Ways & How

how to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer

how to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer

How to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer will not be easy.  Although getting a lawyer to assist you in filing is highly recommended, it is possible to do it on your own.  Remember that filing for bankruptcy can give you immediate relief from debts and creditors that are very persistent as well as give you too much stress and pressure.  This can also be dismissed as it passes through technical procedures and scrutiny.  Here are important, step-by-step procedures to insure that your petition will be granted:

  1. Familiarize yourself and study the United States Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedures.  Remember that you are your own lawyer, and you cannot defend yourself when you are ignorant of the rules and procedures.  Ask a resource person if anything is not clear to you.  It is better to ask than make a mistake as it can cause the dismissal of your case.

  2. Attend credit counseling from an approved provider 180 days before the filing of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

    ourt is very strict on this.  You may attend this with your spouse if both of you are filing for bankruptcy.  Keep the certificate of attendance as proof that you have complied with this requirement.  File Form 23 with the Federal Court as soon as you get your certificate of completion.

  3. Purchase all the required forms from your local office supply. You will need forms like:  Voluntary Petition or Official Form 1; Notice to Individual Debtor with Primarily Consumer Debts Under 11 U.S.C. and 342 (b); Statement of Social Security Number or Official Form 21; Notice to Debtor by Bankruptcy Petition Preparer; and Exhibit D to Official Form 1.  Fill out all of these forms accurately.

  4. Fill out Form B22A, Statement of Current Monthly Income.  Find out your state’s mean income as you should fall below this to qualify for Chapter 7.  Fill out all of the forms required indicating “N/A” if not applicable.  Make photocopies of these forms for yourself as you have to file all the originals with the Federal Bankruptcy Court in your area.  It is good to keep a copy as your reference when you attend the hearings.

  5. Wait for the court to send you a notice of your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition.  Your creditors will be given the same notice informing them of the hearing’s schedule and venue.  Make sure you attend all of these hearings and, if possible, show up early.  Other bankruptcy cases will also be heard, and the same if not similar questions asked by the Trustee to the other petitioners will also be asked of you.  When it is your turn, you will be asked to make an oath. Answer all the questions honestly. Remember that bankruptcy fraud is a crime.  After the proceedings, all you need to do is wait for the Trustee to send you the Notice of Judgment and hope that your petition is granted discharging you of your debts.

Bankruptcy rules have become more complicated these days, and the court expects the same thing from you as they would from a lawyer. It is important that you know how to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer so that you can save money especially since lawyer’s fees are now getting quite expensive.  Bear in mind that any mistakes you make, like a failure to file the required document, can cause the dismissal of your petition.  Also, honest mistakes made here are not excused.  So be very careful with the documents and attend all the hearings.


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