Although it is not necessary to hire a lawyer when filing for bankruptcy, it is highly advisable because of the complexity of bankruptcy laws. It can be to your best advantage to seek legal advice to explore all the possible options. Hiring a lawyer can cost around $1,600 to $2,000. Should you choose not to hire a lawyer when filing for bankruptcy, it is best to obtain as much information as you can about the process. Ask around. Take into consideration all pros and cons.
Here are some tips in filing for bankruptcy without the help of a lawyer.
What to file
There are two ways of going about filing for bankruptcy. One way is to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. A chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge you from your eligible debts by liquidating all your non-exempt assets like real estate, automobiles, boats, etc. The bankruptcy trustee will distribute the converted cash from the liquidation to your creditors to pay off your debts. A chapter 13 on the other hand will allow you to pay your debts in a three to five-year program. This also allows you to retain non-exempt assets.
How to file
There is a bankruptcy application form to be filled in and it will contain all your personal information, financial background, recent financial activities, secured and non-secured debts, assets, creditors, tax returns, and all other related information. This can run for 20 pages or longer. The bankruptcy application form will also serve as a petition to be filed to the local US court. An original copy plus three additional copies will be submitted, but one copy to remain with the debtor for future reference. A provision will be passed by the court to prevent creditors from contacting the debtor for a month. This will give enough time for the court to process the case and also to prevent the creditors from seizing any property of the debtor. After a month, the creditors will be called for a meeting together with the debtor. The case will be settled but a judge will intervene if there is any objection. If things go as planned, the court will contact the debtor in four to six months to notify him of his discharge from debts.
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Rating of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Rules
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