If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, educate yourself about how the process of filing bankruptcy works. Below are the seven steps associated with filing for bankruptcy.

Credit Counseling
As a result of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, any individual filing bankruptcy is required to obtain credit counseling from a licensed credit counseling company within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy. But, why not utilize credit counseling prior to filing bk? A good credit counselor will detail options for getting rid of your debt...likely helping you outline a plan to avoid filing bankruptcy.  Also, in the eyes of the bankruptcy courts, you will have displayed legitimate effort to resolve your debt issues on your own.

Legal Help
It is possible to file bankruptcy on your own behalf. However, it would be much smarter to utilize the services of an attorney that specializes in handling consumer bankruptcy filings. An attorney will advise you about the different types of bankruptcies and how you will be affected by each. Ultimately, they will help guide you to make the correct financial decision for your situation. In addition, when filing bk, there is an income limit and your debt needs to consist of particular elements. A bankruptcy attorney will clarify the current statutes and assist you in navigating through the course. You can find a bankruptcy attorney by visiting Bankruptcy Home.

Selecting Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
If you are using a bankruptcy attorney, they will analyze your situation and help you determine whether filing Chapter 7 or 13 is best for you. If you are not utilizing an attorney, learn more about the different types of bankruptcies. In short, Chapter 7 is a complete liquidation of your assets and Chapter 13 is a debt repayment plan with you being able to retain the majority of your belongings.

Listing Assets and Debts
Put together a list of all your debts including the creditor, reason, amount, etc.. You will also need to list all of your assets including their condition and age. You will not able to include any debt not present on your list in your bankruptcy claim. Therefore, you will still be liable for paying those excluded debts. In addition, any asset that you do not include may be looked at as though you are trying to elude the system. Therefore it is important that you are very careful and precise when compiling your lists of debt and assets.

341 Meeting
During the 341 Meeting, all of your creditors will be represented and your list of debt and assets will be presented. Your creditors will ask you questions under oath to help get an understanding the exact disposition of your financial situation.

At the conclusion of your 341 Meeting, the bankruptcy courts will determine how your assets are going to be sold and how those proceeds are going to be dispersed among your creditors.

Debt Discharge
If none of your creditors dispute/challenge the bankruptcy court's ruling within 60 days, your debts will be discharged.

Bankruptcy Good or Bad?
Bankruptcy Questions and Answers
Automatic Stays
Importance of Getting Credit After Bankruptcy
Credit Cards After Bankruptcy
Non-Dischargeable Debts



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