How to File for Bankruptcy
Though bankruptcy sounds like a last resort, sometimes bankruptcy can be just the thing to save your credit. Other times, bankruptcy alternatives, such as debt modification, can be the right answer. If creditors are harassing you by phone and mail, and the debts just keep piling up, bankruptcy attorney John M. Kenney can help you decide the best option for you and your family.The Bankruptcy Filing Process
Filing for bankruptcy discharges your unsecured debt, which can mean freedom from those creditors' phone calls. Though it may seem like a daunting process, with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, the bankruptcy process can go smoothly.
As a preliminary step prior to filing, you will need to participate in credit counseling. Click here for a list of approved credit counseling agencies in Pennsylvania.
Once credit counseling is complete, you must determine which type of bankruptcy to file for: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for a discharge of your unsecured debt provided your income is below the “means test” based upon an evaluation of your income earned over the prior six month period prior to filing.
Chapter 13 allows debtors to create a 3-5 year debt repayment plan to address such debts as mortgage delinquency or IRS delinquency resulting in a discharge of the remaining unsecured or credit card debt . An experienced attorney can help you decide which type of bankruptcy is best for you.
After you decide to pursue a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you and your attorney will prepare your bankruptcy petition. This is a set of very detailed paperwork that requires close attention. It will include information about your debts, assets (things you own), expenses, income, and taxes. It may require you to go through past paperwork in your home to retrieve old information. Not all of your property will be subject to liquidation if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so it is important to be thorough when you list what you own. Your attorney can help you understand exemptions, which is the property you will get to keep after filing.
Once the paperwork is completed, your attorney will file your bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the district in which you reside.
After your petition has been filed, a meeting of your creditors will take place – they are not required to attend. You must attend to attest to the truth of your bankruptcy filings. Attorney John M. Kenney will prepare you for this meeting and attend this meeting with you.
In rare cases, you may need to appear in court after the creditor meeting. Retaining an experienced lawyer is especially important at this stage.
Lastly, after you file, but before your debts are discharged, you will need to take a debtor education course. Click here for a list of approved debtor education courses.
Free bankruptcy consultation: Contact Bucks County bankruptcy lawyer John M. Kenney in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania for a free initial consultation about your options regarding filing for bankruptcy or other debt management. With 32 years of experience, John M. Kenney has served as a trusted legal advisor for over 5000 bankruptcy filers.