Step by Step Guide to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 (this video) and Chapter 13 (later video) are the bankruptcy filings usually used by individuals. Bankruptcy chapter 7 eliminates most unsecured debts. Here is some helpful information.


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  • Make sure you qualify – take the means test. If you don’t immediately qualify, the Consumer Warrior can work with your deductions and may get you there.
  • Add up all your debts. Divide them into secured and unsecured. You can keep secured assets so long as you make payments and meet any exemption limit. Unsecured debts will be discharged; DON’T leave anything out.
  • File your case; automatic stay will end all ongoing collections.
  • Complete all the paperwork. As the video says, you’ll have about 70 pages or more. Don’t leave anything out.
  • You and a lawyer will attend the brief creditors meeting (less than ten minutes). The trustee may ask you questions.
  • Complete financial management course, like the credit counseling course you took before filing.
  • Get your discharge order. As the Consumer Warrior says, taxes, domestic support orders, and student loans aren’t discharged.
  • Check your credit report in two months to ensure all the discharged debt is zeroed out.

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