What are the steps for filing for bankruptcy?

The steps for filing for bankruptcy vary depending on the type of bankruptcy you are interested in and some additional steps you may have to take for each.

Steps for Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Follow these steps for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • Get credit counseling. You cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without it. The credit counseling course must be one that is provided by a government approved agency. Many are available online or over the phone.
  • Take the "means" test. You must then determine your eligibility, meaning you will need to take the "means" test.
  • List your debt and prepare for filing your paperwork. Once you have decided that you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to gather your documentation and file your petition with the court. You can also reach out to an attorney to help you with this process.

Steps for Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Follow these steps for Chapter 13 bankruptcy:

  • List your debts, income, and assets. You will need to know exactly where you stand with each of these items so you can ensure Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right option. Take a look at your income to ensure you have enough to pay down your debts on a payment plan.
  • Make sure you qualify. To qualify, your debts cannot be over these limits: $394,725 of unsecured debt and/or $1,184,200 of secured debt.
  • File your paperwork. Once you have completed these steps, you can follow up with filing your paperwork with the court. You may also consider reaching out to an attorney for assistance.
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