Before Filing A Chapter 7 Emergency Bankruptcy Petition
It’s essential to know a Chapter 7 filing will solve your financial problems and not create more because filers don’t have an automatic right to dismiss a Chapter 7 case. Start by checking your ability to do the following things:
- “exempt” property important to you
- “discharge” enough debt to make filing worthwhile , and
- qualify for Chapter 7 by passing the Chapter 7 means test.
Heres Why You Need A Bankruptcy Attorney:
Hiring a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer is NOT a Solution
Pro se filers often hire a BPP as a cheap alternative to a lawyer in an attempt to save money. The BPP may tell you all you need to do is pay them just $75.00 and it will be easy to waive the Bankruptcy Courts $335.00 filing fee. This is often not the case and can eventually result in a dismissal of your case. A BPP cant provide legal advice when a waiver is denied or when other problems arise.
Let there be no doubta bankruptcy petition preparer is nothing more than a typist who, by law, isnt even allowed to give you legal advice. It isnt worth your time or money. Learn more about the risks and responsibilities of filing bankruptcy in Wisconsin without a lawyer, or book your free consultation with our Milwaukee area bankruptcy attorney today.
How Much You Must Pay
Your Chapter 13 plan must pay certain debts in full. These debts are called “priority debts,” because they’re considered sufficiently important to jump to the head of the bankruptcy repayment line. Priority debts include child support and alimony, wages you owe to employees, and certain tax obligations.
In addition, your plan must include your regular payments on secured debts, such as a car loan or mortgage, as well as repayment of any arrearages on the debts .
The plan must show that any disposable income you have left after making these required payments will go towards repaying your unsecured debts, such as credit card or medical bills. You don’t have to repay these debts in full . You just have to show that you are putting any remaining income towards their repayment.
Forms Filed In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
You’ll file the same emergency bankruptcy forms used in Chapter 7, but the filing fee will be $313. The remaining Chapter 13 bankruptcy forms will also be due within 15 days. Be sure to make the first plan payment within 30 days of your initial emergency bankruptcy filing, even though the court won’t have approved your plan by that time.
A Quick Bankruptcy Filing Can Stop Impending Creditor Action Learn How Fast You Can File An Emergency Bankruptcy Online
By Cara O’Neill, Attorney
Sometimes you need to stop a creditor’s action fast. Filing for bankruptcy can help. When you open a case, the court puts an automatic stay in place that prohibits most creditors from continuing collection actions against you .
But, completing all the bankruptcy forms isn’t a quick process. If time is running short, you can use a fast online bankruptcy filing process known as an emergency bankruptcy filing , get the automatic stay in place, and submit the remaining documents later.
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Qualifying For Chapter 7
Congress put the means test in place to prevent abuse of the Chapter 7 process by those who earn enough income to pay back at least a portion of the debt they owe.
Before Filing A Bankruptcy Petition
Though bankruptcy filings are sometimes the best way to resolve debts, they are not the only alternative. Before deciding if you should file for bankruptcy, consider steps to resolve your debt. Then speak with an attorney to determine if bankruptcy is right for you. Each of these alternatives has its own set of pros and cons and only an attorney can advise you as to the best course of action in your particular case.
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Eliminating Debt In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you have personal debt, you might be able to eliminate a portion, or even ALL of your debt, if you file bankruptcy.
Common personal debts wiped in bankruptcy include:
- Car purchases
- Medical bills
- Cash Loans
At the end of your Chapter 13 case, your unsecured debt is completely discharged. If you paid secured debt, such as a car, through your bankruptcy, you will receive the title to the vehicle. Additionally, any past due mortgage or rent payments will be paid in full.
If your car has beenrepossessed, we can often have that returned to you within just a few days of the filing of your case. And, if you are suffering with a garnishment of your wages or bank account, we can stop that too.
Simply put, you are free to begin a new life without the burden of debt holding you back.
Filing For Bankruptcy In Cook County
Bankruptcy cases are handled by federal courts. Individual bankruptcy cases are filed with U.S. district courts. Cook County bankruptcies are handled by the Northern District of Illinois U.S. District Court at 219 Dearborn Street in Chicago.
Many, but not all, of the rules that bankruptcy filers must follow are the same regardless of the state in which the filer lives. This is because the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is a federal law that specifies the circumstances that govern where an individuals case can be held. There are different requirements based on the state where she lives, the most notable of which is the means test. Read More:Rules for Filing a Second Bankruptcy
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A Basic And Precise Definition Of Bankruptcy Is A Legal Debt Relief Tool That Lets All Or Some Debt Owed By An Individual Be Forgiven After Meeting Certain Criteria
Lets face it. Understanding how to file bankruptcy is not for the faint of heart. When I started covering bankruptcy, I could not keep straight the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
You may be facing additional financial stress that compounds the issue of wanting to gain expertise in bankruptcy. I felt like I needed a bankruptcy for dummies article. The purpose of this article is to give you a bankruptcy for dummies crash course, so you can be ready for your free bankruptcy consultation.
If you read through this article to its end, youre definitely going to learn the following:
What is bankruptcy?
There are many misconceptions about what bankruptcy truly means. However, a basic and precise definition of bankruptcy is a legal debt relief tool that lets all or some debt owed by an individual be forgiven after meeting certain criteria.
When you qualify, the bankruptcy issues a discharge of debt. Before qualifying, the trustee will evaluate your claim, income, expenses, and assets before coming to a decision.
Types of Bankruptcy
The most common types of bankruptcy issued by the bankruptcy court are Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you need a bankruptcy discharge, then Ill advise that you first understand the meaning of each bankruptcy type before filing for a bankruptcy discharge.
How Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy works
Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost
The average cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Texas is a little higher than the national average and ranges between $975 – $2,000. Often, lawyers offer free consultations to folks wanting to learn more about their options for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas. It makes sense to take advantage of such a free consultation at a local law office, but make sure you ask how much it will ultimately cost you to hire the attorney.
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Go To Court To File Your Bankruptcy Forms
Once you enter the doors of your local courthouse, you will be greeted by security guards, who will ask you to pass through a metal detector. Once you pass security, you will go to the clerkâs office and tell the clerk that youâre there to file for bankruptcy. They will take your bankruptcy forms and your filing fee .
Do not submit your bank statements or tax returns to the court. These documents go to the trustee after the case is filed. Check out Step 7 below for more info on that.
While you wait, the clerk will process your case by scanning your forms and uploading them to the courtâs online filing system. This usually takes no more than 15 minutes.
Once done, the clerk will call you back to the front desk and give you:
Your bankruptcy case number
The name of your bankruptcy trustee
The date, time, and location of your meeting with your trustee
At this point, your case has been filed! Congrats! The automatic stay now protects you from all debt collectors. But youâre not home yet – there are other steps you need to complete to get a fresh start under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code!
Summary & Alternatives To Chapter 7
If you reach the last resort of filing bankruptcy, there are ways to avoid the fees and file for free.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to discharge debt and give you a faster fresh start. You may have to sell some nonexempt assets to pay as much of the debt as you can, but filers keep their homes in 90% of all consumer bankruptcy cases. Chapter 13 requires a payment plan to address the debt. Because debt is addressed over time, filers can keep their home and other important assets.
Only with Chapter 7 can you seek a waiver on filing fees.
Though you have the option to file Chapter 7 and to do it yourself, there are ways to address debt prior to filing bankruptcy. A nonprofit agency that offers could discuss debt management programs that could ease the debt burden. Examining those options before filing bankruptcy, could help you avoid the significant negative mark bankruptcy has on your credit score.
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Waiving The Bankruptcy Filing Fee
Filing for bankruptcy is not free. The fee to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335 and the fee to file for Chapter 13 is $310. However, an individual facing significant financial hardship may have this fee waived if he meets one or more certain requirements:
- He is filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.
- He is an individual filer, rather than a business.
- He cannot afford to cover the filing fee even on a payment plan.
- His combined household income is less than 150 percent of the federal poverty figure.
In 2018, the federal poverty line for single-person households in the 48 continental states and Washington, D.C. was $12,140 per year. This figure was higher in Alaska and Hawaii. Using this data, an individual living alone in New York can have his bankruptcy filing fee waived only if his annual household income is $18,210 or less.
To waive the filing fee, the filer must complete Form 103B, Form to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived. On this form, she must provide information about her financial status, including:
- Family size.
- Previous bankruptcy cases filed.
- Lawyer expenses related to the current case.
Once the filer submits the form and all relevant information to the court, the court has the discretion to accept or deny the waiver. It may also require the filer to attend a hearing and provide additional information to aid its decision. If the court denies the waiver application, the filer must pay the filing fee.
Benefits Of A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Michigan
Keep your home
Filing a Michigan bankruptcy will legally stop a home foreclosure sale, as long as it is filed before the foreclosure sale occurs. If negotiations with your mortgage company do not resolve the problem, this reorganization may be your best or only option to save your home. While participating in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Michigan, you still have the option to pursue a loan modification with your mortgage company. The program just provides the added court protection from foreclosure and allows you to have attorney staff assisting you in the process. Learn more about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and your home.
Remove a second mortgage or home equity loan
Chapter 13 banruptcy in michigan provides the only legal way to remove a secondary lien on your home. This process, called lien stripping, helps you to bring your home value more in line with current market conditions and reduces your overall monthly mortgage obligation.
Keep secured assets safe
You can be assured that while under the protection of this plan, your assets are safe. You can stop vehicle repossession before it happens or get the vehicle back before it is sold at auction. Once plan payments are complete, youll be caught up on secured debt and free of unsecured debt.
Lower your vehicle payments
Get 0% Interest Repayment Terms
Reduce and eliminate Unsecured Debts based on your budget
Improve your credit
Gain added freedom and flexibility
Stop garnishments, harassing calls and utility shut-offs
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How A Bankruptcy Lawyer Helps You Convert Bankruptcy Types
Choosing which type of bankruptcy to file and whether conversion is necessary requires knowledge of the legal and financial ramifications of each option. Let a top bankruptcy lawyer help you assess your situation and your goals and guide you in whichever process best helps you reach those goals.
The Philadelphia bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Offices of David M. Offen have helped thousands of clients get a fresh financial start. We can help you too. .
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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How Much Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cost
If you dont hire an attorney, the total cost for filing Chapter 7 is $338, broken down this way:
- $245 filing fee, the cost for the court to handle your paperwork and case after you take it to the bankruptcy court and file it in person.
- $78 administrative fee. Somebody has to pay the clerks and other court employees.
- $15 trustee surcharge. Its the government, right?
The good news: Those who qualify may file for free, with all bankruptcy filing fees waived. The bad news: Qualifying means not only are you in debt, your income is really low.
Those whose household income is less than 150% of the federal poverty level qualify to have fees waived. To become eligible for the fee waiver, you must file Form 103B Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived and its wise to include it when you file bankruptcy. This form requires you to certify your income, and that you cannot even afford to make installment payments. Filing the form along with your bankruptcy filing takes care of everything at once.
Fees for the two required courses one before filing on pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and the other, after filing, focused on financial management are not high. The courses are run by agencies outside the court, many of which are nonprofit typically the cost for both should never be more than $50. But if you cant afford even that, you can ask the agency or organization for a waiver of the fees.