How to File Bankruptcy
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What Are Some Tips on How to File for Bankruptcy?
If you’re considering whether to file for bankruptcy, you should consider all your options first. It may be the case that there are other options besides filing bankruptcy, such as renegotiating a contract or rearranging your finances. If you do decide to file, you should consider the following tips:
- Decide which type of bankruptcy best fits your situation: Most people file either under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows most of your debts to be cancelled, while Chapter 13 filings institute a repayment-type plan. Each has their own limitations and specific requirements.
- Obtain some form of credit counseling: This will prep you in terms of further options, and what you have to do fully apply for bankruptcy. Credit counseling also helps you understand which forms and documents are needed for your particular bankruptcy claim.
- Submit your paperwork: This involves filing a petition for bankruptcy with the court. Understand that this often requires several meetings with many parties, including creditors, banks, and your lawyer.
What Happens after I File?
Filing your petition results in some changes that are enforceable immediately after. First, filing for bankruptcy usually results in an automatic stay on any debts and payments you may have had. This means that creditors can’t collect debts from you during the period of time that your bankruptcy claim is being processed. Also, other proceedings such as lawsuits and foreclosures are put on hold as well.
On the other hand creditors can also challenge a bankruptcy proceeding after it has been filed. Creditors usually have about 60 days to file a challenge. If no challenge has been filed, you should receive a notice regarding a discharge of debts (for Chapter 7) or notices regarding new payment plans (for Chapter 13).
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Bankruptcy Proceedings?
Bankruptcy filings typically require the assistance of a qualified lawyer. It’s in your best interests to hire a lawyer if you need to file for bankruptcy. Your attorney can help you with any documents, laws, or forms that you have any questions about. Also, your lawyer can provide you with legal representation during any court hearings or meetings that you may need to attend.
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Last Modified: 06-20-2014 10:34 AM PDT
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