Bankruptcy Forms: DIY

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Using bankruptcy forms to file bankruptcy on your own has become common practice. There are a number of websites and books available that provide information on how to fill out and file the bankruptcy forms, so you do not have to be specially qualified to do this. If you have the right resources with a step-by-step guide and all the relevant forms in hand, you should not face any problems. Make sure you have a list of your debts and assets at hand. Consumer credit counseling is a must for anyone who files for bankruptcy.

Chapters 7, 11 and 13

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is much easier than the process for Chapter 11 and 13. Some bankruptcy courts may have their own requirements about the number of forms that have to be filed. In Chapter 7, debt is cleared in one go, while Chapter 11 lets you repay your debt over a specified time period. Chapter 13 is meant for those with over $200,000 in unsecured debt or over $800,000 in secured debt. Filing for bankruptcy should be your last resort because the filing stays on your credit record for 10 years.

Helpful Resources

Many government websites as well as consumer forums provide forms and useful links that can guide you through the bankruptcy process. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you are filing under, you will need to download or get hard copies of the specified forms. Some of the forms may be obtained only from the court house or the court’s website.

A good bankruptcy guide book will include instructions as well as the necessary forms. Another option is to obtain one of the popular bankruptcy software programs available. If you have any queries, you can also contact the court clerk and get your doubts cleared.

Finding Legal Guidance

Before you proceed with your bankruptcy filing, you need to familiarize yourself with the legal jargon and procedure. Failure to accurately fill the court forms may result in your petition being dismissed or a deficiency notice which will have to be properly followed up. If you are faced with something like this during your bankruptcy filing, it might be wise to contact an experienced lawyer immediately. Another advantage of having an experienced bankruptcy lawyer on your side is that he might be able to represent you during court visits, saving you some trips.