What Is A Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Course
An online course that anyone who wishes to file for bankruptcy is required to complete within 180 days of filing a bankruptcy case. This course is required as part of the Bankruptcy Code and our office will cover this expense as part of your retainer fee. The course can typically be completed in less than an hour.
Do you have a bankruptcy question that you dont see here? Call Grand Law Firm at 608-5208, orcomplete our contact form to schedule your free consultation and get answers to all of your bankruptcy and debt relief questions.
Your Total Bankruptcy Cost
Adding up all of our costs, youre looking at $350-$450 if you file pro se. Of course, its overwhelmingly likely that your case will be dismissed and youll be left on your own to face your creditors. With an attorney, an average Chapter 7 case can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000. An average Chapter 13 case will run you from $3,000 to $4,000.
Consider that the average indebted household carries over $15,000 in alone, not to mention medical debt, personal loans, second mortgages on underwater homes, and other types of unsecured debt. In bankruptcy, youd pay pennies on the dollar toward that debt.
With that in mind, a few thousand dollars seems like a small price to pay.
Average Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
Under Chapter 13, youll work with the Trustee to create a payment plan for your debts. The plan will last for three to five years and at the end of it, your remaining unsecured debt is discharged. Unlike under Chapter 7, local bankruptcy law usually sets the presumptively reasonable attorney fees for Chapter 13 cases. If the attorney charges the presumptively reasonable fee, the Court wont look into the charges unless you specifically request it.
Presumptively reasonable fees vary based on the complexity of your case. Nationally, the average is around $3,000, but each bankruptcy district has its own standards and rules. In San Francisco, for example, the presumptively reasonable attorney fee is $3,500 for the basic case, plus anywhere from $500 to $1,500 extra for various issues that add complexity to the case. In the eastern district of North Carolina, its $3,700 plus extra fees for complications. In central Alabama, the presumptively reasonable fee is $2,750, and any extra fees will be examined by the court.
For Chapter 13 cases, attorneys generally charge a certain fee up front. Some attorneys will charge only the filing fee and others will want a larger down payment. Youll pay the rest of your attorney fee through the Chapter 13 plan. Youll make your regular plan payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee every month and the Trustee will pay the appropriate portion to your lawyer.
Don’t Miss: Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Services
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Louisiana: The Basics
Bankruptcy is primarily a federal action governed by Title 11 of the U.S. Code. When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a liquidation bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee can sell your property to help pay your debts unless that property is exempt. Thats why its extremely important to understand what property is exempt and therefore safe from a trustee sale.
Even though bankruptcy is filed in federal court, some state laws do apply and exemptions are among those. A list of exemptions may be found in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, but states are free to compile their own lists of exemptions.
The limits on the value apply to the equity in the property, not the value of the property as a whole.
What Will Happen To My Tax Refund When I File Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you may be required to turn over any tax refund you receive while your case is open . Your refund will be used to repay unsecured creditors. If you received your tax refund within 90 days of filing your Chapter 7 case, your trustee will require documentation on how you spent your refund. Your bankruptcy lawyer will advise you on what the trustee would see as acceptable spending.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you will be required to turn over your tax refund to your trustee every year that your case is open. Your refund may be used to help you complete your plan more quickly. In the event that you need to spend all or part of your tax refund while in a Chapter 13 case, you should consult with your bankruptcy lawyer about documentation for the trustee that may allow you to keep the refund.
Also Check: Cost To File Bankruptcy In Wisconsin
Collect Your Oregon Bankruptcy Documents
Everyone who files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oregon should start by doing this as your bankruptcy documents will be helpful in every step of the way going forward. The first thing you should do is collect all the paycheck stubs that you and your spouse have received in the last 6 months. If you are getting paid by direct deposit, odds are they have been emailed to you and should be easy enough to locate in your inbox. If you get regular checks, and haven’t kept track of the stubs, ask your payroll department to provide you copies. You should also get a copy of your credit report from each one of the three reporting agencies. You are entitled to get a free copy once per year and can request them directly from the agencies, or go through a third party. The other documents that will come in helpful when filing bankruptcy in Oregon are recent statements for your car loan and mortgage , your two most recent federal income tax returns, and, if you were divorced in the last 10 years, a copy of your divorce decree.
What Is The Difference Between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Bankruptcy Code
For an individual filing a voluntary petition for personal bankruptcy, the difference is the ability to repay creditors. In a Chapter 7 no asset case, if the debtor passes the Means Test, the debts may be discharged and the creditors barred from further seeking collection. If the debtor is unable to pass the Means Test and can repay creditors, a Chapter 13 plan, also called a wage earner plan, will be formulated in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay creditors. Therefore a Chapter 7 bankruptcy form differs from a Chapter 13 form.
Recommended Reading: Can You Buy A New Car After Filing Chapter 7
How Do I File Bankruptcy Legal Bankruptcy
Theres no need to hire an expensive bankruptcy lawyer in order to file for bankruptcy. US Legal Forms offers voluntary bankruptcy form packages for each state, authored and grouped by our state-certified lawyers. Inside youll find answers to the question What is bankruptcy? and the forms you need in each particular case with the respective papers. Our bankruptcy form packages include all the related court forms and templates you need for filing bankruptcy, along with step-by-step instructions and a helpful how-to guide.
Understand Alternatives To File Bankruptcy
There are many bankruptcy alternatives to consider. We will cover the two most common alternatives, but you can find more in our bankruptcy alternatives article. As a reference, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the least expensive and the shortest.
Debt settlement is also known as debt negotiation, debt relief, or a debt consolidation program . In debt settlement, a company or you will negotiate with your creditors for a lower amount. You can save money and avoid filing bankruptcy. You may also be exposed to lawsuits, so its important to understand which creditors are likely to sue. A debt settlement programs often last 2 – 5 years.
Debt management is also known as credit counseling. In debt management, a company will negotiate with your creditors for a lower percentage interest rate. You can save money on interest and avoid filing bankruptcy. Debt management can be more expensive than debt settlement and Chapter 13. Debt management programs often last 5 years.
Also Check: Trump Bankruptcies How Many
Timing Rules And Bankruptcy Exemption Selection
Some states have significantly more generous bankruptcy exemptions than others. But you can’t move there and immediately use them. To prevent abuse, you must live in the state for at least two yearsotherwise, you’ll use the previous state’s exemptions. Here’s how it works.
If you’ve made your permanent home in your current state for at least two years, you can use the state’s exemptions .
If your domicile hasn’t been in the same state for two years, the rules get more complicated. So prepare yourselfthis is going to sound strange. But we’ll explain it two ways so you’ll know you didn’t read it wrong. Here’s the first way: You’ll choose the state that you lived in the longest during the 180 days immediately before the two years before filing.
Did you get that? Here’s the second explanation, just in case. Count back two-and-a-half years. Then ask yourself where you lived the longest during the first six months of that two-and-a-half-year period.
Still confusing? Let’s try an example. Suppose you planned to file on January 1, 2022. Your two-and-a-half-year period would start July 1, 2019, and you’d qualify to use the exemptions of whichever state you resided in the most during the July 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019 period. You wouldn’t have to file your case there, but you’d use that state’s exemptions. Hopefully, that helps!
What Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy
As mentioned above, bankruptcy will remain on your credit reports for years into the future, and those reports may be consulted by potential lenders, insurance companies, landlords, employers, and others. You can’t do anything to remove the information ahead of schedule, but it’s worth checking to make sure that it’s accurate and doesn’t cast you in an even more negative light. You are entitled to at least one free report each year from each of the three major credit bureausEquifax, Experian, and TransUnionthrough the official, federally authorized website, Annual Credit Report.com. If you find any errors on a report, you should ask that that they be corrected.
Aside from your credit report, bankruptcy is also a matter of public record. So bear in mind that anyone can request a copy of the filing.
Because your credit is severely damaged by bankruptcy, you may find it difficult to borrow if you need to, including a loan to buy a car or a mortgage to buy a home. It will also be difficult to obtain a conventional credit card. One alternative is to apply for a secured credit card, where you deposit money with the card issuer to back up your line of credit. If you use the card judiciously, making all your monthly payments on time, you may soon qualify for a regular, unsecured credit card. A secured credit card is often recommended as a tool for rebuilding a damaged credit record.
You May Like: How To File Bankruptcy In Wisconsin
Bankruptcy Filing Offers Immediate Relief
When you are tired of avoiding telephone calls, afraid of opening your mail, or tired of the stress that comes from being in debt and knowing you cannot repay what you owe, filing bankruptcy offers immediate relief.
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, creditors must stop contacting you by phone and mail. All collection activities, wage garnishments , and foreclosure or eviction actions must cease immediately.
Do I Qualify For Bankruptcy
To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must show that either:
- your income is below Louisianaâs median income for your family size, or
- your income and expenses, calculated together, leave you unable to pay your debts. This is determined under a complex formula called the bankruptcy means test.
If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7, you may still qualify to file under Chapter 13. To qualify for chapter 13, your debt must be under the limit set by the bankruptcy code and you must be current on your tax filings for the last four years.
Also Check: What Is Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions Llc
Learn Where To Find Information You’ll Need When Filing For Bankruptcy In Louisiana
By Carron Nicks
If you need a way to control your debt, filing for bankruptcy in Louisiana might be the answer. The first step is learning the differences between filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Once you know which chapter will be best for you, you’ll gather your financial documents and complete the paperwork.
This article will help you find other information you’ll need, like official bankruptcy forms, Louisiana means test figures, credit counseling providers, and your local bankruptcy court. You’ll also learn about protecting your property when you file bankruptcy in Louisiana.
Talk To A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Need professional help? Start here.
Also Check: Shark Tank Bankruptcies
Complete The Bankruptcy Petition
Should you choose to file bankruptcy without a lawyer, the most complicated, and time-consuming task is usually filling out the official bankruptcy forms. You can access the bankruptcy forms online to save time. The packages are reasonably priced and include all the local forms required to file for bankruptcy in your state.
Once you have completed the files for bankruptcy, attach the necessary documents, and send the paperwork in person, or by mail, along with the filing fee. You must reply to any communication from the bankruptcy trustee as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of your case.
How Long Will A Bankruptcy Show On My Credit Reports
The Bankruptcy Court has no jurisdiction over credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 6 U.S.C. Section 605, is the law that controls credit reporting agencies. The law states that credit reporting agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person`s credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed. Other bad credit information is removed after seven years. The larger credit reporting agencies belong to an organization called the Associated Credit Bureaus. The policy of the Associated Credit Bureaus is to remove chapter 11 and chapter 13 cases from the credit report after seven years to encourage debtors to file under these chapters.
Recommended Reading: Petition Preparer
How Much Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cost In Texas
How much does it cost to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy? If you qualify to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the Texas Bankruptcy Courts filing fee for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a fixed rate of $310.00. The Bankruptcy trustee may charge an additional $15 to $20 or may waive this fee.
Mandatory credit counseling fees will range between $20 and $100. Attorneys fees will range between $975 and $2,000 on average. All in, the total cost of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will likely be from $1,320 on the low side to $2,430 on the high side. If you cannot pay the filing fee at once due to your financial circumstances, most courts will allow you to explain the circumstances and request to break the payments up over time.
Bankruptcy For Individuals Dealing With Debt And Creditors
Job losses, illness, and divorce can result in your finances spiraling out of control. When your debt exceeds your ability to pay, you wind up dealing with more stress than you think you can handle. In these cases, many people wind up facing daily calls from creditors, piles of credit card bills which continue to increase thanks to interest and late fees, and the threat of losing their home to foreclosure.
All of this can lead you to consider what potential options you have for relieving yourself of this added stress and the financial burden. One option for individuals is to file bankruptcy. Too often, debtors wait too long to file bankruptcy, making their situation worse. The sooner you speak with a Louisiana bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options, the better off you will be.
Also Check: How Many Bankruptcies Has Donald Trump Filed
Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost
For some people who need an Oregon bankruptcy hiring a lawyer makes sense because the risk of losing an asset or other complications not necessarily present in every case make it too risky to handle the case pro se . The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer is typically determined at the conclusion of a consultation with the attorney about your specific situation and averages just under $1,000 per case.
Attorney cost estimate: $499 Ã¢â¬â $1,500
Can I File Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer
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.
You May Like: How Many Bankrupcies Has Trump Had