankruptcy attorneys?
Yes, Patrick Hunter is affiliated with the Law Offices of David A. Tilem, a well respected Los Angeles area bankruptcy firm. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Tilem’s firm work together handling complex bankruptcies in California and Wyoming.
This page was last updated: July 25, 2012