Bankruptcy Information

An Introduction to Filing Bankruptcy

how to file bankruptcy

This bankruptcy information will help you learn about moving forward with bankruptcy filing, as a final option after you have exhausted all other avenues for eliminating your debt.

The decision to file bankruptcy is a serious one with long term ramifications. Yet, the process can help you get back on your feet and start anew.

Federal laws have been created to help you get a new start if you can no longer pay off your debts. This is done through the process of bankruptcy, which involves liquidating your assets or creating a repayment plan.

Filing bankruptcy must go through the federal court system. Most people hire a lawyer to file bankruptcy papers and help them navigate the process appropriately. Though, it is possible to do it yourself.

If you hire a lawyer, you will likely pay either a a flat fee for services or a percentage based upon the amount of debt you have.

Always discuss fees and your obligations to pay prior to signing an agreement for legal services. You can find details about filing bankruptcy at the United States Court website at:

  • http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy.aspx

On the website, you'll find in-depth information about the bankruptcy process, including how to file without an attorney.

Bankruptcy cases are filed under one of three different kinds, or chapters, of bankruptcy. They are:

Chapter 7, which provides for liquidation or sale of all assets and the appropriate distribution of the sale funds to your creditors

Chapter 11, which provides for reorganization. This is seen more frequently with businesses or corporations, but individuals may also file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Chapter 13, which allows you to keep your property and repay your debt on a payment schedule, usually within three to five years. Individuals who file for this type of bankruptcy must have a regular income.

Bankruptcy becomes necessary when you are looking for relief from creditors and require a new beginning. If a judge finds in your favor in a bankruptcy proceeding, you will be relieved of most of your debts or you may pay off your credit cards and other debt through a structured repayment plan.

To file for bankruptcy, you must file paperwork with the bankruptcy court. This is called a petition. You, or you and your spouse, may file this without the assistance of an attorney, but often assistance from legal counsel is a good idea.

When you file, you will be required to list your assets, your income, the amounts you owe, and all of the names and addresses of your credit card companies and other people or companies you owe.

Once you file the petition, credit card companies or other creditors cannot take action against you while the bankruptcy is pending. They cannot even call you on the telephone. This is called a stay.

Your credit card companies will receive a notice from the court to show that you have filed for bankruptcy.

If your bankruptcy information indicates you have few assets and liquidation is indicated, you may be declared free of debt. This is called a discharge.

Generally, a discharge does not require an appearance before the court, although that may depend on the nature of your bankruptcy.

Sometimes there are disputes about property or the property's value, the amounts owed, or other matters. If this happens, the case may go before the judge. If so, it might proceed like any other civil court case, with pretrial hearings, settlement efforts, and a trial.

The nature of the bankruptcy you file will depend on the bankruptcy information you give to the court, so be sure to have all of your information together before you file.

For more bankruptcy information, please click on the article links listed below.

Bankruptcy Information - Related Articles

What to do Before Filing for Bankruptcy
More about Getting Bankruptcy Help
How to File for Bankruptcy
Types of Bankruptcy
Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy Considerations
About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
About Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy vs. Debt Consolidation
Life after Bankruptcy
Wage Garnishment - What You Can Do

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