Ways & How

how to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy without a lawyer

how to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy without a lawyer

Under the United States Bankruptcy Code, a petition for bankruptcy may be filed with or without the assistance of a lawyer. It is highly preferable to hire a lawyer; however, when your financial capacity cannot sustain the services of a learned bankruptcy counsel, you have to deal with the situation on your own. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as an interest-free restructured debt payment. If you are in a dire financial state, then you must know how to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy without a lawyer.

  1. Understand how chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code works. This is very important because you are pursuing your petition without the help of a counsel. You must have a working knowledge of how to make a petition. From the preparation of the needed documents that will support your petition to the filing of the case and how to deal with the court hearings, all these facets must be clear to you.

  2. Inquire before the bankruptcy court. Visit the bankruptcy court and inquire about the requirements regarding the filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.



    There are forms that you have to secure and fill out. Aside from the forms, you need to inquire about the filing fees and all other legal fees relative to the filing of your petition.

  3. Prepare your petition. Secure the forms for Chapter 13 bankruptcy either before the bankruptcy court or via online. Fill out the forms with accuracy. Strictly follow the directions as written in the forms. You can also buy a bankruptcy kit to make sure that you will not miss a single form. You can prepare your petition online and file the same electronically if you have no time for personal filing.

  4. Create a payment plan. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will not be seeking for a discharge from your debts; you will simply ask the court to restructure your payment scheme in a certain period of time without interest. Thus, you need to have a payment plan in order to convince the court that you really have the capability to pay off your debts in due time.

  5. File your petition. Filing means filing your petition for bankruptcy complete in its form and in substance. As to the payment of filing fees, you can also ask for exemptions.

  6. Engage the services of a credit counselor. When you file a petition for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you need the services of a credit counselor. The credit counselor will hold two credit counseling sessions with you to help you manage your finances as you go along with your petition. A certificate number will be issued to you after the sessions are completed.

  7. Attend the creditorsÂ’ meeting. During the meeting you will be asked about your income and debts. If your proposed payment plan does not get the nod of your creditors, then most likely all of your creditors will attend the creditorsÂ’ meeting. Convince your creditors that you can meet your obligations under your proposed payment plan.

  8. Wait for the approval. The decision of the court will come later. The court will either grant or deny your petition based on the merits. Normally, the decision of the court will be sent through mail. Once you have a favorable decision, you can immediately start paying for your obligations in accordance with the court's decision.

There are legal battles that can be solved even without the assistance of a counsel. This is especially true in bankruptcy proceedings, such as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. How to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy without a lawyer can be properly done by simply following the steps above.

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