Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Preparing to File

 

Seal of the United States bankruptcy court. Ch...

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Inevitably, those of you facing bankruptcy ask questions about what you should do to prepare to file. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the simplest form of bankruptcy to file, is normally filed by those who can least afford to file bankruptcy. Here are some suggestions on a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and preparing to file.

Seek Out Basic Knowledge About Bankruptcy Before You File

Most of you will not and probably should not seek out the advice of a bankruptcy lawyer until you really know filing bankruptcy is going to be for you. To determine that, you will need to start gathering as much basic knowledge about bankruptcy as you can before you file.

Bankruptcy forums on the internet are a good way to begin learning about basic bankruptcy facts. Many bankruptcy lawyers and laymen who have experienced bankruptcy get online to help others facing the same situation they once faced.

You can also get a lot of information by researching bankruptcy laws online and by visiting government bankruptcy court sites which will provide you with many of the basics on bankruptcy. You cannot go wrong reading as much as you can about bankruptcy because bankruptcy law can be very complicated. Even a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the simplest type of bankruptcy, can be very complicated.

Consult with a Bankruptcy Attorney As Soon As Possible

Most bankruptcy lawyers will provide you with a free exploratory consultation to see if their services can help you. Here you will learn some basic information from each attorney that will consult with you. You will also learn their fees for their services and some type of time line for paying them and filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Stop Paying All of Your Unsecured Debt Except Necessary Debt

When you first decide you need to file, stop paying all your unsecured debt. You can save the money on the unsecured debt you do not pay in order to pay your attorney and filing fees for the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Necessary debt can include utility bills, open grocery accounts for food, basic phone service, rent, and any other debt necessary for survival.

Continue to Pay Any Necessary Secured and Exempt Debt

Any necessary secured debt like an auto which gets you back and forth from work and your house mortgage payment, or a debt on an asset you want to keep, needs to be paid on time until you learn how the Chapter 7 bankruptcy will effect those payments.

Also, debts exempt from the effects of bankruptcy like student loans, child and spousal support, tax liens, and the like, need to be continued to be paid.

Delay Filing Until the Last Possible Moment

Even if you have to change your phone number, the more time you have, the more time you can save enough money to afford to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That means you may have to wait the last possible moment before a judgment or some other action forces you to file.

A bankruptcy lawyer can help you best determine how to prepare and when to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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