FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY V-4


See Transcript Below.

FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY
The following is an adaptation of the transcript of Filing For Bankruptcy
Video-4.

Before you file a bankruptcy case you must complete credit counseling provided by a government approved agency. The purpose of this counseling is to explore alternatives to bankruptcy in your particular situation.

You must obtain from the agency a certificate describing the counseling services you received. This certificate must be filed with the court as an attachment to your statement of compliance with the credit-counseling requirement. An official court form must be used for this purpose.

Approved agencies may be found by calling the bankruptcy court in your area or by accessing a list found on the bankruptcy court’s website. Many agencies offer online counseling sessions. The cost varies. Some agencies will reduce or waive the cost depending on your circumstances.

It is important to obtain this counseling prior to filing. If you do not, the court can dismiss your case and you may lose any filing fee you had already paid.

Even if you refile, you may lose important bankruptcy rights and may not be able to stop the collection activity of your creditors. You also may be required to pay a second filing fee. The counseling requirement can be waived only under very limited circumstances, so you need to understand this requirement and take care of it before you file.

To start a bankruptcy case, you file what is called a petition with the bankruptcy court in the federal judicial district and division where you live. The petition contains a request for relief under one of the chapters of the bankruptcy code. You must file a statement regarding various financial matters and disclose all creditors and assets on forms called schedules.

You must fill out a form showing whether you should file under Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7, depending on the amount of money that is left over each month after deducting reasonable household expenses. This form is called the “Means”.

Most debtors must pay a filing fee. The amount of your filing fee depends on the type of bankruptcy case you file. The fee is payable in cash or certified check or money order. It may sometimes be paid in monthly installments if your income falls below a certain amount. You may request that the filing fee be waived.

If you do not file required documents or pay the filing fee in a timely manner, the court may dismiss your case. You must also attend the Meeting of Creditors. Failure to attend this meeting may also lead to your case being dismissed.

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