How to File Bankruptcy Yourself

Dhanya Joy Jan 9, 2019
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Knowing how to file bankruptcy yourself can save you a lot of money, that you would otherwise be spending on paying your attorney and paying legal fees. So, read on for more information on that aspect.
Sometimes, filing a bankruptcy remains the only solution to the endless, unbearable debts that refuse to leave your side. It is probably the only way to obtain some relief from the creditors.
On the other hand, filing for bankruptcy may have some negative impact, like it will be difficult for you to maintain bank accounts and credit cards, you may have to give away some of your valued possessions, and it will be difficult for you to buy or rent a house.
Before you think of opting for bankruptcy, take proper legal advice. It will help you reach an appropriate decision, after weighing all these possibilities and all your options thoroughly. If you still decide to go ahead, then there are two ways you can go about it.
Either you can hire a bankruptcy lawyer to guide you through all the legal procedures, or you can file for bankruptcy yourself and save up a lot of money. Filing bankruptcy yourself can be very useful, especially in this time of recession.

Filing Bankruptcy Yourself

Before you learn to file bankruptcy yourself, it is essential that you know about the types of bankruptcy that you can file for. There are two common types of personal bankruptcy that can be filed, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
These are to be filed at the Federal Bankruptcy Court, and filing bankruptcy under them needs fulfillment of few conditions. Filing for bankruptcy yourself under Chapter 7 would mean you are opting for liquidation bankruptcy, and your assets will be liquidated to repay creditors. This will show on your credit report for 10 years after filing bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy yourself under Chapter 13 would mean that you are opting for the repayment plan, wherein you are willing to repay your debts using you anticipated future income. You can determine the type of bankruptcy to file for by taking the bankruptcy means test.

Filing Bankruptcy Yourself- A Step-by-Step Guide

Once you have taken the decision that you would be filing for bankruptcy yourself, and have determined the chapter that you would be filing the bankruptcy under, follow the steps described further.

Step #1

Gather all your bills, names and addresses of the creditors and the amount that you owe them. Prepare a list of all your assets which includes all your property, details of your monthly income and monthly expenses.

Step #2

Acquire the required bankruptcy forms either online or at the court. These forms are also known as a petition or a casefile. Fill out the forms as per the instructions mentioned on it.

Step #3

In case you are filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, submit the forms and file your bankruptcy at the bankruptcy court, closest to your residence. If you are filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you will have to submit your repayment plan at the federal court.

Step #4

The court will then issue an 'automatic stay' on all the collections, and it will also prohibit your creditors from filing or continuing any wage garnishments, lawsuits and even telephone calls to demand for money.

Step #5

After about 20 to 40 days after your filing for bankruptcy, you will receive a court notification, asking you to attend a meeting known as the '341 meeting', which you will have to attend. It will be a meeting with your creditors in the presence of a trustee or an examiner for around 15 minutes. You will be questioned regarding your financial affairs.

Step #6

In case of filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, post the '341' meeting, the court will accept your petition and the trustee will liquidate your nonexempt assets. In case of filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, post the '341' meeting, the judge may approve of your repayment plan, officially.

Step #7

In case of filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, the court will grant you a bankruptcy discharge, 60-90 days after the liquidation of your assets. You will receive an official discharge notice, and with it you will be officially released of any personal liability. You should now start rebuilding your credit rating.
In case of filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you should begin repaying within 30 days of the approval of your plan till your plan is completed. After all the payments are made, you will receive a discharge notice, and with that you will be officially released of any personal liability. You should now start rebuilding your credit rating.
Hope the information on how to file bankruptcy yourself has helped you understand the procedure well. If you require any further assistance, you can have a discussion with your lawyer. Good luck!
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