How Do You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?


Quick Answer

Start a chapter 7 bankruptcy by filing a comprehensive set of completed official forms, known as schedules A through J, and a statement of financial affairs. As shown by Cornell's Legal Information Institute, it's necessary to provide all the required details of your assets, liabilities, income and expenses.

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Full Answer

As the debtor who is seeking bankruptcy protection, you have duties under the bankruptcy code, 11 U.S.C. Section 521 - Debtor's Duties. Prior to filing, take the required credit counseling class, and ensure that you list all your creditors with their correct addresses. After filing, take the Debtor's Education class. Give tax and other financial documents to the chapter 7 trustee prior to attending the creditor's meeting, which is the final step preceding the conclusion of the process.

Attorneys generally file the petition and all schedules electronically with the bankruptcy court. You and your attorney are responsible for the filings. Cornell's Legal Information Institute advises filing only after all information is compiled, all entries are checked and all the required documents are signed. Immediately upon filing, the bankruptcy code provides an automatic stay, which means that no creditor can take any collection action until authorized by the bankruptcy court, including collection calls, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. Section 362.

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