Are you thinking about filing a Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 payment plan case without a lawyer? If you're thinking about going it alone, you're probably pretty strapped for cash, you've been spending some time researching the cost of filing a bankruptcy case, and you're worried that you're won't be able to come up with the. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing won’t eliminate or reduce child support debt. So filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy won’t help unless you can free up future income you can use to pay your child support by discharging other debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, however, can be a better option. You can stop collection actions by entering into a Author: Cara O'neill, Attorney. Lists all bankruptcy filing requirements for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 15, Adversary Proceedings, and Pleadings.
Approximately thirty 30 more documents are required so that the court and trustee knows how to properly treat a debtor and the debtor's financial situation:. These documents have various titles including: "Schedules" "Exhibits" and then a combination of other forms titled "Statements," "Declarations," "Summary," "Disclosure," "Verification," "Notice," "Debtor's Certification," "Plan" chapter 13 only , and "Venue Disclosure" chapter 11 only.
It requires time and organization to fill out all of the forms and be educated on the bankruptcy process, so please budget enough time to gather the information and complete the petition package documents before you need to file a bankruptcy case. To read and download free copies of the petition package a petition, schedules, statements, declarations and forms for bankruptcy chapters 7, 11, and The format of these documents is updated often, so please verify that you are using the latest version.
Also, make sure to file all of the documents that pertain to the bankruptcy chapter you are filing 7, 11, or Also, make sure that all papers are signed wherever a signature is called for. A An individual generally files for bankruptcy in order to obtain one or more of the following benefits:. B A business files for bankruptcy to obtain similar benefits, including the possibility of operating the business while debt relief is arranged. A business other than a sole proprietorship is not entitled to receive a discharge of debts in a chapter 7 case.
There are negative consequences of filing for bankruptcy, and these may outweigh the benefits. For example, a potential debtor may need to resolve one debt such as a mortgage , but if the home does not have any equity, there may not be any benefit to filing for bankruptcy. It is highly recommended that an individual or business owner who is considering filing for bankruptcy consult with a bankruptcy attorney to learn how a bankruptcy may affect its financial situation. CHAPTER 7 - Chapter 7 refers to a "liquidation" bankruptcy and can be used by an individual to obtain a discharge of many debts without making payments in the future.
It may also be used by a business that wishes to liquidate its business assets under the protection of the bankruptcy court. A trustee is appointed to take control of certain asserts of the debtor and to sell or distribute these assets for the benefit of creditors. A trustee can also recover certain assets that have already been distributed and bring those assets back into the bankruptcy estate. Creditors generally have the right to file "claims" which identify the amount of money owed and the documents supporting the claim.
In some situations may be able to file a written request motion to the court for an order allowing the creditor to take back a residence, automobile, or other property.
CHAPTER 11 - Chapter 11 is often called the "reorganization chapter," and it allows a corporation, partnership, or individual to reorganize property and debts without liquidating all assets. The basic goal is for a debtor to retain control of property and present a "Plan of Reorganization" for repaying creditors.
If the creditors accept the Plan of Reorganization, and the court approves the plan, a debtor is able to reorganize personal, financial, or business affairs. A trustee may be appointed if a motion is filed with the court and the court agrees that a trustee is needed to manage the affairs of the debtor. Creditors have the right to file "claims" which identify the amount of money owed and the documents supporting the claim.
The can also object to a debtor's plan proposal, and in some situations file a written request motion for an order allowing the creditor to take back a residence, automobile, or other property. CHAPTER 13 -- Chapter 13 refers to reorganization of debts by an individual who has regular income and debts that are below certain statutory limits. A Chapter 13 debtor proposes a "Chapter 13 Plan" which proposes a repayment schedule.
The plan essential identifies details for the debtor to retain control of property, keeping up with current debts, and repay at least some of the past due debts. A trustee is appointed to monitor activity in the case and report to the court on whether or not the debtor is meeting obligations. If a debtor is not meeting obligations, the trustee or a creditor can ask the court to dismiss the bankruptcy case. If a debtor's income rises, the trustee or a creditor can ask the court to increase the amounts paid to creditors.
Basics of bankruptcy law. The Bankruptcy Court has five divisional offices located throughout the Central District. The specific location is determined by the zip code of a debtor's residence address or location of principal assets of the business.
Federal Holidays on which the court is closed. Filing Emergency Petitions or Documents After Normal Court Hours -- For a debtor or creditor who is not filing a bankruptcy petition package or other documents through ECF, and needs to file the petition package or documents after court hours, it may be possible to do so, but only by a pre-approved appointment. Contact the appropriate intake office to arrange for an emergency filing :.
Yes, the agency that provides the credit counseling service will provide a certificate that the course was completed, and the agency that provides the Personal Financial Management service will provide a certificate that the course was completed. If spouses file a joint bankruptcy case , both spouses must take each class and obtain their own separate Certificates of Completion for each class.
Many judges will dismiss a bankruptcy case if an individual does not strictly comply with this rule. There are very few situations in which a bankruptcy case may go forward without a credit counseling class being completed.
To avoid having a bankruptcy case dismissed, it is strongly recommended that an individual consult a bankruptcy attorney to understand the credit counseling requirements. The courses are different in two ways: a When the class must be taken; and b What type of individual debtor must take the class. If a bankruptcy case is filed jointly, each spouse must take both classes. See list of courses approved by the U. The course can be completed in person, over the internet, or by telephone, and the credit counseling service will provide a certificate that the course was completed.
The course can be completed in person, over the internet, or over the telephone, and the course provider will provide a Certificate of Completion. Avoid Dismissal of a Bankruptcy Case - In order for a bankruptcy case to proceed, it is a debtor's responsibility to provide the court with all information that is required by the law. If this information is not provided, a bankruptcy case may be dismissed without a debtor obtaining a discharge of debts. At the beginning of a bankruptcy case, if all of the required information is not filed with the court, the Clerk's Office will usually mail to the debtor a notice that identifies which documents or signatures are missing.
The bankruptcy case will be dismissed without a hearing if this information is not provided within 14 days after a bankruptcy case is filed, unless permission is obtained from a judge to extend this deadline. Some items are due no later than 45 days after the bankruptcy case is filed, and after the day period the court may dismiss a bankruptcy case without a hearing. In some cases, the court will prohibit a debtor from filing another bankruptcy case for days or more.
Depending on the facts, the Automatic Stay may or may not prevent a landlord from evicting a tenant that has filed bankruptcy. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney for information on how a bankruptcy filing affects enforcement of an eviction proceeding. Fees are required to file many documents with the court, including a bankruptcy petition package, a lawsuit Complaint , certain motions, and other documents. Photocopies or certified copies of documents are available for a fee.
Fees Paid by an Individual Person - If an individual debtor files a bankruptcy petition package or other document at the courthouse, the bankruptcy court does not accept credit cards, but the fee may be paid with: 1 U. C Requesting Photocopies or Certified Copies of Documen ts — The payment policy for obtaining copies is the same as the payment policy for filing documents.
See above. Click here to learn more about this online tool. Although there may be a number of people in line, the wait is generally very short.
Filing by Mail - Bankruptcy petition packages and other documents may also be mailed to the Court. See the Court Manual for filing procedures.
The Electronic Drop Box is a tool available to self-represented litigants to enable them to upload court documents for filing that do not require a filing fee.
Once you are determined to be eligible to use the Electronic Drop Box , the court will provide you with a link to upload your documents. After the court reviews the uploaded document it will be deemed filed with the court. In some situations, the court may approve a filing fee to be paid in installments or waived completely. Note that if an installment payment plan is approved, the payment schedule must be complied with or the bankruptcy case may be dismissed without the debtor obtaining a discharge of debts.
Chapter 13 Petition Package — In chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, it is generally not allowed to have a filing fee waived or to pay in installments. The purpose of chapter 13 is to keep current with payments, and therefore if the filing fee is not affordable, the court will question a debtor's ability to succeed in a chapter 13 case.
Chapter 11 Petition Package — In chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, fee waivers or installment payments usually are not allowed. S Poverty Guidelines which varies depending on your family size , the court may waive the filing fee completely or approve payments in installments. The debtor must make a written request to the court and submit the request at the Clerk's Office intake window at the time the bankruptcy petition is filed.
The intake staff will contact the judge to whom the bankruptcy case is assigned, and the judge will make a decision as soon as is possible. In every state, a debtor is allowed to keep a certain amount and value of assets needed to get a fresh start. These are called exemptions , and the amounts differ from state to state.
They are called exemptions because the property is exempt from the reach of the court, the trustee and your creditors. Exemptions work differently in Chapter 7 than in Chapter If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case while you own property that is not exempt, your trustee can take that property, sell it and use the money to pay your creditors some of what you owe them.
If you have non-exempt property when you file a Chapter 13 payment plan case, the value of the assets could be added to your payment plan to increase your payments or the length of the plan. It is vital, however, that you know what exemptions are allowed in your state. If it looks like you will not have any non-exempt assets, filing a Chapter 7 case is still a daunting task.
Your trustee will no doubt take special interest in your case, if for no other reason than you make sure you have listed everything properly. You can expect that the trustee will ask you for additional documents, like copies of tax returns, house papers, car papers and bank account statements.
Your Meeting of Creditors will probably take longer than for filers who are represented by attorneys just so that the trustee can do a thorough job of examining you under oath.
For the same reason, your creditors will often look more carefully at your paperwork. Keep in mind that the information you provide the court has to be complete and accurate. You will sign your paperwork under penalty of perjury and later have to testify as to its accuracy under oath.
The consequences for lying are severe. If you are willing to put up with that much scrutiny, you must still be mindful of the pitfalls you might encounter than can derail your attempt to go it alone unscathed. Bankruptcy Basics. By Carron Armstrong. Here are some things you need to consider.
For more things to think about if you are considering filing bankruptcy on your own, see.