Collect Your Louisiana Bankruptcy Documents
Filing bankruptcy in Louisiana means doing a lot of paperwork. Even though no one likes paperwork, it’s important to do things right. The bottom line is collecting your documents early on in the process can help you every single step of the way and make your Louisiana bankruptcy at least a little less stressful for you. Most people start by gathering their paycheck stubs for the last 6 months so they can make sure they are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Louisiana. You should also get a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. You are entitled to get one free credit report per year from each one of them, so, other than the time to submit your request, getting your reports will not cost you anything. After filing bankruptcy in Louisiana, everyone that says you owe them money will be notified by the court and having your credit report will help you make sure youâre not accidentally leaving anyone out. Finally, while you might not need it right away, you should also find your most recent federal income tax return and gather the bank statements for all of your accounts for the last few months, just in case.
How To Apply For Bankruptcy
If youre applying to become bankrupt, you must complete an online application and create an online account.
Youll need to provide information about your:
Including any letters, youve received from bailiffs or enforcement agents.
Your application will be reviewed by an official adjudicator who works for the Insolvency Service. Theyll decide if you’ll be made bankrupt.
You usually get a decision within 28 days of submitting your application.
There are many ways to deal with debts and bankruptcy might not be the best solution for you.
You can find out more about how to apply for bankruptcy online on the GOV.UK website
How To Declare Yourself Bankrupt
Its important to think carefully about declaring yourself bankrupt. Find out more about what it means then talk to a free debt adviser about whether bankruptcy is the best way to pay off or clear your debts. This information is for you if you live in England or Wales only.
Whats in this guide
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Middle District Of Georgia Requirements
The Middle District of Georgia has an office in Columbus and Macon. Even though there are only two offices for this district, you are able to file your Georgia bankruptcy forms in several locations, depending on the county you live in. If youâre filing in this district and donât have an attorney, you will find a detailed overview of what you need to know on the court’s website.
Paying A Bankruptcy Attorney Instead Of Certain Creditors
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the courtand your creditorsassume that you’ll stop making payments on bills that will get discharged in your bankruptcy case and use the funds to pay legal fees instead. For instance, credit card payments, medical bills, past-due utility payments, and personal loans usually qualify for a discharge.
However, once you fall behind on payments, it can be challenging to catch up. So you’ll want to be sure that you’ll qualify for Chapter 7 before using this strategy .
If you want to keep a house, a car, or another type of property that you’re paying for on credit and that you pledged as collateral to secure loan payment, you’ll need to stay current before and after the bankruptcy. Otherwise, the lender will be able to take the property.
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Filing For Bankruptcy In Alberta
Filing for bankruptcy in Alberta is something many Canadians think they have to undergo. Although the recent economic downturn exacerbated the problem of debtors being unable to pay their debts, the truth of the matter is that there are always people in Canada who find themselves in over their heads when it comes to what they owe their creditors. From mortgages to student loans to credit cards, some residents find themselves in a situation they never anticipatedthey cannot keep up with their bills.
Average consumer debt levels in Alberta are the highest in the country with Calgary and Edmonton leading the way. Non-mortgage consumer debt in Alberta hit $29,117 in Q1 of 2019, an increase of 3.4% from 2018. Because of these high-debt loads, bankruptcies in the province are up 13.5% over 2018 with Alberta the only other province to see a significant increase in the rate of bankruptcies.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the process by which an individual is allowed to undertake a reorganization of their finances. An individual can seek Chapter 13 bankruptcy when they have sufficient income to make payments to their creditors under a repayment plan.
In a Chapter 13 proceeding, the debtor begins making payments to a trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court. The debtor must also present the court with a proposed repayment plan lasting either three or five years. The plan must be approved by the debtors creditors. It can also be approved by the bankruptcy court, over the objections of creditors, so long as the plan meets the requirements under Chapter 13.
Under a Chapter 13 repayment plan, a debtor can:
- Consolidate debts
- Pay back taxes over time
- Partially repay unsecured debt
If the debtor makes all payments required under the repayment plan and meets other requirements, the bankruptcy court can discharge outstanding debts, including some debts that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy also has the benefit of allowing a debtor to keep most or all of their property and assets which would sold off in a Chapter 7 liquidation even though the debtors creditors are likely to receive less than the outstanding balances owed by the debtor.
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Mail Documents To Your Trustee
After filing Chapter 7 in Louisiana, a trustee is assigned to administer the case. The trustee’s job includes reviewing your tax documents to confirm that the information you are providing to the IRS matches the information you provided to the Bankruptcy Court in your schedules and statements. Depending on who your trustee is, you may also receive a written request to provide some additional documents to their office. In order to get the relief you want from the Bankruptcy Court after filing bankruptcy in Louisiana, you have a duty to cooperate with the trustee, so make sure to stay on top of any request you may receive from them. Even if you don’t receive anything form your trustee, make sure to mail, at minimum, your federal income tax return for last year to them so they receive it at least 7 days before your meeting of creditors. If you are in the Middle District, the local rules require that you bring your federal income tax return and your recent paycheck stubs to the creditors meeting. However, keep an eye out for any correspondence from your trustee anyway, just in case there are other documents they want you to provide to their office.
Does Filing For Bankruptcy In Canada Affect My Spouse
Filing for bankruptcy in Canada does not directly affect your spouse. Your debts are your debts only you are responsible for them. If you go bankrupt, your debts are discharged. Your husband or wife or common-law spouse is NOT responsible for your debts.
Many people believe that because you are married, your spouse is automatically responsible for your debts. This is not true. Often collection agents, when they are trying to collect from you, tell you that if you dont pay they will get the money from your spouse. This is a collection agency scare tactic they can only go after you for your debts.
The only exception is if your spouse has co-signed or guaranteed your debt. For example, if you took out a loan and your spouse co-signed for it, it is also legally their loan. If you both have a credit card on the same account, the credit card debt legally belongs to both of you.
Remember, your spouse is liable for the debt, not because they are your spouse, but because they have signed for the debt.
There may be an indirect impact on your spouse in the future if you try to obtain financing jointly As you rebuild your credit, you might not be eligible to co-sign a loan or obtain credit. Or, you may be subject to higher interest rates. This may affect your spouse if you jointly wish to apply for credit in your future.
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What To Do Next
Its always wise to consult with a bankruptcy attorney before filing. Lawyers have experience and understand the nuances of the rules and laws.
Consider the inheritance that may be coming to your spouse. Do you understand the rules regarding said money? An exemption could be filed for the inheritance, but only up to a certain amount. If you become eligible for an inheritance with six months of fling, that money could become part of the bankruptcy estate. If it sounds overwhelming, it might be. And it explains the importance of consulting and considering an attorney.
Remember that the first meeting typically is free use that to your advantage to gain some insight and understanding. A nonprofit credit counselor who can assess your financial situation may even be able to help before filing as well. Take advantage of any and all help.
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Filing Chapter 13 After Chapter 7
You must wait four years if you want to file Chapter 13 after first filing Chapter 7. This timeframe applies if you are hoping to achieve a second discharge. If a secured debt has become burdensome, you may wish to file Chapter 13 merely to catch up on the debt without seeking discharge of the debt. Think of a home loan with a hefty mortgage remaining its not practical to think that this debt can be fully discharged in bankruptcy, but it does make sense to catch up on the payments. Some call this type of approach Chapter 20, though this is not an official term.
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You Get What You Pay For In A Bankruptcy Case
Filing for bankruptcy is complicated. To add to the confusion, bankruptcy reform legislation passed in 2005 made bankruptcy law significantly more complicated. The requirements for filing and document production are confusing and difficult to meet. A good bankruptcy lawyer knows the rules, the system, and the courts. Shell also be able to communicate effectively with the Bankruptcy Trustee you dont want to have to learn legalese on the fly.
Youve probably seen billboards and cheesy commercials advertising cheap Chapter 7 filings. Is it a good idea to use the cheapest bankruptcy attorney? Probably not. Youre right to be cost-conscious when youre already strapped for cash, but a cut-rate bankruptcy attorney is going to cost you in the long run. Lawyers that offer reduced-fee filing often hand your case down to a paralegal that handles the whole thing with little or no supervision. The low price comes with inexperience and poor attention to detail. Paralegals play an important role in legal work, but you want to have your case in the hands of an attorney.
If your case is dismissed , you wont get the full protection of bankruptcy when you file again later. Serial filers dont get the benefit of the automatic stay, so creditors can and will initiate foreclosure, repossession, and lawsuits leading to wage garnishment and bank levies.
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What Are Other Possible Bankruptcy Fees
We now know that attorneys may charge more for complications. Your average bankruptcy case doesnt have any most are fairly straightforward. Youll file, youll either surrender your assets or work out a payment plan, youll get your discharge, and youll go on your merry way. However, not every case is so simple.
Bankruptcy isnt just about filing forms. Theres a lot of room for litigation, especially surrounding Chapter 7 exemptions. So, while attorney fees for an easy, open-and-shut Chapter 7 case will fall around $900-$1,500, most firms will charge more if court time becomes necessary.
For example, say the Bankruptcy Trustee objects to your valuation of some property you want to exempt. That question will have to be resolved in front of a judge. Your attorney will have to prepare a defense and appear in court, which will probably cost you a few hundred dollars extra. If someone files an adversary proceeding in your case , youre looking at a lot of research, preparation for a whole case, and plenty of court time. The bill for an adversary proceeding may well be in excess of $10,000.
Of course, these scenarios are relatively rare. Most cases proceed smoothly if you have a competent lawyer. However, the scenarios above are possible and you should be aware of them as you calculate the probable cost of your bankruptcy.
Legal Assistance For Low Income Debtors
Legal advice for those in low-income situations comes in many forms. Keep in mind there are many ways to address the cost of bankruptcy. A tax refund could be applied to attorney fees. One could stop paying unsecured debts and use that money for an attorney and ask the debt be addressed in bankruptcy. Property that isnt exempt from bankruptcy could be sold think jewelry, the antique furniture or painting passed down by your uncle, a car that isnt necessary.
In addition, legal help is available to those in need, though the availability varies by location. Some bankruptcy courts have free clinics to help people file on their own. Legal aid groups and pro bono attorneys will work for free. Call the local Legal Aid Society in your area, the state bar or check the web site for the local bankruptcy court to find information.
Trust The Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorneys With Over 20 Years Of Experience
You only get one chance to make a first impression with the bankruptcy court and Trustee let an experienced PA bankruptcy attorney make sure your filing makes you look like the honest but unfortunate debtor that you are, and ensure that your personal property is protected from seizure by the Trustee.
Why put your fresh start at risk? You dont need to go it alone. If you need to file bankruptcy but have no money, call us today to schedule your free consultation we will discuss all of your options with you, including attorney fee payment plans and court fee waiver options as well as alternatives to filing bankruptcy, such as debt settlement.
We are looking forward to working with you to help you get a fresh start!
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Is Filing Bankruptcy Twice Bad
Filing multiple bankruptcies is certainly not ideal, lets put it that way. Anyone who got into such serious debt problems that bankruptcy was necessary once may have repeated the same mistakes and chose to file a second time.
However, there are times when a second filing is necessary, and important. Those who have worked out a plan and approach with their attorney, financial adviser or credit counselor may find bankruptcy the best option for dealing with a bad financial situation.
Its important to know the consequences of bankruptcy when considering whether you should file bankruptcy a second time. There will be ramifications on your credit score and credit report, but leaving debt unpaid also will hurt the financial status.
If the approach is well thought out, the second filing may turn out to be a good thing because it will allow for a fresh start and the ability to move forward from the crushing burden of debt.
Pro Se Bankruptcy Filing
Pro se basically means that you are doing something by yourself. Many people file for bankruptcy by themselves each year. Often its a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it is often less complex than the Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If you file pro se bankruptcy, your costs decrease substantially. You would only have to pay for the filing fee, credit counseling fees, and potentially various miscellaneous fees.
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Represent Yourself Pro Se
Some Chapter 7 cases are more complex than others. If you own a business, have significant assets, or there is a chance your creditors can claim you committed fraud, you will likely need an attorney to help you file. However, if you have a simple case you may be able to manage to file Chapter 7 pro se . A simple Chapter 7 is one in which you have primarily credit card or medical debt, you do not own real property, and you do not owe priority debts like taxes, alimony, child support, or government fines or fees. If you are at all uncomfortable with trying to represent yourself in your bankruptcy filing, do not do so. You will have to meet with the Chapter 7 Trustee on your own, fill out all of the paperwork correctly on your own, and research bankruptcy law to figure out how it applies to you. You will also have to deal with any creditors who object to discharge or who show up to question you under oath in the 341 meeting of creditors. Failing to comply with the courts requirements and rules will cause your case to be dismissed. According to Ed Flynn of the American Bankruptcy Institute , in 91.5% of the 486,347 Chapter 7 cases filed in 2017, the debtor was represented by an attorney. In these cases, 96.2% of debtors received a discharge. Pro se debtors received a discharge in only 66.7% of filings.