When you file for bankruptcy, the case is filed in federal bankruptcy court. This means that the basic process of filing bankruptcy is the same for every state. No matter which state you decide to file bankruptcy, you will still need to know how to claim bankruptcy. The process involves taking the means test, making a list of any exemptions and also attending a 341 creditor meeting. However, the specifics of your particular case will be dependent on the state level because means test results and allowed exemptions are determined at the state level.
Choosing a Type of Bankruptcy
One of the first things that you will need to do when you are trying to find out how to claim bankruptcy is to decide on the chapter of bankruptcy you want to file. Most individuals choose to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. There are specific features of each one.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a faster process than Chapter 13, and is completed within a few months in the majority of cases. This type of bankruptcy also allows debtors to completely walk away from their debts without having to repay any creditors. The court may also decide to liquidate the assets of the debtor so their debts can be paid off.
Chapter 13 requires debtors to repay a little or all of their debts over a period of time (within 3 to 5 years). The repayment plan is based on the individual’s income. This is a preferred option for individuals who want to keep their assets.
How to File a Petition
The bankruptcy case will begin once the petition is completed and filed. This petition is a very long document, and you will have to provide very thorough financial information such as your income, assets you own and debts you owe.
The Means Test
The means test will help the court decide if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. If an individual’s income is under the median income average for your state, he or she will be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
These are some of the things to consider when you want to know how to claim bankruptcy. A qualified bankruptcy attorney will be able to assist during the filing of your bankruptcy case until your case is discharged.
North Georgia residents can learn more about their bankruptcy options by contacting our office for a free consultation.