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Do It Yourself Bankruptcy Chapter 7

How To Pick A Do It Yourself Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Software

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – Do-It-Yourself

There are many different kinds of consumer bankruptcy software out there. If you are looking for a DIY bankruptcy, this article will help you choose which tools to use.

There are a lot of good reasons to use consumer bankruptcy software for your DIY bankruptcy.

For example, bankruptcy can be expensive, so using consumer bankruptcy software might be a cheaper option for you.

Another reason is that bankruptcy can be confusing. A do it yourself Chapter 7 bankruptcy software can help you have a DIY bankruptcy without getting lost in a pile of paperwork.

Many people are able to have a DIY bankruptcy without the need for an expensive lawyer. Luckily, there are many available do it yourself Chapter 7 bankruptcy software on the market that you can use in your own DIY bankruptcy.

But what is the best do it yourself Chapter 7 bankruptcy software?

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.

  • For certification of any document, $11.For exemplification of any document, $23.
  • For reproduction of an audio recording of a court proceeding, $32. This fee applies to services rendered on behalf of the United States if the recording is available electronically.
  • For filing an amendment to the debtors schedules of creditors, lists of creditors, or mailing list, $32, except:
  • Administrative fee:
  • Filing Fees And Required Courses

    First off, bankruptcy filers must pay a filing fee. For a Chapter 7 case, the fee is $335. For a Chapter 13 case, the fee is $310. The Bankruptcy Trustee may charge a fee of $15 to $20 when you file, as well. You may request to pay the filing fees in installments most courts will allow it if you can show it would be a financial hardship to pay all at once.

    If you file under Chapter 7 and later convert to Chapter 13 , you wont have to pay any extra fee. However, if you file under Chapter 13 and later convert to Chapter 7 youll have to pay a conversion fee of $25.

    Aside from the filing fees, youll be required to obtain credit counseling and take a personal financial management course. That generally costs anywhere from $20 to $100, depending on where you file.

    Read Also: Can Puerto Rico Declare Bankruptcy

    How To File Bankruptcy For Free: A 10

    Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free.Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we’ll never ask you for a credit card.Explore our free tool

    In a Nutshell

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool for American consumers and businesses alike. If your case is simple, you may not need a lawyer to file. Here’s a 10-Step Guide on how to prepare for and get a fresh start in the form of a bankruptcy discharge.

    Written byAttorney Andrea Wimmer.

    Filing any type of bankruptcy provides immediate debt relief through the automatic stay. Thatâs the law that prohibits creditors from contacting you as soon as your bankruptcy case has been filed. It also stops a wage garnishment right away.

    Whats The Difference Between Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    The major difference is time Chapter 7 takes 4-6 months Chapter 13 takes 3-5 years and money. You can have most, or all your unsecured debt discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In Chapter 13, some of your debt is forgiven, but only if you meet the conditions approved by the trustee and bankruptcy judge.

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    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Liquidation Under The Bankruptcy Code

  • Tax Exempt Bonds
  • Liquidation under Chapter 7 is a common form of bankruptcy. It is available to individuals who cannot make regular, monthly, payments toward their debts. Businesses choosing to terminate their enterprises may also file Chapter 7. Chapter 7 provides relief to debtors regardless of the amount of debts owed or whether a debtor is solvent or insolvent. A Chapter 7 Trustee is appointed to convert the debtors assets into cash for distribution among creditors.

    To take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws and get a fresh start, it is important that you do not continue to incur additional debt. If all or part of the reason you are filing bankruptcy is overdue federal tax debts, you may need to increase your withholding and/or your estimated tax payments. For help determining the proper withholding, visit our online Tax Withholding Estimator. For help with your estimated taxes, visit our Estimated Taxes page.

    Find basic information about Chapter 7 bankruptcy below. For more detailed information see the U.S. Courts Bankruptcy Basics Web page.

    You Can Afford A Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

    Under the bankruptcy rules, filers with higher incomes must pay back some of their debts over time under Chapter 13 rather than discharging their obligations outright in Chapter 7. If the U.S. Trustee decides that your income, debts, and expenses indicate that you can afford a Chapter 13 plan under the rules, it will file a motion to have your case dismissed. The court is likely to grant that motion and throw out your case unless you convert to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    To figure out whether you can discharge your debts in Chapter 7, you must first:

    • determine your current monthly income
    • multiply your current monthly income by 12, and
    • compare that figure to the yearly median family income in your state for the same size household.

    If your current monthly income is no more than the states yearly median income, youll qualify for a discharge. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy wont be presumed to be an abuse of the bankruptcy process. However, even if you meet this test, if your actual income is significantly higher than your expenses, you might still be forced into Chapter 13 .

    If your income exceeds the state median income, you will have to do some calculations to determine whether you can afford to pay off at least some of your unsecured debts in a Chapter 13 plan. This qualification process is known as the means test.

    You Have Marijuana Assets

    Determine Your Current Monthly and Yearly Income

    You should include all of the following types of income on the form:

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    Will Bankruptcy Discharge Enough Of Your Debts

    Specific categories of debts will survive Chapter 7 bankruptcy, depending on the circumstances. It might not make much sense to file for Chapter 7

    bankruptcy if your primary goal is to eliminate these nondischargeable debts.

    There are three categories of nondischargeable debts:

    • debts that always survive bankruptcy
    • debts that survive bankruptcy unless you convince the court that a particular exception applies, and
    • debts that survive bankruptcy only if a creditor mounts a successful challenge to them in bankruptcy court.

    If most of your debts will survive bankruptcy, hold off on filing Chapter 7 until you have at least read Ch. 9 and learned what is likely to happen to these debts in your case. In particular, you should be concerned about:

    • back child support and alimony
    • nonsupport debts arising from a marital property settlement agreement or divorce decree
    • student loans
    • government fines, penalties, or court-ordered restitution
    • tax arrearages , and
    • court judgments for injuries or death resulting from your drunk driving convictions.

    The following types of debts can survive bankruptcy, but only if the creditor mounts a successful challenge to them in the bankruptcy court:

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    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition


    A debtor initiates a Chapter 7 bankruptcy by filing a Petition with the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy petition is a universal federal form that covers substantial financial information about the debtor and his family. Debtors must sign their petitions under oath.

    The bankruptcy Petition requires the debtor to list all his unsecured debts separately from his secured debts. Unsecured debts include personal loans and credit cards issued by banks, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover, and other credit cards used to purchase consumable items. Vehicle leases, medical bills, and personal loans are also unsecured debts. Tax debt is also unsecured until the IRS issues a tax lien.

    Secured debts include those debts where the creditor has a security interest in the debtors property to guarantee payment. Examples of secured debts include mortgages, car loans, and loans from finance companies . If a debtor has purchased goods using a store credit card, such as a card from Rooms to Go, Best Buy, etc., the store probably has a security interest in certain items purchased, making the store a secured creditor.

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    If You Have A Complicated Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    Filers don’t have an automatic right to dismiss a Chapter 7 case. If you make a mistake, you risk having your case thrown out, your assets being taken and sold, or facing a lawsuit in your bankruptcy case to determine that certain debts shouldn’t be discharged. So if you own a small business, have income above the median level of your state, have a significant amount of assets, have priority debts, or have creditors who can make claims against you based on fraud, you’ll likely want a lawyer.

    Complete And File Your Bankruptcy Paperwork

    • Gather the Necessary Documents
    • Get Some Information From the Court
    • For Married Filers
    • Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
    • Relating to Eviction Judgments
    • Form 106 Schedules
    • Statement of FinancialAffairs for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
    • Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7
    • Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers
    • The Means Test Forms
    • Notice Required by 11 U.S.C. § 342 for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
    • How to File Your Papers
    • After You File

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    Filling Out Bankruptcy Paperwork

    Even if the debtor chooses the correct chapter, pitfalls abound in the paperwork phase of bankruptcy.

    • Failing to file required documents. Bankruptcy is form-driven. Youll have to complete a lengthy federal packet, and, in some cases, your court will have local forms, as well. Many self-represented bankruptcy debtors dont file all of the required bankruptcy documents, which, if not remedied, will result in a dismissal of the case. You can find information on the forms youll need, filing fees, and more in our Filing for Bankruptcy: Getting Started section.
    • Failing to protect property.You dont lose everything in bankruptcy. Property exemptions play a vital role in protecting property in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. But, many pro se filers dont list the proper exemption to keep an item of property, and, as a result, risk losing it. If you stand to lose valuable property or property you care about , a visit to an attorney might be well worth the money.
    • Failing to take required education courses. In Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers must receive from an approved provider before filing for bankruptcy, and complete a financial management course before getting a discharge. Many pro se debtors, confused about these requirements, fail to file the proper certificate, which can result in a dismissal of the case.

    How To File Bankruptcy After A Divorce

    How to File " Chapter 7"  Bankruptcy Yourself

    Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free.Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we’ll never ask you for a credit card.Explore our free tool

    In a Nutshell

    Learn how to file bankruptcy after a divorce. This supplements Upsolve’s Guide on how to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and highlight how to handle your divorce in the forms.

    Written byAttorney Eva Bacevice.

    Itâs not at all uncommon for either or both spouses to file for bankruptcy following a divorce. It could be that issues in the marriage led to financial problems. Or perhaps financial strains added to marital issues. Either way, the two often go hand-in-hand. If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy after a divorce, there are several things you should keep in mind.

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    How Do You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    You can probably complete the process within six months. You’ll have to follow several steps.

  • You must complete pre-file bankruptcy counseling from a qualified nonprofit credit counseling agency within 180 days before filing.

  • Find an attorney:Before diving into the various forms required to file Chapter 7, find a qualified bankruptcy attorney to help. Its hard to find money for a lawyer when you need debt relief, but this is not a DIY situation. Missing or improperly completed paperwork can lead to your case being thrown out or not having some debts dismissed.

  • File paperwork: Your attorney will help with filing your petition and other paperwork. But its on you to gather all relevant documentation of your assets, income and debts. An automatic stay goes into effect at this point, meaning that most creditors cannot sue you, garnish your wages or contact you for payment.

  • Trustee takes over: Once your petition is filed, a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee will begin managing the process.

  • Meeting of creditors: The trustee will arrange a meeting between you, your lawyer and your creditors. Youll have to answer questions from the trustee and creditors about your bankruptcy forms and finances.

  • Your eligibility is determined: After reviewing your paperwork, the trustee will confirm whether youre eligible for Chapter 7.

  • Education course: Before your case is discharged, youll have to take a financial education course from a qualified nonprofit credit counseling agency.

  • You Defrauded Your Creditors

    Bankruptcy helps honest debtors who get in too deep financially and need a fresh start. A bankruptcy court will not help someone who has played fast and loose with creditors or the court. This type of behavior can lead to a denial of your bankruptcy discharge and even to criminal charges.

    The bankruptcy court isnt the place to try to skirt the law. A debtor can only do so many things to try to come out ahead, and filers should assume that anything they could possibly dream up has failed before. Certain activities are red flags to the courts and trustees. If you have done any of these things within the past several years, consult with a bankruptcy lawyer:

    • selling assets to friends or relatives for less than what the property is worth
    • incurring debts for luxury items when broke and without the intent to pay, and
    • any attempt at concealing property or money from creditors.

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    Determine Whether Your Income Meets The Means Test

    When considering whether to file bankruptcy without a lawyer, the first step is to conduct a âMeans Test” to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    The federal government provides a test form. You can also find simplified versions of the test online. You’ll have to answer questions regarding:

    • Your monthly income
    • Your debts and nonexempt assets
    • The number of people in your household

    The bankruptcy process may be simple enough to handle on your own if the following are met:

    • You own few assets
    • Your household income is below your state’s median
    • You haven’t been accused of fraud

    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.

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    Free Diy Chapter 7 Forms From The Us Bankruptcy Court

    The first place you might look for a do it yourself Chapter 7 bankruptcy software is the U.S. Bankruptcy court. While not a consumer bankruptcy software, you can download bankruptcy forms from the court if you want a truly DIY bankruptcy.

    Unlike most other consumer bankruptcy software, all the forms you can download from the court are free. However, you will still need to print the forms to file your DIY bankruptcy. Fortunately, your local library likely has free or low-cost printing services.

    The downside to using the U.S. Bankruptcy Court site for your DIY Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you have to figure out which forms you need. While the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has an instruction booklet you can use, unlike other do it yourself Chapter 7 bankruptcy software options, the Court does not directly guide you through the process.

    The exception to that general rule is the Electronic Self-Representation tool being offered to pro se filers by a select few courts. For more, check out this article in Upsolve’s Learning Center.

    Using the U.S. Bankruptcy Court site might be right for you if you want to avoid paid consumer bankruptcy software. You might also want to check your state bankruptcy courts for other free forms while going through your DIY bankruptcy.


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