Despite what some are calling a financial recovery, many individuals have not financially recovered from the 2008 economic downturn and may still be considering filing for bankruptcy protection. Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “If I am filing bankruptcy without a lawyer how do I file my Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms?”
Steps before filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms
Filing bankruptcy may be a great solution for some debtors, but before deciding whether or not it is right for you or even if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to take several steps.
First, review whether or not you meet the income requirements for Chapter 7. If yes, consider talking to a bankruptcy lawyer. Although you may decide not to hire a lawyer, they can review your financials and help you determine if bankruptcy is really the right choice.
After you have completed the first two steps you will need to take a credit approved credit counseling course. To find a full list of approved credit agencies visit the Justice Department website. On this site you can enter the name of your state and it will provide a full list of available agencies. Complete the course within the 180-day period before filing bankruptcy, get the certificate, and file the completion form with the court within 15 days after filing your bankruptcy petition.
Completing your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy forms and submitting them to the court
After you have completed the steps above you will need to complete the Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms can be downloaded from the United States Courts Website. This website has a link for all the forms and instructions.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms and schedules you will need to complete will include the following:
- Schedule A to list all of your real property, including land, houses, and buildings.
- Schedule B to list your personal property.
- Schedule C to list any claims of exemptions.
- Schedule D requires you to list all of your creditors that hold secured claims.
- Schedule E to list all of your unsecured creditors that have priority claims.
- Schedule F to list all of your unsecured creditors that have non-priority claims.
- Schedule G to list all of your executory contracts and unexpired leases
- Schedule H to list refers to any co-debtors.
- Schedule I to list your monthly income from all sources and total that income.
- Schedule J to list and total your monthly expenses.
Where do I file the Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms?
Bankruptcy cases are filed with the Office of the Bankruptcy Clerk. To locate the appropriate office you will need to identify the district in which you live and the divisional office which services your area.
For example, if you live in Plano, Texas, you are part of the Eastern District of Texas and you would file your forms in one of the divisional offices. To locate your office you will need to review your states districts and the courts serving those districts.
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