Hiring a lawyer to file for bankruptcy can be expensive, since the lawyer’s fees comprises of a huge chunk of bankruptcy expenses. However, filing for bankruptcy can be done by debtors without a lawyer that actually help you saving considerable amount of money. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed without a lawyer.
Following are the steps to file the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case yourself.
- The process begins by conducting a Means Test to evaluate your qualification to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In the test form, you’ll have to provide details like your income, assets and debts and number of people in the household. Your case is simple if you have few assets and have a household income below the state’s median.
- Next, you’ll have to get credit reports from all the three credit bureaus. As not every creditor report to all bureaus, you have to get all the three reports. Also, completion of a credit management and financial literacy course is required.
- Without a lawyer, filling out paperwork can be complicated and time-consuming. You can download bankruptcy forms package to save time and money and get all the required forms to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Completed forms, along with the required documents can be submitted either in person or by mail. To avoid your case from being dismissed, you should respond to any correspondence from the bankruptcy trustee promptly.
- On a scheduled date, there’ll be a Meeting of Creditors, which you’ll have to attend, even if the creditors don’t. Answering all the trustee’s questions accurately by you is advised.
- After Meeting of Creditors, within 45 days you’ll be required to complete the post-filing Personal Financial Management Instruction Course. The final step after completing the course would be to wait to know about the discharge of your debts.
Failing the Means Test may need you to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, instead of Chapter 7. In this case too, you can file the case without any assistance from an attorney but here the case will be more complicated.