What You Need To Know Before Filing For Personal Bankruptcy

Law Blog

Are you drowning in debt? Filing for bankruptcy can give you the chance to start over after your finances have collapsed. The circumstances under which you may declare bankruptcy in the U.S. are unique to you, but it's up to the bankruptcy court to determine whether you should get a discharge order.

While the process of filing for bankruptcy may vary slightly from state to state, the basic steps to be followed are the same. If you're looking to DIY, you'll need to educate yourself on what to expect during the process. 

Here's a basic breakdown of the bankruptcy application process.

Assessing your financial health

Filing for bankruptcy is the last resort for people caught in a debt trap. Before you file, you should list down your income and assets as well as debts and liabilities. This helps give you and eventually the court a clear picture of your finances.  

Remember, you can only qualify for a discharge if you don't have the means to pay debts owed to others, and you'll need to provide financial disclosure to prove this. 

Receiving credit counseling

During the 180 days before you file for personal bankruptcy, you must get credit counseling from a government-approved credit counselor. The counseling is meant to help you manage debt better after the court discharges your existing debt. 

You'll be issued with a certificate of credit counseling completion to prove that you received pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. The certificate is part of the paperwork you must include when submitting your personal bankruptcy application to the court.

The FCAA and NFCC websites are some useful resources for finding government-approved credit counseling agencies.

Filling out the bankruptcy application forms

This is where things start to get complicated. There are many forms to complete and legal expertise may be required to fill in every form correctly. If the proper instructions aren't followed when you're filling bankruptcy application forms, your petition could fail before it even gets to court.

Due to the legal and administrative legwork involved, it's important that you seek a bankruptcy lawyer's help with completing paperwork for your petition. They'll ensure all procedures and rules are followed to the letter, thus increasing the chances of a successful discharge.

While you're allowed to complete a bankruptcy application with the court on your own, the process can be overwhelming. Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer can be the best decision you make when you're looking to get your debts discharged. They'll guide you through the entire process so that it goes smoothly and gets you the desired outcome.

To learn more about bankruptcy law, reach out to a lawyer in your area.


29 July 2020

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