How to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on your own
Welcome to Chapter 7 Services home page. This educational and informational site has been designed for individuals, and couples filing jointly for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
In many cases, people do not have the financial resources at this point to retain an attorney to assist them in filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Therefore, we developed a roadmap that will lead you through each and every step of the Federal Bankruptcy forms so you can file a successful petition in the Federal Bankruptcy District Court where you live. It is especially useful for people who have very few monetary assets and have a large amount of consumer debt.
Here’s what you get with Chapter 7 Services:
1. Easy-to-download blank Federal Bankruptcy forms.
2. U.S. Trustee Program approved resources on how to obtain your pre-filing credit counseling certificate required by the court before you file and your pre-discharge counseling certificate after you have met with your trustee. Both are required.
3. A step-by-step reference guide as to how to fill out each and every page of the petition without using an attorney or petition preparer.
4. Where to go locally to file your documents with the Bankruptcy Court in your District.
5. How to complete your mailing list (matrix) for creditors.
6. How to stop your creditors from calling you after you file.
7. Our money back guarantee.
Additional Information on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
An additional resource that also provides valuable information on filing a Chapter 7 petition on your own without an attorney is http://www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts/prose.html
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own without professional legal advice is not as difficult as it appears, but be prepared for a time consuming endeavor. From start to finish, when you actually file your petition with the Federal Bankruptcy Court in your District requires anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to gather all of your financial obligations and complete the necessary forms.
We outline the process for you in our HOW IT WORKS section and provide you with the educational support for each and every page of the petition. Should you decide to file "Pro Se" (on your own), you can save money on attorney fees and perhaps even save the filing fee of $306.00 that the court requires. In other words, it could cost you as little as nothing to file your petition but not more than $306.00.
Do not attempt to file Chapter 13 by yourself as it is a very difficult process and will require an attorney. Chapter 13 will require you to repay some, or all of your debts, over the course of the next 3 to 5 years from your income. Chapter 7 is the only petition that you can file that will erase all or most of your indebtedness. There are several debts that are not allowed to be discharged under a Chapter 7 filing, such as past due taxes, student loans, past due child support payments, etc. We will provide for you a complete list the government will not allow to be discharged under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not for everyone wishing to erase their debts, as the laws have changed substantially since 2005 to benefit the unsecured creditors i.e.; credit card companies, medical expenses, etc. If you do not think you can qualify for Chapter 7 after reviewing the guidelines below, stop here and consult with an attorney.
Chapter 7 Requirement Guidelines:
1. Your monthly income is substantially more than your monthly living expenses. Include all expenses such as rent, food, auto expenses, yearly medical, dental, health insurance premiums and prescription drug expenses averaged on a monthly basis, personal hygiene, clothing etc. Do not include monthly debt payments to creditors. If you are unemployed or have recently been terminated from your job go to the next question.
2. You have substantial equity in your home. Google the following site State Homestead Exemptions and their effect on Federal Bankruptcy to determine the homestead exemption in your state and the amount allowed under bankruptcy protection. Don't let this paragraph discourage you from filing Chapter 7, research the site highlighted above to determine your exemption before making your decision. There are several states which allow you to keep all or most of the equity you have in your home. Learn about states with very favorable homestead exemptions are Texas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota. States such as California, Nevada, Arizona, New York and Michigan are different, however, you should research your state prior to submitting your bankruptcy petition. You can find some information through your local District Bankruptcy Court. You can find your local District Court here. Remember; in most instances you can still keep your home and auto(s) after filing bankruptcy if you continue to make the payments.
3. Your total indebtedness is under $10,000. With this amount of debt or less, it would be unwise to declare any form of bankruptcy protection as you can usually work something out with the creditors and not have a bankruptcy listed on your credit reports. This question really depends on your income and if you have a job.
4. You are filing as a corporation or partnership.
The above is an overview of how to declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on your own without an attorney. The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process is very different from Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. You can download the Chapter 7, 11 and 13 petition packet through the Chapter 7 Services website. Our Start-to-Finish bankruptcy instructions are built to guide you through the chapter 7 process using our custom Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition packet.
Let Chapter 7 Services assist you using our step by step instructions. Click here to get Chapter 7 Bankruptcy instructions.
Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are for informational purposes only and neither constitutes legal advice nor should they be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is fact sensitive, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and a review of all facts and documents without the use of a licensed attorney registered in the state in which you are filing your chapter 7 petition.