How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
There are several types of bankruptcy, and knowing which is the best one for your case is is important. You can get help understanding what type of bankruptcy is best for you with the assitance of a bankruptcy attorney. If you are considering filing for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, it would be in your best interest to talk to a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Ocala before proceeding.
Here is a guide that can help you understand the filing process for a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
1. Is bankruptcy the best option? Strictly speaking, bankruptcy should be your last option and filed only when you have tried other possibilities. Talking to a bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand if it is already the best option for your case.
2. Do you qualify? Find out if you are eligible for a chapter 7 bankruptcy by taking the ‘The Means Test’. If you don’t qualify, your other option would be to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. The Means Test is required under the revised bankruptcy code; it helps ensure that bankruptcy laws are not being abused.
3. Seek legal counsel in your area. A chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Ocala can help you learn if a chapter 7 bankruptcy is even an option and if it is the best option. Having a lawyer can make the process of filing easier.
4. Credit counseling is mandatory. You need to complete a counseling period from a qualified and certified agency.
5. Your attorney will complete your paperwork and file your petition. You also need to file a schedule of your assets and liabilities, current expenditures and income, all the debts that are going to be filed under bankruptcy, unexpired leases and executory contracts, a schedule of exempt assets, and the Means Test. All forms are confusing and difficult to understand, so having a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Ocala by your side will definitely help.
6. Once your attorney files your petition to the bankruptcy court along with the completed paperwork, and the credit counseling certificate legal actions are stayed and creditors won’t be able to file lawsuits against you or demand payment.
7. Give a copy of pay check stubs to your bankruptcy trustee. Include your latest tax return. Submit these at least seven days prior to a creditors’ meeting.
8. Attend the creditors’ meeting. This is held 20 to 40 days after signing the petition. The people you owe money to can ask you questions about your property and financial situation. This may not happen, depending on your debt. For instance, credit card companies won’t send a representative to surround you during a meeting. Your attorney will attend with you.
9. Complete the post-filing personal financial management instruction course. Do this after the case is filed and within 45 days of the meeting with creditors. (online course)
10. Wait for correspondence saying that your debts have been discharged.
Our bankruptcy and foreclosure attorneys here at The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. Can help you go through the chapter 7 bankruptcy process in Ocala. We will help you understand what you need to do and guide you until you receive your bankruptcy discharge. We offer free consultations when you call 352-519-4299 or 888-316-2131. You may also fill out an online form on this website.