Filing Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy papers, is something that should handled by an experienced and capable bankruptcy attorney. The process is tricky and intricate and needs to be petitioned correctly or the petitioner could face unanticipated scrutiny of his/her application. A filling debtor that makes a simple mistake or omits certain essential information might be in for a rough ride. The laws, rules, and regulations applied to a bankruptcy filing are very specific in regards to the bankruptcy code and any slight error may influence the court or adversely affect the filing debtor's rights. An oversight such as a missing required document or missed or inappropriate form filed with the debtor's petition could have the case dismissed or rendered ineligible for bankruptcy. Any unfavorable ruling could have long lasting consequences and may even impede the debtor from the right to file in the future.

Debtors must file bankruptcy schedules that list all of his/her assets, income, and debts. Any debt not listed in a bankruptcy schedule could be left out of the debtor's discharged debt. Property or assets not listed in the appropriate bankruptcy schedule can be misconstrued as fraud or the debtor's attempt to hide property and could have the case declared ineligible for bankruptcy or have the discharge of debt denied by the court. Destroying property, falsifying records, or lying will be considered fraud and disqualify an applicant from filing for bankruptcy.

Petitioners are expected to know and understand the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the local laws that apply to bankruptcy filings in the jurisdiction where the petition is filed. That is why a bankruptcy attorney is so essential in any bankruptcy filing.

In most cases, debtors are required to attend credit counseling from a government-approved credit-counseling provider within the period of 180 days before filing bankruptcy. The credit-counseling provider must issue a statement of compliance and a certificate of credit counseling that must be presented with the bankruptcy petition papers. Bankruptcy petition papers must comply with all federal and local legal requirements.

Bankruptcy forms include:

  • Voluntary Petition
  • Declaration under Penalty of Perjury
  • List of Creditors Holding
  • Involuntary Petition
  • Declaration Concerning Debtor's Schedules
  • Statement of Financial Affairs
  • Order and Notice for Hearing on Disclosure Statement

It is a good idea to have a competent bankruptcy attorney represents you if you are filing bankruptcy in any U.S. jurisdiction. Even the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts strongly encourages debtors to obtain the services of competent legal counsel for representation in bankruptcy proceedings.

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