Filing for bankruptcy can involve many steps. The first and most critical decision one must make is whether bankruptcy is required to be filed or not. The second decision is to determine the chapter in which the bankruptcy will be filed. It can be chapter 7 or chapter 13. This link https://www.recoverylawgroup.com/bankruptcy/ can help you determine whether bankruptcy is essential for you or not. If yes, you can also find guidance in picking the right chapter whether 7 or 13. The detailed steps to filing bankruptcy can be listed as follows-
A voluntary petition is the first step through which bankruptcy is declared. It is a document that requires basic filer details like name, address, social security, etc. This petition also needs an estimate of the debt you owe and information about the lenders. This helps the court in assigning appropriate resources to deal with the case. The petition becomes a bit more complex for chapter 13 filers. The filers must include a practical re-payment plan for 3-5 years. The debts should be prioritized in a particular order and it is advised to consult with a good attorney before proposing a re-payment plan.
The next step is to either file an application to pay the chapter 7 or chapter 13 fees or file an application to waive the filing fee. The filing fee can be waived off under certain circumstances only for chapter 7 filers and not chapter 13 filers. The fee for chapter 7 is $245 and $235 for chapter 13 respectively.
There are multiple schedules that need to be filed depending on the number and type of assets a filer may hold. These schedules may include real, personal, and exempt property schedules. As the name very clearly suggests, the real property schedule needs to include details of all real property like a home, with address, valuation, documents, current debt status, etc. The same applies to personal properties and exempt properties. Dial 888-297-6203 to understand terms like wildcard exemptions and other exemptions to safeguard your assets even in chapter 7 bankruptcy.
There are more schedules that relate to information about lenders, co-debtors, guarantors, co-signers, joint owners, any contract or lease information, income information, and expense information. There are 8 most used schedules, there can be more as well depending on the information you might have for disclosure.
Many declarations or statements might be required to complete the filing process.
- State of financial affairs – is a summary of your recent financial transactions
- Statement of intention – is something specific to chapter 7 that indicates the filer’s intention to retain or liquidate an asset
- Statement of social security number – is to protect filer’s identity
- Chapter 7/chapter 13 case notification statement – that allows the bankruptcy court to notify the lenders about the case and facilitate an advance notice
- Credit counseling and financial management course
A credit counseling certificate needs to be filed along with the above-listed documents. It should be availed ideally before filing for bankruptcy from a government-recognized agency. The financial management course which deals with educating the debtor on good money managing habits needs to be completed before the final judgment of the bankruptcy court.
- Performing eligibility checks for Chapter 7/Chapter 13
Not everyone is eligible for chapter 7 or chapter 13 there are some criteria to be fulfilled. A means test is one of the criteria to be fulfilled under chapter 7. There are walkarounds and many exemptions and clauses that can be utilized to qualify for the means test especially if you reside in Los Angeles & Dallas, TX. Similarly, disposable income needs to be calculated for chapter 13 to propose a viable re-payment plan for the next 3-5 years.
This is not an all-inclusive step guide to bankruptcy as there can’t be one. Depending on the situation and the information of the debtor, the steps might see some additions. Hence, it is best advised to seek professional help and file your application accurately in bankruptcy court. 888-297-6203 is your one-stop solution for all your queries. Dial now!