When you are ready to declare bankruptcy, there are several steps to filing bankruptcy that you should complete. These steps will put the “wheels in motion”, and you will be able to finalize the process and improve your financial situation. The following list of steps will provide you with more insight. However, if you want to file without any complications or dismissals of your case, you should hire a bankruptcy attorney.
Hire an Attorney
As previously stated, the best way to ensure that you will be more successful with obtaining a bankruptcy discharge is by hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your state. Attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy are aware of any updated changes to the bankruptcy law. You want to ensure that your case is handled by a lawyer who will work with you during the legal process.
Which Type Of Bankruptcy Will You File?
Personal bankruptcies are filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Depending on your particular situation and your qualifications, you may not be eligible for Chapter 7. This means you would have to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, in order to know if you bankruptcy is the best option for you; you should hire a bankruptcy attorney.
Take a Credit Counseling Course
Bankruptcy laws were revised in 2005, and this revision mandates that all individuals who file for bankruptcy must take a credit counseling class within 180 days of the filing. Also as part of the new revision, individuals must take a means test to determine their income eligibility. Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to provide you with more information about approved courses you can take in your local area.
Complete Required Paperwork
One of the most challenging parts of the filing process is completing the necessary paperwork. The courts will require you to fill out paperwork regarding your income, expenses, creditors and employment. The court will also ask to have a list of all of your assets. This list should include real estate and personal property such as clothing. Be sure you have your last three years of tax returns and payroll stubs. Make copies of all of these forms before submitting them because they may get lost during the filing process.
You must pay a filing fee when you submit your paperwork. The fees for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 differ. Ask your lawyer in advance about filing fees, so there will not be a delay in submitting your filing to the bankruptcy court.
The final steps to filing bankruptcy include setting up a repayment plan if required, court date for your case and discharge. Chapter 7 discharges typically occur 60 days after you have met with the trustee. Chapter 13 discharges typically occur within two months after the final payment has been made.
Do you need to know more about bankruptcy or debt relief solutions? Contact us to schedule a free consultation.