File Bankruptcy Online
While it would be great to file bankruptcy online in the privacy of your own home, this option is not yet available. However, you can obtain bankruptcy forms or locate a bankruptcy lawyer online. You can also locate important information about the various bankruptcy chapters and determine if this is the best route to go.
Although you cannot actually file bankruptcy online, much of the necessary prep work can be conducted via the Internet. There is bankruptcy software available online, which can assist you in preparing forms and calculations. You can also hire a paralegal or bankruptcy attorney to help prepare forms or represent you in court. Afterwards, all documents must be filed with your local bankruptcy court.
The new bankruptcy laws implemented in 2005 have made filing bankruptcy considerably more difficult. In order to petition the court for bankruptcy protection, debtors must obtain credit counseling through an approved U.S. Trustee agency. Debtors must also undergo the 'means' test to determine how much of their debts must be repaid.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, requires debtors to repay a portion of their debts. Therefore, most people who file for bankruptcy protection must now file for Chapter 13 protection. This chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires reorganization and repayment of debts over a period of three to five years.
A considerable amount of disposable income must be contributed toward the repayment of debts. Oftentimes, this places considerable financial hardship on the debtor and causes them to fail out of bankruptcy. When this occurs, creditors can petition the court and request the bankruptcy to be dismissed.
A bankruptcy judge can elect to allow the debtor to file Chapter 7, which requires liquidation of non-exempt assets. However, if the judge elects to dismiss the bankruptcy, creditors can proceed with collection actions and the debtor is unable to file for bankruptcy protection for eight years.
Filing bankruptcy should be given considerable consideration. There are numerous negative impacts associated with bankruptcy. With today's current economic distress, credit is going to be much more difficult to obtain and considerably more costly. Filing bankruptcy practically eliminates all chances of obtaining credit for ten years and can haunt you for the rest of your life.
Consider bankruptcy alternatives such as debt consolidation, debt settlement, credit counseling or budgeting. Oftentimes, debtors can obtain debt relief using alternatives and lessen the negative impact on their credit history.
The U.S. Trustee Program, operated by the Department of Justice, provides a comprehensive website which covers all aspects of bankruptcy. Additionally, a list of nationwide approved credit counseling agencies and debtor education programs are provided.
Before making a final decision to file bankruptcy, we encourage you to review our comprehensive article library. Topics include bankruptcy chapters, bankruptcy attorneys, new bankruptcy laws, alternatives to bankruptcy and more.