How Do I File For Bankruptcy

A low cost bankruptcy filing is possible if an individual has a relatively uncomplicated case and files for him or herself without the help of an attorney or bankruptcy service. However, because of recent laws affecting this legal action, the filing for each type of bankruptcy is more expensive than in recent years. There are also added charges for credit counseling and money management classes, that are required by law, for those who go bankrupt. These fees must be paid before the services are received and any individual who goes bankrupt must plan for this court appointed requirement when filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 legal petitions. Many questions must be answered to the satisfaction of those who must file this legal action, including "How do I file for bankruptcy?"

The costs for filing chapter 7 or 13 petitions have gone up in the last two years with a chapter 7 filing now costing around $275 and chapter 13 costing around $200. Those who ask the question, "How do I file for bankruptcy?" must be aware before submitting any petition that the new laws have increased submission fees. The cost of submitting petitions could climb even higher in the years to come. While this may seem a small amount in the overall scheme of things, the filing fees alone are not all that must be considered when submitting the legal papers for either type of petition. Unless an individual is astute at legalities, form submissions and other legal requirements, going through the process can become complicated. It could prove to be a hazard to attempt to file a petition without the professional assistance of an attorney or other professional service that has experience in these matters.

Attorney's fees for a typical chapter 7 filing can run approximately $1,300 depending on the complexity of the case. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) If a case is particularly difficult or fraught with problems, a higher fee is quite likely. An attorney must gather all the pertinent information from a person such as tax data and earning that cover the previous two years. He or she must also receive all information regarding property and real estate that is included in an individual's overall holding. Car titles, recreation vehicles, jewelry, large equipment items and other properties are included in this requirement for court disclosure. For people who have fairly straight forward tax, income and property information, itemization of financial status is not difficult and a low cost bankruptcy filing is possible.

For those who may have multiple bank accounts, several streams of income, large property holdings and various tax exemptions, write-offs or other pertinent tax data, most must be prepared to pay higher fees for professional help. The expert guidance of an attorney is certainly warranted and may be necessary in order to receive the best financial position possible when filing a petition for those who need to know, "How do I file for bankruptcy?" Attorney's fees are even higher for those who go bankrupt under a chapter 13 legal filing. Since this type of petition is really a 'reorganization' of personal income in relationship to debt responsibilities, there is a lot more negotiating and financial assessment that must take place. Unlike a 7 filing which may entail a low cost bankruptcy filing, a 13 petition does not give the bankrupt individual the right to literally 'walk away' from most of their accrued debt.

This type of legal petition makes an assessment of the overall financial status of an individual and then makes a court appointed payment schedule to pay off most creditors. Attorney's will explain "How do I file for bankruptcy?" to clients and these answers will include the stipulation that a scheduled payment plan is set up for the duration of 3 to 5 years and must be overseen by the court. An attorney's responsibilities in this regard is broader and more time consuming which accounts for general fees of over $2,000, again depending on the complexity of the case. In both types of filings, new laws have made it mandatory for anyone who goes bankrupt to go for consumer credit counseling before the petition is actually filed and require everyone to attend financial management classes before their case has been resolved.

Fees for both consumer credit counseling and financial management education must be paid out of the pocket of those who go bankrupt. For those who must pay for extensive attorney's fees, consumer credit counseling, financial management classes as well as filing fees, a low cost bankruptcy filing can be a out of reach. Of course, not all attorneys require that their fees be paid in full up front especially in the cases of 'reorganization'. Since this type of petition is based on the fact that a client may have some funds available through earning or holdings, the court allows attorneys to be paid monthly if that is more in keeping with the circumstances. Laws require that chapter 7 attorney's fees be paid in advance so that all financial issues are basically resolved at closure. "How do I file for bankruptcy?" can be a puzzling question for most who are not educated in the legal system which makes it important to secure the services of a professional that can successfully guide a client through the entire process.

Free Online Bankruptcy Forms

Free bankruptcy forms can be found at many Internet sites that offer forms, legal, advice and legal processing services for bankruptcy filings. These federal forms are necessary for filing for this protection in a legal manner, and having them properly completed will expedite the processing of personal or business insolvency proceedings. Free online bankruptcy forms can be downloaded for personal use and typically include over thirty forms that cover every part of an individual's financial history. Personal bankruptcy, also known as filing Chapter 7, is becoming more and more common for Americans who find themselves increasingly weighted down by extreme debt.

The free online bankruptcy forms cover areas such as real estate dealings, lists of creditors, any contracts or other liabilities, and a variety of other possible financial transactions that may have been made. These chapter 7 documents provide a comprehensive report to the government so that any judgments made regarding the insolvency claim will be informed and fair. These forms can be fairly complicated, and many people choose to forego trying to make sense of them by themselves in favor of utilizing paid legal services.

New laws have made it more difficult for Americans to declare a chapter 7. The technicality of the new laws often make it necessary for the average person to secure legal advice instead of attempting to file through free online bankruptcy forms. Chapter 7 is more difficult for people who are making over the median income no matter what their financial situation. Chapter 7 is intended to be a help to people who experience difficult financial setbacks due to unforeseen tragedies or who have, unfortunately, mismanaged their finances.

One of the most common reasons for those who qualify for a chapter 7 filing through free bankruptcy forms is credit card debt. The average family is encumbered with close to $8,000 in credit card debt alone. Many Americans who use credit cards charge consumable items and the debt grows unrestrained until they cannot make even the minimum monthly payments. If a sudden illness, divorce, or other tragedy occurs, the added financial weight is enough to sink many families who are debt ridden. Chapter 7 was originally formed to give consumers a second chance at a financial future. In order to determine what questions are involved in filing for a chapter 7, many sites offer federally approved free online bankruptcy forms.

These websites provide a good look at what is necessary to file for chapter 7 protection with the Federal government. The new law that regulates chapter 7 filings allows those who claim financial ruin to retain some personal property, such as a residence. All other assets are required to be liquidated and used to pay off any creditors as far as it will go. Many elected officials see this as another injustice to families who operate on the border of poverty as it is. The second chance that chapter 7 was meant to provide can instead be a death blow to many families' financial futures.

Digging out of the financial hole after liquidating all of their assets can be a daunting task to many who claim a chapter 7, and federally approved free bankruptcy forms will require a listing of all assets. However, credit card companies and other lending institutions generally want as much liquidation of assets as possible in order to receive payment for their investments. These institutions decry the mismanagement of finances that many deem the reason for many insolvency filings and also accuse many consumers of purposely running up credit card debt in the first place. These consumers are accused of calculating debts to lending institutions and planning on filing a chapter 7 in order to dodge repayment.

The controversy continues for those who are looking for free online bankruptcy forms and for those who have chosen to seek professional, legal representation for a filing. Many who would have qualified to file a chapter 7 under the new legislation are now qualified to file only a chapter 13. People seeking chapter 13 protection can find free online forms also. These financial issues affect many Americans and with the high cost of indebtedness looming over many consumers heads, it can be the only alternative from crushing financial pressure.

Learn more about the process and the consequences of bankruptcy from a variety of Internet sources. You may also receive bankruptcy advice as well as free bankruptcy forms from government agencies. Federally approved forms and information is available at several government agency websites. There are many factors to be considered when thinking about personal bankruptcy. It is certainly not a decision to make lightly, and there are both earthly and spiritual consequences. It is best to be fully informed before making this life altering decision. "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." (Psalm 112:7)

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