Filing A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is fairly basic. You will spend most of your time completing forms. These forms will require you to list your debts, assets, financial transactions, and other information. Once youve filed your paperwork with the court, the bankruptcy trustee takes over your case. After you attend a brief court hearing and meet a few other requirements, youll receive your discharge and your case will be closed, usually in four to six months after the date you file.
You Attend The Meeting Of Creditors
There is a single court appearance in a Chapter 7, which is called a section 341 hearing or a Meeting of Creditors. You need to attend this meeting when scheduled, and you will appear before a Trustee and answer questions about your paperwork. This is generally a short proceeding, maybe 15-20 minutes, and Trustees are accustomed to working with pro se debtors
Missouri Or Illinois Bankruptcy Talk To A Lawyer
You can file bankruptcy in Missouri and Illinois without a lawyer. But should you? Its a good question, especially considering that the U.S. court system recommends hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
Hiring a bankruptcy attorney is the recommended course of action for everyone filing. Because of the impact bankruptcy will have on your life and your financial future, you will want to make sure it is in the hands of an experienced professional.
To talk to an experienced professional about your financial options regarding bankruptcy, reach out to A Bankruptcy Law Firm, LLC. Claim your free bankruptcy consultation by calling or contacting our firm online.
Important Disclaimer: The information discussed above and throughout this website should not be relied upon to make any decisions without first speaking to a bankruptcy attorney. There are many intricate rules of law governing bankruptcy with many exceptions to the general rules that could change the advice given by an attorney based on the differing facts in each persons special set of circumstances. THEREFORE, it is important to discuss any information contained in this website with one of our attorneys before taking any action or refraining from taking any action.
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Why Would I File For Bankruptcy Without An Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer can help save you money. Lawyers generally charge between $500-3,750 for Chapter 7 and $2,500 and $6,000 to file Chapter 13. These numbers exclude the $335 filing fee for Chapter 7 or the $310 filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So putting in some research and extra effort by filing the Chapter 7 yourself can go a long way in helping you get debt-free without taking on more debt in the process just to get some legal assistance. However, the U.S. Government strongly recommends you seek out an attorneys advice in every Chapter 7 and 13 case, since bankruptcy can have long-term financial and legal ramifications.
Talk To An Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Today
When you are struggling financially and want to file for bankruptcy, you need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who will hold your hand and guide you in the right direction. You need someone who understands the principles of bankruptcy law and how they interrelate. Working with a general practitioner can be a costly mistake.
At Legal Giant, we care about you and want to help you overcome the financial challenges as fast as possible so you can focus on getting your financial life back on track again. Talk to us today and let us help you get the debt relief you deserve!
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Attend The Meeting Of Creditors
After filling out the forms, you will be expected to attend a meeting with your debtors on a scheduled date. Although the creditors wont be present during the meeting, a trustee will be present, and he/she will ask you a wide range of questions regarding your case.
Make sure you answer the questions accurately and truthfully. This is usually a short session that takes 15-20 minutes.
Bankruptcy Fees Waivers And Payment Plans
If youre unable to pay your filing fees, the court will usually try to work with you. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to roll your court fees into your repayment plan, paying the court in monthly installments. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and youre unable to pay off the fee in installments over 120 days, you might be able to request a fee waiver. The bankruptcy court bases fee waivers on income limits, so your combined family income will need to be less than 150 percent of the poverty limit. If you dont qualify for a fee waiver, you may want to consider applying to pay in installments.
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Filing Bankruptcy On Your Own
If youre looking to save money, the obvious choice is to file your bankruptcy case by yourself. There is no law that says you have to hire an attorney. In this case, however, going the DIY route may not be the best option. Very few bankruptcies are successful with pro se litigants, and there are many ways to misstep when filing a bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated process, involving steps such as:
You may find it takes too much time away from your job and family to research the state laws, file the paperwork, and go to court. If youre unable to put in the time and you want to make sure your case goes smoothly, consider hiring a personal bankruptcy lawyer.
Can I File For Bankruptcy Online In 2021
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In a Nutshell
When you are hit by a sudden financial shock and need a fresh start, you naturally ask â can I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy online? In this article, weÃ¢ll explain the different options for filing for bankruptcy online and the pros and cons of each.
You live a lot of your life online. You do your taxes online with Turbotax and diagnose medical problems online with WebMD. If youâre facing a wage garnishment or repossession, youÃ¢re probably wondering if you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy online. The answer is, Ã¢mostly, yes.Ã¢
The Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy process involves
filing them with the bankruptcy court, and
attending a Ã¢341 meetingÃ¢ with the official overseeing your case.
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Attend A Financial Management Course
The list of approved debt education courses is available at the Department of Justice website. InCharge Debt Solutions is an approved agency with our own online bankruptcy course. The course must be completed within 45 days of meeting with your trustee and creditors.
Lieberman said anyone considering bankruptcy should take the important first step of using an internet search engine to find the bankruptcy court for their area. Each site has a plethora of information for consumers and filers.
Which One Should I Choose
Chapter 7 is, by far, the more popular form because its cheaper, quicker and effective at relieving responsibility for debt if you qualify! And thats a big if. You must pass a means test, meaning your disposable income is under the median income in your state. If you dont qualify for Chapter 7, you can always fall back on Chapter 13.
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Obtain Your Credit Reports And Complete Credit Counseling
The next step is to obtain from all three credit bureaus. You’ll need all three reports because creditors don’t typically report to every bureau. If you fail to report a debt, it won’t be discharged in bankruptcy.
Next, you’ll have to complete a . The U.S. Trustee Program has a list of approved credit education agencies on its site.
How Will Your Lawyer Help You File For Chapter 7 Or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
Before filing, your lawyer will:
- Help decide whether you should file for bankruptcy altogether. Many qualified attorneys will meet with you for an initial meeting which is often free. During this meeting, they will explain the bankruptcy process and laws to you in an easily understandable way. Theyll ask you specific questions about your financial situation, your debts, and other factors to determine whether and for what kind of bankruptcy you should file.
- Help decide if you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy
- Inform you whether you can discharge your debt. A good lawyer will discuss this information in the meeting before you hire them as well. This will help you decide whether filing for bankruptcy makes sense for you and your family.
- Answer any of your questions before you actually filefrom where to take the debtor and creditor course, how filing for bankruptcy will affect your spouse or children, to what property you can and cant keep after bankruptcy based on your specific situation. An attorney will also discuss the legal and tax consequences of filing in the initial meeting.
When you file, your lawyer will:
After you file, your lawyer will:
- Check-in with you after the process to ensure youre doing well and you are on the road to a debt-free future.
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Filing Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer In Florida
One of the most frequently asked questions in my practice is In Florida, can I consider filing bankruptcy without a lawyer? Honestly, yes you can file without an lawyer, and it doesnt matter what chapter you file. Chapter 7, 11, 12, 13 it makes no difference. You can absolutely Home Depot that if you think you have the chops.
But heres why you shouldnt.
Forms, Forms, Everywhere a Form
Getting all your information filled in and submitted correctly is vital to having a successful bankruptcy. If you are going to file by yourself, you have to fill out the paperwork you are submitting perfectly. Theres no room for error, and if you omit something you can amend your filing, but it wont look good to the trustee or the courts. A bankruptcy filing is a sworn statement, and you are attesting by filing that paperwork that everything in there is true and accurate theres very little room for a Whoops!
The Right Bankruptcy Filing
Additionally, there are qualifications for certain types of bankruptcies, and I am not talking about business or personal. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy for individuals comes with a means test. If you dont meet the criteria, you filing may be converted into a Chapter 13. Thats much more complicated and drawn out than a Chapter 7, and you will have to pay back some of your debts. Even filing for a simple Chapter 7 is more complicated than it looks at the starting line.
Stupid Creditor Tricks
Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule
The fees included in the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule¹ are to be charged for services provided by the bankruptcy courts.
Effective on: December 1, 2020
- The United States should not be charged fees under this schedule, with the exception of those specifically prescribed in Items 1, 3 and 5 when the information requested is available through remote electronic access.
- Federal agencies or programs that are funded from judiciary appropriations should not be charged any fees under this schedule.
a. For reproducing any document and providing a copy in paper form, $.50 per page. This fee applies to services rendered on behalf of the United States if the document requested is available through electronic access.
b. For reproducing and transmitting in any manner a copy of an electronic record stored outside of the courts electronic case management system, including but not limited to, document files, audio recordings, and video recordings, $31 per record provided. Audio recordings of court proceedings continue to be governed by a separate fee under item 3 of this schedule.
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Do I Need A Lawyer To File Bankruptcy
This is where it gets tricky, but also is very important. The Central District of California in Los Angeles allows online filing for those filing without an attorney, and has since 2014. But the practice has not caught on nationally.
The U.S. Courts website says that you can file on your own, otherwise called pro se. But it cautions that filers must understand the rules and procedures in federal court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure as well as the local rules of the court where the case is filed.
Its not simple. Lieberman said that its almost impossible to file Chapter 13 without a lawyer, and judges and trustees generally discourage filing pro se in all circumstances.
Bankruptcy is federal law, Lieberman said. But every jurisdiction has local rules and all the rules are different. If a motion needs to be filed, that motion may be different in Ohio than it is in Kentucky.
Each case differs in details, and Lieberman said a consumer could be hurt by improper filing or not having the right information. He points out that non-federal students loans typically are excluded from bankruptcy, but a lawyer may be able to work out an arrangement.
He remembered a man who borrowed money to go to flight school, but had to give up piloting when a car accident left him impaired. An agreement was worked out between the attorney and filer.
Figure Out Where To File
The next step in filing for bankruptcy without an attorney is figuring out where to file. Youre likely going to file in the local court where you live, but it might be where you have your business or where you have the majority of your assets. Heres the link for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada. Bankruptcy is a federal filing, so you dont file anything in state court.
In Las Vegas, the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse located downtown is the place to go 333 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101
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How To File For Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer In Cary Nc
If youre dodging collection calls and throwing away bills you know you need to pay, you may consider filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer. After all, if you are filing for bankruptcy how could you afford an attorney?
Filing for bankruptcy can be a useful tool you can use to restructure your debt, stop the stressful calls, and prevent creditors from taking actions such as lawsuits, repossessions, garnishments, and foreclosure.
Once youve decided that bankruptcy is the right financial option for your situation, you may see online resources describing how to file for bankruptcy without a lawyer.
This is referred to as filing pro se, which is a Latin legal term meaning youre representing yourself. Lawyers cost money, but filling out forms is free. The choice seems sensible. After all, the point of bankruptcy is to recover financially.
You Might Harm Family And Friends
When you file bankruptcy, the trustee has the right to avoid certain transfers of property.
This means the trustee:
- Can get back any money that you have used to help out friends or family
- May also be able to get back property that you have sold
- Can use these powers for up to 6 years before the day you file your bankruptcy
Still think its a good idea?
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Can I File Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer
By FindLaw Staff | Reviewed by Bridget Molitor, J.D. | Last updated June 30, 2021
Yes, you can legally file for bankruptcy without a lawyer. But should you?
Every year, thousands of Americans find themselves too broke to pay off their debts, yet unable to afford bankruptcy. It probably comes as no surprise that attorneys’ fees make up the lion’s share of bankruptcy expenses. So you might be wondering, “Do I really need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?”
It largely depends on how complex your case is. If you own little property and don’t make a lot of money, it might be possible to file bankruptcy pro se . But while filing for bankruptcy on your own can save you money, it’s a serious undertaking. You’ll have to pull together all of your financial documentation, file a lot of paperwork on time, and communicate with your bankruptcy trustee. You’ll also need to take the time to understand the state and federal laws that apply.
In this section, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a few tips to help make the process as simple and painless as possible.
How Much Bankruptcy Costs And How To Pay For It
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Its a classic catch-22: Youre in rough financial shape and need to file for bankruptcy. But between filing fees and the cost of hiring the right bankruptcy attorney, you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to do so.
Heres what bankruptcy costs and how to pay for it.
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