The first order of business when preparing to file a bankruptcy is to organize all your files. Make sure that while completing this step you gather you creditors, inventory your assets and calculate your income and expenses.This gives an overview of your current situation and allows you to move to the next step on the checklist.
Next, you want to determine the type of bankruptcy that you want to file. The two types that are useful for personal or small business are chapter 7 or chapter 13. In chapter 7 all debts are discharged, meaning erased, except for those that you want to keep. For example if you want to keep your car you have to keep your car payment. In chapter 13 your debt is reorganized. Creditors are divided into groups including "secured" and "unsecured." The court structures payment plans on secured debt to get you caught up on payments. In order to decide which bankruptcy type you may want to contact a bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the entire process.
After you have decided which type of bankruptcy to file you will need to attend pre-bankruptcy credit counseling with an approved agency. This is mandated by the court so that you are aware of all options available to you. This will lead you to the final steps of the bankruptcy checklist.
The final step before creating your petition and filing for bankruptcy is to gather all of your documents. The things you need before filing are your tax returns, two years for a Ch. 7 and three years for a Ch. 13, 6 months of pay stubs or proof of income, certificate of pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and your bank statements. Once all of this is put together you are ready to petition and file for bankruptcy.
Check ListOrganize All of Your Files Determine the Type of Bankruptcy Attend Pre-Bankuptcy Credit Counseling Gather Needed Documents Contact Bankruptcy Attorney File For Bankruptcy
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