How to File Bankruptcy for Free: A 10-Step Guide – Upsolve

Collect Your Documents

Your first dance step is to collect all your fiscal documents so you understand the stream state of your finances. start by getting a release copy of your credit report. You are entitled to one detached report from each one of the three recognition chest of drawers per year. Some of your debts may not be listed on your credit rating report. common examples include medical bills, personal loans, payday loans, and tax debts. Make a list of all debts not on your credit report so you don ’ t have to look for the information when you ’ re filling out your bankruptcy forms. In addition to your credit report, you will need the follow documents :

  • Tax returns for the past 2 years
  • Pay stubs or early proof of your income for the final 6 months
  • holocene trust account statements
  • recent retirement account or brokerage account statements
  • Valuations or appraisals of any real estate of the realm you own
  • Copies of vehicle registration
  • Any other documents relating to your assets, debts, or income .

Having these documents next to you will help you get an accurate movie of your fiscal situation .

Take Credit Counseling

Every person who files for bankruptcy has to take a accredit counseling course in the 6 months before their bankruptcy petition is filed with the court. This is a requirement in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. The course has to be taken through a credit rede representation that is approved by the Department of Justice. recognition rede courses like this one give you an mind of whether you very need to file for bankruptcy or whether you could get back on your feet through some type of informal repayment design. The naturally takes at least one hour and can be completed on-line or by telephone. The course fee ranges from $ 10 to $ 50, depending on the provider. If your family income is under 150 % of the federal poverty line, you should be able to get this fee waived. once you complete the naturally, you will receive a security of completion. Keep it. Bankruptcy laws require that you provide a copy of this certificate to the court when you file your bankruptcy forms in Step 5 .

Complete the Bankruptcy Forms

The bankruptcy forms include at least 23 separate forms, totaling roughly 70 pages. The bankruptcy forms ask you about everything you make, spend, own, and owe. You ’ ll besides include some bankruptcy basics, like what type of bankruptcy you ’ rhenium file under and whether a bankruptcy lawyer is helping you. If you hire a lawyer, they will complete the forms for you based on the information you submit to their office. If you ca n’t afford to hire a lawyer but do n’t feel comfortable completing the forms on your own, see if you ‘re eligible to use Upsolve ‘s release on-line bankruptcy overhaul or schedule an date with a legal aid provider in your area .

Get Your Filing Fee

The union motor hotel charges a filing tip of $ 338 for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. This amount is typically due when the bankruptcy request is filed with the court. If you don ’ t have the funds to pay the filing fee now, you apply to pay your tip in installments, after your case has been filed. You can ask to make up to 4 monthly payments. If paying in installments international relations and security network ’ thymine even potential, you can submit another form to apply for a fee release. To qualify, your total family income must be under 150 % of the federal poverty line. The court will decide whether bankruptcy laws support granting you a release. This happens after your bankruptcy request. If your application is denied, the court will typically order you to pay the fee in installments .

once you have prepared your bankruptcy forms, you will need to print them out for the court. You must print them single-sided. The court won ’ thymine accept double-sided pages. You will besides need to sign the forms once they are printed. You will need :

  • The request forms including any compulsory local anesthetic forms
  • Your credit counseling security
  • Your paycheck stub
  • If needed, your application for a fee release or installment plan

Most bankruptcy courts require equitable one signed original of the request, but some courts require extra copies. so, before you head out to submit your forms, call your local anesthetic bankruptcy woo to find out how many copies you will need to bring and confirm you have all the needed local forms .

Go to Court to File Your Bankruptcy Forms

once you enter the doors of your local courthouse, you will be greeted by security guards, who will ask you to pass through a metallic detector. Once you pass security system, you will go to the clerk ’ south office and tell the salesclerk that you ’ re there to file for bankruptcy. They will take your bankruptcy forms and your charge fee ( or lotion for a release or to pay the fee in installments ). Do not submit your bank statements or tax returns to the court. These documents go to the trustee after the case is filed. Check out Step 7 below for more information on that. While you wait, the clerk will process your case by scanning your forms and uploading them to the court ’ south on-line filing system. This normally takes no more than 15 minutes. once done, the salesclerk will call you back to the front desk and give you :

  • Your bankruptcy lawsuit number
  • The name of your bankruptcy regent
  • The date, clock, and location of your suffer with your trustee ( this is called the “ Meeting of Creditors ” or “ 341 meeting ” )

At this compass point, your case has been filed ! Congrats ! The automatic quell now protects you from all debt collectors. But you ’ ra not home plate yet – there are other steps you need to complete to get a fresh starting signal under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code !

Mail Documents to Your Trustee

The chapter 7 regent is an official appointed by the woo to oversee your case and liquidate, or sell, nonexempt property for the benefit of your creditors. not all types of bankruptcy require the interest of a bankruptcy regent, but both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases have one. Pay care to mail you receive from the regent after filing your case. The regent will send you a letter asking you to mail them certain fiscal documents, like tax returns, pay up stubs, and bank statements. If you don ’ thyroxine send the trustee the request documents following the instructions provided in their letter, you may not get a discharge of your debts .

Take Bankruptcy Course 2

After filing your bankruptcy forms, you will need to complete a Debtor Education Course from an approved credit counseling means. It can be completed on-line or by phone and typically takes at least 2 hours and costs between $ 10 – $ 50, unless you ’ re eligible for a release. The function of the course is to educate you on making smart fiscal decisions going ahead but does not provide legal advice about the bankruptcy process. You ’ ll learn how to prepare a budget and avoid incurring debt with high interest rates. You ’ re not eligible to receive your bankruptcy fire and obtain a newly begin if you don ’ thyroxine complete the path and file your certificate of completion from the accredit guidance agency with the court .

Attend Your 341 Meeting

Your 341 meet, or meeting of creditors, will take target about a calendar month after your bankruptcy encase is filed. You ’ ll find the date, prison term, and placement of your 341 meeting on the notice you ’ ll pay back from the court a few days after filing bankruptcy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all 341 meetings are held either by video recording league or via telephone until at least October. The main function of the 341 meet is for the case trustee to verify your identity and ask you certain standard questions and most final only about 5 minutes. Your creditors are allowed to attend and ask you questions about your fiscal site, but they about never do. ❗❗ You must bring your government-issued ID and social security wag to the meet. If you don ’ metric ton bring an approve shape of both, the trustee can ’ triiodothyronine verify your identity and the meeting can not go forward. You should besides bring a copy of your bankruptcy forms to the meet, along with your last 60 days of pay stubs, your late bank statements, and any other documents that your trustee has asked for. ❗❗

Dealing with Your Car Loan

If you own a cable car that you silent owe on, you ’ ll have to let the bank and the court know what you want to do with it one one of your bankruptcy forms.

If you want to surrender the car to the lender and discharge the debt, you don ’ t have to do anything other than hold on making your payments. The bank will either file request with the bankruptcy court to ask license to retake the car, or wait until your discharge is granted before picking it up. If you want to keep the car, you can either reaffirm the loanword or redeem the car. If you ’ ra reaffirming your lend, the bank will send you a reassertion agreement after your case is filed. You have to complete and sign the agreement and return it to the bank within 45 days from your 341 meet. The deposit files the sign agreement with the court for approval. To redeem the vehicle you have to file a gesticulate with the court and, once granted, buy the car from the bank for its current value. This gets you out of having to pay the amount left on the lend, but payment has to be made in one hunk sum .

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