We Can Help You File For Bankruptcy In Pa
While you may ask how to file for bankruptcy without a lawyer in Pennsylvania, we believe you will be glad you picked up the telephone to call us. As one client that we filed for said to us, You are the best thing that ever happened to me.She also said the worst mistake she made was waiting over six months to come to our office when she would have been put at ease had she come in much earlier.
Our office has helped over 10,000 individuals and families in the Philadelphia area get a fresh start by filing for bankruptcy and debt relief in PA. You can call The Law Offices of David M. Offen at 625-9600. We will guide you on how to get out of your debts in Pennsylvania and get you a fresh start!
Get Your Credit Card Reports Together With Full Credit Counselling
Once the Means Test has been conducted, you are expected to acquire credit reports from all three credit agencies. You might be wondering as to why you need a report from all three bureaus? The reason for this is because usually most creditors do not report to all the agencies. Therefore, if due to any such reason you are unable to report a debt, it wont be liquidated in bankruptcy.
After this, you have to finish a credit counseling and financial literacy course. You will find these courses online and even in the U.S. Trustee Program.
What Happens If You File In The Wrong Place
If you file your papers in the wrong bankruptcy court, it may delay your case. The bankruptcy trustee will probably bring the matter to the attention of the bankruptcy court judge. If the judge then finds that the trustee could more easily handle your case in another location, the judge may transfer or even dismiss your case. Because of these potential hassles, if you have any questions about the best place to file, it would be wise to get legal help before you submit your papers to a court.
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Submitting The Necessary Forms
Persons filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in Pennsylvania must file all of the following documents:
- The voluntary petition, often called the petition for bankruptcy. The voluntary petition must be signed by yourself and your attorney in order to be valid.
- Schedules A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J. The purpose of these alphabetized Schedules is to clearly list and itemize your assets. To provide a few examples, Schedule A requires debtors to list their real property , while Schedule C requires debtors to indicate which properties they intend to claim as exempt.
- The Statistical Summary, which summarizes and adds up the liabilities reported in the alphabetic Schedules. The Summary also prompts debtors to provide average income, average expenses, and other financial data.
- The Certificate of Credit Counseling, which we discussed earlier.
- The Statement of Financial Affairs, an eleven-page form which prompts debtors to itemize financial data such as income from employment or businesses in operation, payments made to creditors, information about any repossessions or foreclosures, payments related to debt counseling or bankruptcy, and more.
- The Creditor Matrix, which compiles each creditors contact information. The Creditor Matrix is read by a scanner, not a human, so it is critical that the Matrix is formatted appropriately. Be sure to read through the Eastern District of Pennsylvanias for guidance.
Where Do I File For Bankruptcy In Philadelphia Pa
Where to file your bankruptcy case depends on where you live and on whether you have a business close to home. Usually, you’ll file in the federal district court closest to where you’ve lived for the past 180 days . But if you run a business in a different district and most of your property is located there, you may have to file in the federal court serving that location.
The reason behind these filing rules is that the bankruptcy court wants the person overseeing your caseâcalled the bankruptcy trusteeâto be able to easily find, evaluate, and, if necessary, sell your property.
If you’ve moved recently, you may have to file at the bankruptcy court serving the county where you used to live. That will depend on where the greater portion of your property has been for most of the past 180 days. For example, if you lived in Oregon for most of your life, but moved to California a month ago, you’ll file in Oregon because you lived there for 150 of the past 180 days.
You can handle most interactions with the court, including filing your bankruptcy forms, by mail. However, you will need to visit the courthouse in person at least once, for a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee.
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Chapter 11 Bankruptcyreorganization Plans
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is designed to allow struggling businesses to restructure their finances and maximize the return to their creditors and owners. A Chapter 11 plan allows a debtor to reorganize, or in other words, restructure its financial affairs. A Chapter 11 plan is, in effect, a contract between the debtor and its creditors as to how it will operate and pay its obligations in the future. Most plans provide for at least some downsizing of the debtors operations to reduce expenses and free up assets. In some cases, liquidating plans are proposed to provide for a total shutdown of the debtors operations and the orderly sale of its remaining property.
Advantages Of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Most people thinking about bankruptcy will choose Chapter 7 if they qualify for it, because Chapter 7 is usually over in just a few months and it totally wipes out most debts. But Chapter 13 may be right for people who are overwhelmed by secured debt because it offers ways to:
- restructure mortgage payments to save a home from foreclosure
- reduce the amount of some secured loans to match the value of the property , and
- reduce certain tax debts that canât otherwise be discharged in bankruptcy.
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My Chapter 7 Income Was Over Pennsylvanias Median Income Does That Mean I Dont Qualify
If your median income is above Pennsylvanias median income, do not worry yet. You could still meet the requirements for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge in Pennsylvania. The second section of the Means Test calculates your disposable income.
Disposable income is the money you have after paying living expenses every month that you can use to pay your unsecured debts. Some monthly expenses are based on national standards and the size of your household. The national standards are updated periodically, so make sure you use the most current figures when calculating the Means Test.
Other expenses may be limited. Expenses for luxury items may not be allowed, such as gym memberships or money used to pay for expensive extracurricular activities.
If your disposable income is a low enough, you may qualify to discharge your debts under Chapter 7.
Avoid Complicated Chapter 7 Cases And All Chapter 13 Bankruptcies
If you have a complicated Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if you are considering filing a Chapter 13 case, you’ll want to hire an attorney. These types of bankruptcy cases have many pitfalls for self-represented debtors and are a lot harder to complete on your own. In fact, most attorneys who don’t practice bankruptcy law regularly will not file bankruptcy cases. There’s too much risk of making an error.
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What Information Does A Spouse Have To Provide For My Bankruptcy Filing
Potential filers should know that while their spouse doesnt have to file, it will still be necessary to obtain information from their spouse, such as proof of their income. While Bankruptcy court will let you file by yourself if youre married, they will still want to see the whole family picture. This means that your spouses income will be used to determine your disposable income if any, and potentially your Chapter 13 Plan payment amount as well. So if your spouse does have any outstanding debt and would benefit from joining you in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, it may be better to file as a married couple, since both incomes will be used to determine what each individual has to pay back anyways.
Common Mistakes When Filing For Bankruptcy Without An Attorney In Pa
I will discuss in detail bankruptcy cases where a person filed on their own without knowing how to file bankruptcy in PA, and wound up with substantial problems as a result of now knowing PA bankruptcy laws yet representing themselves:
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What Information Will I Need To File For Bankruptcy
To file for bankruptcy, you will need to provide the following:
- A list of all creditors, including the amount and nature of each claim
- The source, amount, and frequency of your income
- A list of all your property; and
- A detailed list of your monthly living expenses
If you are married, you must include the above information about your spouse, even if they are not filing with you.
While all of this information is not mandatory for the initial interview with one of our attorneys, it is helpful to bring as much of it as possible so we can give you an accurate list of your legal options.
Bankruptcies And Medical Debt
Approximately 1.61 people out of every 1,000 Pennsylvania residents, on average, file bankruptcy each year. In 2019 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, three were 3981 Chapter 7 bankruptcies and 4,232 Chapter 13 bankruptcies. In the Western District of Pennsylvania there were 4,580 Chapter 7 bankruptcies and 2,339 Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
The cost of medical care in the United States is astronomical, with total healthcare costs eclipsing $3 trillion. Each year, the average person spends nearly $10,000 on healthcare.
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Here Are The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing For Bankruptcy Without An Attorney
Updated By Cara O’Neill, Attorney
Many people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney. In fact, in some districts, a whopping 28% of bankruptcy filings were by pro se litigants .
Some people represent themselves because they can’t afford the attorney fees. Others have simple cases and don’t feel the need to hire an attorney. But while doing so is possible, it’s not wise in every case. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the most common problems the court sees in bankruptcy cases filed without an attorney.
Here Is A Personal Account Of The Steps Taken To File Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer
Or your court might provide information regarding other free services in your area. Bankruptcy forms are available to the public free of charge. Since 2016, it’s helped relieve over $207 million in debt. Determining whether you can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney planning to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy managing the bankruptcy process community q&a. Though you are allowed to file without the assistance of an attorney, it might not be advisable if your chapter 7 bankruptcy issues are complicated. Filing your case without a lawyer and without substantial experience in all the matters and issues involved in a bankruptcy is a recipe for disaster. You may be surprised to learn that u.s. The type of bankruptcy most suited to your needs, and whether individuals typically file for one of two types of bankruptcy: Filing personal bankruptcy under chapter 7 or chapter 13 takes careful preparation and use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Does filing bankruptcy without a lawyer really save you money? From a practical point of view, you can file for chapter 7 bankruptcies not considering the difficulty of your case. How to file bankruptcy without a lawyer. Here is a personal account of the steps taken to file bankruptcy without a lawyer.
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Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers In Erie Pa
The Bankruptcy Department of The Marsh Firm provides assistance in a wide range of areas involving bankruptcy, restructuring, reorganization, out-of-court workouts, and creditors rights issues. Our clients include companies, individuals, developers, and financial institutions.
Our attorneys represent secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, debtors-in-possession, adversary proceedings, out-of-court workouts, reorganizations, and related insolvency litigation. Our expertise extends to Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12; and Chapter 13 practices in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Our attorneys seek the most cost-effective and creative solutions for creditors with respect to the enforcement of their rights, and for debtors in dealing with major liabilities, business downturns and/or cash-flow problems.
Do I Qualify For Bankruptcy Bankruptcy Means Test Standards For Philadelphia County
You may be surprised to learn that whether you can file for bankruptcy can come down to which state and county you live in.
Which type of bankruptcy you qualify for depends, in part, on whether your annual income is more or less than the Pennsylvania median income. Before looking at numbers and formulas, however, you should be familiar with the two main types of personal bankruptcy:
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How Much Does It Cost To File For Bankruptcy
Youll face two expenses: the court filing fees, and attorney fees for the bankruptcy lawyer who files your petition, helps you through the means test and represents you in court.
You’ll generally decide between Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a;Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most all of your debts will be forgiven; and Chapter 13, which reorganizes debts into a repayment plan and can reduce;what you owe while letting you retain;key assets.
$1,813 – $6,313
*Attorney fees vary greatly; these are approximate ranges.
Filing fees are the same nationwide, but attorney fees vary based on your location, the complexity of your case and the attorney. In general, theyll be lower if you live in a rural area or have a simple case. A complex bankruptcy case in Manhattan, however, will likely cost several thousand dollars.
If youre filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your court will review your attorney fees unless they fall below the so-called no-look level thats recognized as reasonable. This level varies from one district to another, so check with your local court before hiring an attorney.
How To File For Bankruptcy In Pennsylvania
There are many benefits of filing for bankruptcy if you are financially insolvent. By filing for consumer bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you access the potential to eliminate your debts, gain protection from creditors and collection attempts, and lay the;foundation to start gradually rebuilding healthy credit.
However, there are many steps you must complete in order to successfully;obtain a discharge and complete your case. This reference guide to how to file bankruptcy in Pennsylvania covers the filing process from start to finish, including where to go, which forms to submit, which fees to pay, how to take the Means Test, and the pre- and post-filing requirements.
If you or a loved one is considering filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 in Pennsylvania, the experienced Philadelphia bankruptcy attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates can help. To get started discussing your goals in a completely free and private legal consultation, call our law offices at 755-3115 in New Jersey or 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.
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When Can I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you previously filed Chapter 7, you must wait eight years from the commencement date of your previous case. See Bankruptcy law 11 U.S.C. Â§ 727. The âCommencement Dateâ is the day you filed your bankruptcy petition with the court. For example, if you filed on October 1, 2010, then you would have to wait until October 1, 2018, to file again.
Conversely, if you previously filed for Chapter 13, you only have to wait six years to file Chapter 7. The waiting period will begin on the commencement date of your previous case. Fortunately, there are some exceptions to the 6-year waiting period. If you paid your previous Chapter 13 payment plan in full you might not have to wait the entire 6 years. Additionally, if paid 70% of your payment plan in good faith, you may not have to wait to refile.
Considering Filing Bankruptcy On Your Own In Pa Youll Need To Know All Thisand More:
- Is bankruptcy the right move for you?
- Do you financially need to file bankruptcy? If so
- Should you file under Chapter 7 or under Chapter 13?
- Can you properly fill in all the answers to the questions on all of the bankruptcy schedules?
- Can you fill in the type and value on the schedule of assets, the legal document describing your bank accounts, cameras, jewelry, cars, retirement plans, collectibles, computers, guns, jewelry, retirement accounts, life insurance, personal injury cases, security deposits, property you gave someone else, and many other qualifying items?
- Can you complete a schedule of debts, including priority, secured, and unsecured debts, and the proper classification of each debt?
- Do you know the allowed exemptions for the property you own?
- Should you use Pennsylvania or Federal bankruptcy exemptions?
- Can you complete the means test? That requires scheduling your last six months income as defined by law and testing to see if you are under the Pennsylvania Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy means test or does your income fall over the means test.
- Schedules of all Income and all Expenses
- Can you complete a Statement of Financial Affairs covering the past several years?
- Have you complied with the pre-bankruptcy filing requirements?
- Have you complied with the post-bankruptcy debtor education course?
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