Preparing For Your Appointment
To prepare for your PSAP appointment you should gather any letters, papers or documentation you think are relevant to the questions you are planning to ask the attorney during your appointment. Review those documents before you come to the appointment.
You are not required to bring any documentation to your appointment. However, your 30-minute appointment will be best utilized if you have the information readily available. If possible, please bring all the documents and your bankruptcy case number to the appointment.
Your appointment will be on the 4th Floor of the Thomas F. Eagleton US Courthouse, 111 S. 10th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. The public entrance to the courthouse is located on the East side of the building at Level 1. There are numerous parking lots in the area with varying costs. There is also a small amount of metered on-street parking. Public transportation is available in St. Louis through Metro Transit or bus. Visitors must have a valid ID and must pass through security screening before being granted entry to the courthouse. The courthouse is fully accessible to people with disabilities.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time to ensure you have enough time to get through security. You should bring paper and a pen or pencil so that you can take notes or write down important points learned during your appointment.
Please remember, the PSAP volunteer cannot complete your paperwork for you or represent you.
What Is The Pro Se Assistance Program
The St. Louis Bankruptcy Pro Se Assistance Program is a free legal clinic, located at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis, designed to help individuals without an attorney to answer legal questions about bankruptcy, including how bankruptcy may be used to help prevent foreclosure. The PSAP provides self-represented debtors with an opportunity to meet with a volunteer private attorney for a free 30-minute consultation.
Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. CourthouseU.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri111 South 10th Street, 4th FloorSaint Louis, Missouri 63102Building Access and Parking Information
The PSAP volunteers cannot provide an attorney to complete your paperwork for you or represent you. If you need legal representation services after your 30-minute consultation, please call 1-844-758-4059 for a referral to a qualified bankruptcy attorney. Referred attorneys may charge fees for their services.
The PSAP is a service of the Saint Louis Bar Foundation with support from The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and grant funding from the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation and the Missouri Lawyer Trust Account Foundation.
The PSAP is not affiliated or related to the United States Bankruptcy Court.
Everything You Should Know About Filing For A Missouri Bankruptcy
Are you considering filing for a Missouri bankruptcy? If yes, it is crucial to know every necessary thing about this process. As an individual, who is unable to repay your debts, you may file for any of the personal bankruptcy debts that fit your situation. If you are filing for a Missouri bankruptcy, you either ask the court to discharge or forgive some of your debts, or you seek approval for a debt repayment plan.
You may find this process to be complicated or challenging. Therefore, to help you through, you will need the help of a Missouri bankruptcy attorney. Our law firm in Missouri has a strong commitment to provide the best attorney that will help you through the whole process, and we are reputable for the success of our cases.
Before reaching out to us, we want you to familiarize yourself with the necessary information on Missouri bankruptcy. This is the aim of this article, which is designed to provide you with the essential information on Missouri bankruptcy and the Missouri bankruptcy process.
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File Your Petition In Bankruptcy Court
After youve got your petition and supporting paperwork in order, you must file it in the correct Missouri district court. You can visit our bankruptcy court page for Versailles, Missouri to find your local court and other important information, like local rules and requirements that you might have to meet when you file.
When you file your petition, you must pay the filing fee by cash or money order, unless you apply for a fee waiver or payment in installments.
Cons Of A Missouri Chapter 7 Filing
- You will lose your non-exempt property, which will be sold by the trustee. If you intend to keep a secured asset that is not entirely covered by your Missouri bankruptcy exemptions, you should not go for Chapter 7 filing.
- If you face foreclosure on your home, the automatic stay created by your Chapter 7 filing only acts as a temporary defense against such foreclosure.
- If you filed a prior case and got a discharge of your debts, you can only file a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy case 8 years after you filed the first case.
- You cannot pick and choose which debts to list in your bankruptcy. All of your debts must be listed.
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Pros Of A Missouri Chapter 7 Filing
- You will likely get a fresh start. After the discharge of your bankruptcy, the only debts you have will be for secured assets on which you can choose to sign a Reaffirmation Agreement.
- You have instant protection against the creditors collection efforts and wage garnishment on the date of filing. This will stop collection calls and garnishments of paychecks or bank account.
- Wages you earn and the property you obtain after the bankruptcy filing date are all yours. This means that the creditors or the bankruptcy court will not seize them.
- There is no required minimum amount of debt.
- Your case will likely be over and totally discharged in about 3-6 months.
What Are The Other Types Of Bankruptcy In Missouri
There are three other types of bankruptcies that debtors may file under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code:
- Chapter 9 Bankruptcy: This is a form of bankruptcy filed by municipalities such as counties, districts, cities, towns, and villages in Missouri. Similar to Chapter 11 and 13, Chapter 9 bankruptcy is based on reorganization. In summary, the process involves the insolvent municipality renegotiating terms by extending debt maturities and adjusting interest or principal amount before implementing the plan.
- Chapter 12 Bankruptcy: Provides relief for insolvent family farmers and fishermen through repayment plans and installmental payments. Similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this legal procedure allows eligible farmers and fishermen to create a repayment plan to be implemented in three to five years.
- Chapter 15 Bankruptcy: Deals with ancillary and cross-country bankruptcy cases filed by a foreign representative. This process deals with cases involving assets, debtors, creditors, and other interested parties across two or more countries.
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Debts That Remain After Chapter 7
Before you file for Missouri Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should consider the fact that certain debts will remain after your bankruptcy filing. Under the law, the court will not discharge the following types of debts:
- Child support
- Criminal fines
- Recently owed income taxes and property taxes
In addition, you will be expected to continue to make payments on your mortgage and car loans. Failure to do so may result in foreclosure or repossession.
S To Filing Bankruptcy In Missouri
After youve decided which type of bankruptcy to file, chosen which assets you would like to exempt, and learned which court you need to file in, youre ready to actually begin the Missouri bankruptcy filing process. Weve broken this process down into nine basic steps. Keep in mind that there are some important differences between the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy processes in Missouri we note those differences in the steps below.
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Qualifying For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
For a Chapter 13 Missouri bankruptcy, there are caps on the amount of debt you are allowed to have. The limit on secured debt is $1,081,400, while the limit on unsecured debt is $360,475. Secured debt entails a loan you pledged some asset for, while unsecured debt is a loan you did not pledge an asset for. If you surpass any of these debt limits, you will likely not qualify to file for Chapter 13. You may consider speaking with a Missouri bankruptcy attorney at our law firm about filing for Chapter 11. However, it is important to note that the debt limit is periodically changed.
Can I Get Free Bankruptcy Forms
Yes! All official federal and local bankruptcy forms are available free of charge. You can find the links you need by visiting our bankruptcy forms page.
If you want copies of bankruptcy forms with plain-language instruction and tips for filling them out, you might want to use a good self-help book like How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13: Keep Your Property and Repay Your Debts Over Time, both published by Nolo.
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How To Choose The Best Bankruptcy Law Firm
Here are a few of the most important tips that you need to remember when youre searching for the right law firm for filing bankruptcy in Missouri.
Ensure that the bankruptcy law firm prioritizes continuous communication with their clients. Ask the law firm how long it takes for them to to your messages. The law firm need to be able to provide you with speedy support and assistance, especially if youre pressed for time. The law firm should provide you with various ways for communication, including e-mail, phone, and chat. Keep in mind that your law firm must be happy to answer any issues you may have and be willing to give you regular progress reports. Get the best law firm at .
Consider the cost of enlisting the services of a bankruptcy law firm. Many law firms charge hourly, on a contingency basis, or a flat fee for the cases that they accept. You should carefully think about this, specifically when your budget is limited. Furthermore, you may need to ensure a balance here. Choosing a law firm that has the lowest rates in all likelihood means that youre not hiring the best possible candidate. More importantly, if you pay too much for a law firm, you might end up with nothing in the end. Carefully balance these aspects, and hire a law firm that has cost-effective fees but also has all the skills and qualifications you require.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Missouri
Also known as a wage earners plan, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a legal procedure that provides relief from personal debts which debtors cannot settle. Individuals, self-employed persons, and owners of unincorporated businesses whose secured and unsecured debts do not exceed the debt limit may file a petition under this chapter as long as other conditions are satisfied. These include:
- The debtor must have a disposable income high enough to make monthly payments
- The debtor must present evidence of income tax returns filed for the last four years
- Debtor completed a credit counseling course within the 180 days prior to filing
- The debtor did not have any bankruptcy petition dismissed within 180 days prior to filing
- Not more than $1,257,850 in unsecured debts and $419,275 in secured debts
Although the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process may be complex, filers can repay debts, protect assets, and discharge certain unsecured debts with this option. Filers also have the option of converting a Chapter 13 bankruptcy into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if there are any significant changes in the debtors finances.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy court records shall contain copies of filed documents and information relating to the case. This shall be publicly available except under extenuating circumstances. Moreover, the debtors credit report shall show a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for seven years.
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Connect With A Diligent Attorney
A fresh start is available through bankruptcy. All you have to do is claim it. To begin the process, speak with a Missouri bankruptcy lawyer today.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts , ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law you are researching.
The Basics About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Although each state has laws governing state exemptions in bankruptcy, bankruptcy is primarily governed by Title 11 of the U.S. Code. Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy . In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee can sell the debtors non-exempt property in order to help pay their creditors. Chapter 7 is the most common kind of bankruptcy filed by individuals.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides a list of exemptions, but each state can also establish their own list of exemptions. Your exempt property is safe from the bankruptcy trustee, and thats why determining what property is exempt is so important. In many cases, you can only exempt property in a category up to a certain value. The limits on the value apply to the equity in the property, not the value of the property as a whole.
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Talk To Your Landlord
If you receive an eviction notice, you should first try talking to your landlord. You may be able to come to an agreement without going to court. An eviction will cost both of you money , and your landlord may be willing to stop the eviction if you agree to certain terms, such as paying rent you owe or stopping behavior that violates the lease. If you can’t come to an agreement that prevents you from moving out, perhaps you can agree on a certain date and time for when you will move out of the rental unit.
If you and the landlord are able to agree on anything, be sure to get the agreement in writing, signed and dated by both of you.
File Motions Objections Or Responses
You may never need to worry about this, but theres a chance that you will want to file additional paperwork after you submit your bankruptcy petition. For example, you may want to file a request to remove creditors claims against your property. Or, if a creditor says that you owe more than you think you do, you may want to file an objection with the court.
Depending on the complexity of the situation, this is another place that you might want the advice and assistance of a bankrupcy lawyer. If youre handling your own case and you want to learn more about the situations that may arise after you file, you can turn to a detailed guidebook like How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13: Keep Your Property and Repay Your Debts Over Time.
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The Missouri Bankruptcy Courts
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court attends to all bankruptcy cases. There are two U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Missouri. There is the Western District and the Eastern District. For those living in Kansas City, you would file your claim in the Western District, while for those living in St. Louis, you would file your claim in the Eastern District. This means that where you stay in Missouri determines the bankruptcy court to go to if you want to file for Missouri bankruptcy. If you are still not sure about the appropriate court that you are to go to, kindly reach out to us at our law firm.
Offering Options To Make The Bankruptcy Process More Accessible
We provide affordable service as well as options to make payment easier.
Easy file bankruptcy. This simple process can often be finished in one day with minimal paperwork. We make filing as painless as possible with easy file bankruptcy.
Free consultations. We will meet with you at no cost to explain all of your options.
As a debt relief agency, we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Our firm is committed to helping our neighbors in and around Joplin regain a firm financial footing, and many of our clients have taken the time to voice their appreciation.
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Filing For Bankruptcy Via Skype From Your Home
I know how difficult it can be to take time off from work to meet with me in my St. Louis or Barnhart offices for your free bankruptcy consultation. To make this difficult process as easy as possible, Ive developed a system that allows for me to file your bankruptcy via Skype, without you ever having to come in to the office. No matter where you live in the Eastern District of Missouri, I can provide you the same excellent and thorough bankruptcy representation that I have provided to thousands of now happily debt-free Missourians.
Call for a free consult today.
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Dealing With Your Car
If you rely on your vehicle to get around, go to work, and just generally make a life for yourself in the âShow Meâ state, it’s normal to wonder about what happens to that vehicle when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Missouri. A lot of people don’t realize that getting bankruptcy relief means getting to walk away from a car loan they can’t afford. It also means, however, that if your loan makes sense for you, your budget, and your vehicle, you can keep everything the same. This is called entering into a reaffirmation agreement. Some folks are able to pull together some money after their case is filed, so they can purchase their car outright by paying what it is actually worth, thereby getting out of a bad loan. This is called a redemption. If your vehicle is paid off, make sure you check the exemptions available to folks filing bankruptcy in Missouri, so you can claim the proper one on your Schedule C. As long as your car is worth less than the total allowed exemption of $3,000 , your Missouri bankruptcy will not affect your car at all.
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