Hiring A Competent Bankruptcy Attorney Like The Pope Firm
Hiring a bankruptcy attorney is a great idea for the court filing process, but some third parties can offer assistance in other areas, like a bankruptcy petition preparer. However, a petition preparer is not a legal professional who is qualified to advise or represent you. They will not be able to guide you through the process, online or in person.
These services will be able to type your petition for you in the correct format, but you will need to submit your bankruptcy case petitions to the federal courts and attend court hearings yourself. This somewhat defeats the purpose of filing for bankruptcy on the internet, but there are many steps that do benefit from online preparation.
In contrast, a certified law firm can prepare any required documents and forms for you and walk you through the entire process. Their professionals are capable of offering legal advice about filing bankruptcy online, and they honor the attorney-client relationship. Your legal professional may even submit your case to the bankruptcy law courts without you ever needing to leave your home.
Filing with the bankruptcy courts often comes with filing fees that youll need to handle, and our attorney team will help you navigate this part of the process.
Filing Without An Attorney
Individuals can file bankruptcy without an attorney, which is called filing pro se. However, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes.
Filing personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 takes careful preparation and understanding of legal issues. Misunderstandings of the law or making mistakes in the process can affect your rights. Court employees and bankruptcy judges are prohibited by law from offering legal advice.
The following is a list of ways your lawyer can help you with your case.
- Advise you on whether to file a bankruptcy petition.
- Advise you under which chapter to file.
- Advise you on whether your debts can be discharged.
- Advise you on whether or not you will be able to keep your home, car, or other property after you file.
- Advise you of the tax consequences of filing.
- Advise you on whether you should continue to pay creditors.
- Explain bankruptcy law and procedures to you.
- Help you complete and file forms.
- Assist you with most aspects of your bankruptcy case.
Bankruptcy Forms are available to the public free of charge.
- Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples.
- Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company .
- Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.
What Is The Cost To File Bankruptcy Online
The fees for to file bankruptcy online are the same as if you filed at the courthouse, unless you use one of the online vendors/law firms that charge a separate fee for their platform to fill out forms.
Even then, if you do it without an attorney you still have to print off the forms, bring them to the courthouse and pay a filing fee.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy fees total $338 which breaks down to a $245 filing fee, a $78 administrative fee and a $15 surcharge for the trustee assigned to handle your case. If you have to re-open a Chapter 7 filing, its an additional $260.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy fees are $313 $235 in a filing fee and $78 in administrative fees. If you have to re-open a Chapter 13 filing, the fee is $235. If you have to convert from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, the fee is $25.
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Mail Documents To Your Trustee
The Chapter 7 trustee is an official appointed by the court to oversee your case and liquidate, or sell, nonexempt property for the benefit of your creditors. Not all types of bankruptcy require the involvement of a bankruptcy trustee, but both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases have one.
Pay attention to mail you receive from the trustee after filing your case. The trustee will send you a letter asking you to mail them certain financial documents, like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. If you donât send the trustee the requested documents following the instructions provided in their letter, you may not get a discharge of your debts.
A Quick Bankruptcy Filing Can Stop Impending Creditor Action Learn How Fast You Can File An Emergency Bankruptcy Online
Sometimes you need to stop a creditor’s action fast. Filing for bankruptcy can help. When you open a case, the court puts an automatic stay in place that prohibits most creditors from continuing collection actions against you .
But, completing all the bankruptcy forms isn’t a quick process. If time is running short, you can use a fast online bankruptcy filing process known as an emergency bankruptcy filing , get the automatic stay in place, and submit the remaining documents later.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy What Is It And Am I Eligible
Online Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing
There are basically two types of bankruptcy: liquidations and reorganization. This type of bankruptcy is the liquidation category. Choosing this option means that any property you own can be seized and sold to settle your debts. This option is available to individuals as a consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy as well as to businesses as business Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This process can take anywhere from 3-6 months. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy online just got easier our online bankruptcy filing software will save you many hours of time-consuming work.
While Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for the selling off of property, there are certain restrictions by federal law as to what cannot be sold, for example, your car , your clothes, your furniture and much more. The upside to all this is the dismissal of most unsecured debts.
The courts allow for other options on secured debts. With secured debts , you can allow the creditor to repossess the item or you can opt to re-affirm the debt and continue paying the creditor. In some instances, secured debts can also be wiped out.
According to the , eligibility is determined as follows:
Chapter 7 Eligibility
There are several other considerations that may be taken into account for more information on these guidelines, the code in its entirety may be viewed here.
If you have already purchased the package,
General Timeline For A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Knowing what you need to do before, during, and after filing will provide a better idea of what your Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline could look like. Before filing, you must complete a credit counseling course online or by phone. After you have completed counseling, you will submit bankruptcy forms.
You must list your property and the creditors you owe, including information about your financial transactions on these forms. You will also need to mail a copy of your most recently filed income tax return to the bankruptcy trustee. They may ask for additional documents from you, as well. Theres more detailed information about this below.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees
The total cost for filing chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338. A request can be made to pay the fees in installments, though they all must be paid in full within 120 days of filing. Individuals can seek a waiver on the fee if he or she can show their income is below 150% of the poverty line in their state and for their household size.
The fees include:
The total cost for filing chapter 13 bankruptcy is $313. The fees include:
- $235 filing fee
- $78 administrative fee
Hiring a petition preparer typically cost about $200, though companies often try to sell you upgraded services that will substantially raise your bill.
Why Hiring A North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorney Is Probably Better Than Filing On Your Own
Hiring a qualified lawyer guarantees that your bankruptcy filing is done correctly, and you may even save money as a result. The US federal court website published a list of all the ways a bankruptcy lawyer can help you .
Our lawyers at Sasser Law Firm will give you a crucial benefit that you lack: experience. Weve handled thousands of cases for both individuals and businesses.
Since weve done it so many times before, we know what errors cause problems and seek to avoid them in our clients filings. Weve undertaken Chapter 7, 11, and 13 cases, so well be able to tell which bankruptcy is the right one for you.
When you file bankruptcy on your own, youll have to read legal jargon and apply it to your situation. That can be difficult, but years of practice have made us efficient and our goal is to advise you quickly.
You may have pressing financial obligations that you need to resolve quickly, like an impending foreclosure. We can figure out if theres a way to avoid the most serious consequences and maintain your life at a sustainable level. We know it is unpleasant to file bankruptcy, so well do our best to be the steady expert you need in this difficult time.
Finally, we may tell you that bankruptcy isnt your best bet. Our goal is to give you the best possible advice and help you resolve your debt issues in the best way possible If you should wait to file or avoid bankruptcy, well tell you that.
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Complete The Required Bankruptcy Courses
Before you file for bankruptcy in Illinois or Missouri, you have to take a credit counseling course from an approved course provider. You have to do this within six months of filing for bankruptcy, but you certainly dont have to go to a school or education center to do it. You can do it online.
The same goes for another financial education course required for bankruptcy. Before a court will agree to discharge your debts, you have to take an approved debtor education course and file a form with the court to state that you did so. You can also do this one online.
Is It Possible To File Bankruptcy Online How To Do It
- Is it possible to file bankruptcy online? How to do it
Thanks to the Internet boom, almost everything can be done online. Now, the question is, can you file bankruptcy online?
The honest answer is, you can file bankruptcy online. But it is far more complex than ordering food online. Plus, its quite expensive too especially if you give the wrong information.
There is yet another burning problem you need to understand. The U.S court developed software for online bankruptcy filing in a few states. For instance, this software is available in California. The electronic self-representation software was launched in California back in 2014. But in other states, it is expected that the software wont be launched before 2020. So, you need to consult an attorney.
Another question that may pop in your mind is, Can you file bankruptcy online for free? The answer is no. In the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to pay an online fee of total $335. The Chapter 7 filing fee is $245. The administrative fee is $75. The trustee fee is $15. Be prepared to pay another $260 if youre re-opening a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
If you want to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy online, you have to pay $310 fee. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing fee is $235. The administrative fee is $75 and the fee for reopening a closed Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $235.
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Beware Of Online Bankruptcy Kits And Paralegal Or Document Services
There are many dangers to filing a bankruptcy through websites and companies that offer bankruptcy kits and bankruptcy documents to help you file bankruptcy online without an attorney.
It is impossible for these companies to carefully examine your specific situation and advise you accordingly. A case-by-case individual legal evaluation is the only way to get a true understanding of what the bankruptcy law can do for you.
There is also little supervision over these companies, unlike the strict rules that bankruptcy attorney have to follow to ensure your best interests are being represented at all times.
Despite what many of these Document Services may claim, bankruptcy is much more complex than just filling out forms.
People who file their cases using bankruptcy kits or paralegal services often encounter problems and issues with their bankruptcy and can be forced to hire a bankruptcy attorney to help them clean up the mess. This can be a very expensive mistake.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
Once you have prepared your bankruptcy forms, you will need to print them out for the court. You must print them single-sided. The court wonât accept double-sided pages. You will also need to sign the forms once they are printed.
You will need:
Your paycheck stubs
If needed, your application for a fee waiver or installment plan
Most bankruptcy courts require just one signed original of the petition, but some courts require additional copies. So, before you head out to submit your forms, to find out how many copies you will need to bring and confirm you have all the required local forms.
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So What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exactly
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to erase overwhelming debt and get a fresh start managing your finances. It can relieve you of the responsibility to repay your creditors and eliminate most or all your current debt. This option is designed to give debtors a clean financial slate.
A critical benefit of filing bankruptcy is that all debt collection efforts must stop as soon as you file. This benefit can provide relief from demanding letters and phone calls that only add stress to an already challenging financial situation.
Another advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that it does not require you to file a repayment plan. Instead, you are allowed to retain your assets, and the courts discharge all your qualifying debts.
But Can I Find A Bankruptcy Lawyer Online
The short answer is yes. As a general rule, you can find good bankruptcy attorneys online but be careful about where you look. It is important to understand what youre seeing in the search engine results pages when you search for a bankruptcy lawyer. Results at the very top and right of the page are paid advertisements best to ignore those. The organic results lower down on the SERP are generally more trustworthy as Google requires certain quality signals before advancing a site to prominence in these results.
This is not to say that every firm listed on the first page of Google will be a good firm or a good fit to handle your case, it is to say that digital marketing has become commonplace in the legal community and there is nothing wrong with investigating law firms via the internet. Trust, but verify.
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Send Information To Your Trustee
Every bankruptcy case is assigned a trustee to oversee it. These trustees have to verify the information in your bankruptcy petition, and the vast majority of them want you to mail your tax return to them instead of emailing it.
While trustees can choose to accept your financial information online, most of them dont because its not the standard way this has been done in the past.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
After filing your bankruptcy forms, you will need to complete a Debtor Education Course from an approved credit counseling agency. It can be completed online or by phone and typically takes at least 2 hours and costs between $10 – $50, unless youâre eligible for a waiver.
The purpose of the course is to educate you on making smart financial decisions going forward but does not provide legal advice about the bankruptcy process. Youâll learn how to prepare a budget and avoid incurring debt with high interest rates.
Youâre not eligible to receive your bankruptcy discharge and obtain a fresh start if you donât complete the course and file your certificate of completion from the credit counseling agency with the court.
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Can I Make Chapter 13 Payments Online
In most cases, you will be able to make payments on your Chapter 13 repayment plan online. There are several third-party Chapter 13 payment facilitators, but whether you can use them is up to your bankruptcy trustee. You will make payments to your trustee, who will then provide them to the creditors.
What Are The Risks Of Filing For Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer
Do you know what form of bankruptcy will benefit you the most? You can read about the differences, but you may not be able to tell which will actually help you resolve your issues in the best way. Individuals file for either Chapter 7, Chapter 13, Chapter 11, or Chapter 12.
- If you do file pro se, the law prohibits the people who process your bankruptcy from providing you with legal advice.
- If you make a mistake, it can have serious consequences. An incorrect or incomplete filing could mean that your effort to discharge your debt just costs more money.
- If you file for the wrong kind of bankruptcy, you could lose your home or other important personal property. A North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer would evaluate your financial situation and advise you which chapter most aligns with your goals and priorities.
- Courts will still expect you to file your petition correctly. You may find it difficult to interpret the rules and regulations you have to work within.
In fact, a good lawyer will likely save you money by protecting you from costly/avoidable mistakes. Theyll also make sure that youve considered all of your options, including not filing at all.