For a great many people bankruptcy ends up being the last recourse to salvaging any financial control on their individual lives. To take this step, it then becomes a decision on spending thousands of dollars to have a lawyer versus spending $299.00 and doing all of the activities personally. To choose the lesser, one must have a computer, internet access, and a printer.
Having decided to take the less expensive approach, the money will be spent on the filing fee and for taking a mandatory class on managing one’s finances and credit going forward. This is required to be done before one’s filing for bankruptcy can be initiated.
The person filing will be called the debtor. The debtor will have to fill out all of the bankruptcy paperwork. The forms will be found online at the US bankruptcy website: “www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts.html”.
Locate the option for the Bankruptcy forms and go to that page.
To proceed, the debtor must decide what type of bankruptcy, known as the “chapter”, the debtor is going to select. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the one where the debtor wants to eliminate all debt. Chapter 13 is the one where the debtor will pay off against a repayment plant before any debt is forgiven. If retaining assets is an important outcome of the bankruptcy, then Chapter 13 is the correct selection. Find the forms for the type of bankruptcy chosen and print those forms and the instruction pages for the forms.
Before filling out the forms, the debtor must gather up all of the payments due documentation. Once gathered, remove any child support and federal student loan payment documentation. The debtor cannot get these debts forgiven. That is federal law. The debtor should also be aware of the bankruptcy law for the state where the filing is being done. The state law can alter the debtor’s expectations of the chosen chapter of bankruptcy.
Fill out each form carefully and honestly. Lying will get one’s bankruptcy filing denied and possibly lose one’s filing and training fees, as well as have the court angry. Check, double-check, and with another person looking on, triple check the forms. Mistakes will get the filing rejected, forcing the debtor to correct and re-file the paperwork. Also, for both types of chapters, if any debts are not going to be included in the filing, the debtor needs to inform that creditor about it.
Once the paperwork has been thoroughly checked, bring the paperwork to the “local” filing court and file it. Be prepared to make the necessary payments to the court for fees. A schedule for the required training will be given to the debtor, but the schedule may not be given at the filing. The debtor must attend the training to have the filing processed and the bankruptcy activity begun. The training will provide a specific document that the debtor must bring back to the court as proof of having taken the training.
With the filing accepted and course taken, the bankruptcy will proceed according to law to a legal solution.