Ways & How

how to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own

how to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own

It costs money to hire a lawyer even when filing for bankruptcy. Don’t despair because you can actually do it yourself. How to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own can be learned. Get a copy of the Bankruptcy Software for Consumers to benefit from the guided computer-generated documentation. You may have to do some hard work, but imagine how much money you can save. This will become a necessity when you actually don’t have the money to spare for the services of an attorney. Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Know the qualifications in filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Verify if your income and the size of your family are what are allowed and within the specified guidelines based on the regulations of your state for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will be subject to a Means Test for the qualification verification. The actual federal government Means Test form is designed for a multi-cultural population. You can also enroll online for the simple but lengthy version. The first 15 questions, however, are already enough to verify if you are qualified.

    hapter 13 debt consolidation is another option if the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not appropriate.

  2. Be equipped with copies of your credit reports from the three credit bureaus. This is to make sure that all of your creditors will be included in your bankruptcy report just in case there are some who do not report to all three bureaus. You will need the full addresses of your creditors to be filled out in the forms for your bankruptcy application.

  3. It’s a prerequisite to attend a credit counseling course. You can take it online for U.S. $30 with an accredited agency for credit counseling. The Certificate of Completion must be included in your paperwork when filing for bankruptcy.

  4. Identify the federal court that has jurisdiction in the state where you belong. This may be easy, but it’s very important to start with the right department that has jurisdiction for your case. This is where you will be submitting your completed documents.

  5. The preparation of documents will take a lot of time if you are not using the Bankruptcy Software for Consumers program. The software will have the necessary templates for data presentations and various mathematical calculations already on default. The format of the documents will automatically follow what’s required in the state’s federal bankruptcy laws.

  6. Review your checklist for all the requirements to make sure that you have a complete set of paperwork prior to the actual submission to the bankruptcy clerk. This should already include the proof that you’ve attended credit counseling. Pay the U.S. $299 bankruptcy filing fee if you do not have a waiver. Your receipt will indicate the number of your case, the name of the judge assigned to hear your case, and the appointed trustee. It should also bear the date for the meeting of the creditors. The court will notify you if there are missing forms in your submission. Comply with all procedures on time to make sure that your case will not be dismissed and all your debts will then be discharged.

  7. Be responsive to all correspondence sent by the court or your trustee. Spend your waiting time by gathering your latest financial records like your pay slips for the last couple of months, latest tax forms, and real estate documents if you own real estate. These may be asked for by the trustee at that time.

  8. You can’t afford to be late or not show up during the meeting of creditors. Just be honest in answering the questions from the trustee. First, you have to say your name and address as a protocol for the record. Common questions include the accuracy of the declared Social Security number, your understanding of the petition, the completeness of the lists of creditors and assets, if you made any mistakes on your documents, if the family has any other income, and if it’s your first time filing for bankruptcy.

  9. A Personal Financial Management Instruction Course must be completed within 45 days after the creditors’ meeting. It will cost around U.S. $30 and must be conducted only by a recommended debtor education entity approved by the bankruptcy trustee. Once you’ve submitted the Certificate of Completion as instructed, you must wait 61 days or longer for the notice that your debts have been discharged.

How to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own might be a lengthy process, but it’s all worth it to have a fresh start and peace of mind since no creditors will be harassing you.


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