Filing Bankruptcy

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Filing Bankruptcy

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From Executive Director

Filing bankruptcy is a detailed process that includes a lot of paperwork. Here is a summary of how to file bankruptcy for both a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

First, there are two factors you must deal with before you file bankruptcy. One, you need to make sure that you qualify for either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Two, you will need to have a credit counseling briefing unless you obtain a temporary waiver or are not required to have credit counseling. When filing bankruptcy, you must certify that you have or will comply with the credit counseling requirement or explain why you are exempt from credit counseling. If you do not comply with this requirement the bankruptcy court will dismiss your case and you will lose your filing fee because it will not be refunded.

Next, when filing for bankruptcy, the initial document is the Voluntary Petition. With this document, you provide the bankruptcy court with basic information. You attach to the Voluntary Petition the following schedules wherein you give detailed information:

    Schedule A - Real Property
    Schedule B - Personal Property
    Schedule C - Property Claimed as Exempt
    Schedule D - Creditors Holding Secured Claims
    Schedule E - Creditors Holding Unsecured Priority Claims
    Schedule F - Creditors Holding Unsecured Nonpriority Claims
    Schedule G - Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
    Schedule H - Codebtors
    Schedule I - Current Income of Individual Debtor(s)
    Schedule J- Current Expenditures of Individual Debtor(s)
    Declaration Concerning Debtor's Schedules
    Statement of Financial Affairs

You must also attach to the Voluntary Petition documents which are specific to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy such as a Chapter 7 Individual Debtor's Statement of Intention or a Chapter 13 Payment Plan.

Additionally, you must attach to the Voluntary Petition a list of creditors and their addresses. This list must be in an electronic format acceptable to the local bankruptcy court so that notices can be automatically sent to creditors without anyone having to manually address the notices.

Furthermore, each bankruptcy court is allowed to adopt local rules and local forms that must also be attached to a bankruptcy Voluntary Petition.

In the Voluntary Petition and attached documents, you are required to be honest and not falsify any information and you are required to list ALL property, debts, income, expenses, etc. Failure to honestly disclose ALL information is a violation of federal law and may subject you to a criminal action.

Finally, when you file bankruptcy, you must pay the filing fee. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to pay the filing fee in installments or you may obtain a waiver of paying the filing fee.

As you can see, filing bankruptcy requires a lot of paperwork. Because of the large amount of paperwork, most bankruptcy courts require electronic filing.


This is general information only. If you have any questions whatsoever, talk with a lawyer licensed in your state who has experience with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or bankruptcy in general.

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