Bankruptcy is a legal process in the United States that allows individuals and businesses to obtain relief from their debts. It is designed to give people a fresh start by wiping out their debts and allowing them to rebuild their financial lives. There are several different types of bankruptcy, each with its own set of rules and procedures, but they all involve the same basic process.
Filing For Bankruptcy In U.S.
The first step in filing for bankruptcy is to determine which type is the most appropriate for your situation. There are two main types of bankruptcy for individuals, namely, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy because it involves the sale of non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. This is the most common type of bankruptcy for individuals, and it is typically reserved for those who have few assets and a low income.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is known as a “reorganization” bankruptcy because it allows individuals to keep their assets while they pay off their debts over a period of time. This type of bankruptcy is typically reserved for those who have a steady income and a significant amount of assets.
Gather The Necessary Documents
Once you have determined which type of bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation, the next step is to gather all of the necessary documentation. This includes a list of all of your debts, your income, and your assets. You also need to provide proof of your income, such as pay stubs or tax returns. This information will be used to determine whether you are eligible for bankruptcy and, if so, how much you will be required to pay back to your creditors.
File A Petition
Once you have gathered all of the necessary documentation, the next step is to file a bankruptcy petition with the court. This will typically involve completing a series of forms, which can be found on the website of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. You will also be required to pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the type of bankruptcy you are filing and your income level.
After you have filed your bankruptcy petition, the court will assign a bankruptcy trustee to your case. The trustee is responsible for reviewing your bankruptcy petition and determining whether it is appropriate. They will also be responsible for managing your case, including selling any nonexempt assets and distributing the proceeds to your creditors.
Debtors Education Course
Petitioners must also complete a debtor’s education course and get a certificate as part of the bankruptcy process. The course teaches debtors ways to manage their finances and budget their income. It is essential to help the applicant learn how to handle their finances and avoid being in financial difficulty again after the bankruptcy discharge.
Meeting Of Creditors
Once you file your bankruptcy case, you will be required to attend a hearing known as the meeting of creditors. This is a meeting between you, your bankruptcy trustee, and your creditors, during which you will be asked questions about your financial situation and your bankruptcy petition.
After the meeting of creditors, the bankruptcy trustee will either approve or deny your bankruptcy petition. If it is approved, you will be granted a discharge, which means that your debts will be wiped out and you will be released from your obligations to your creditors.
Seek Help From A Bankruptcy Attorney
It is important to note that bankruptcy is not a quick or easy process. It can take several months or even years to complete, and it can have a significant impact on your credit score and your ability to obtain credit in the future.
However, for many people, bankruptcy is a necessary step to take in order to get a fresh start and rebuild their financial lives. If you are struggling with debt and are considering bankruptcy, speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law to determine whether it is the right option for you.