While bankruptcy provides a uniquely powerful method of debt relief, filing for bankruptcy is a complex process. As a result, the U.S. federal court’s website recommends that bankruptcy filers seek the aid of a bankruptcy attorney.
There are, however, a number of people who file for bankruptcy themselves. The most important steps for a do-it-yourself bankruptcy filing may occur early in the process.
Before filers may officially being bankruptcy they must meet certain requirements. These include:
In addition to these pre-filing hurdles, people filing bankruptcy by themselves must also become familiar with the rules and customs of their local bankruptcy court. Losing one’s ability to file for bankruptcy based on a technicality can be devastating. If you begin a filing and are unsuccessful you may not be able to file again for 7 years.
After the pre-filing requirements are met, individuals must next file all the relevant paperwork with the bankruptcy court. Information that must be filed with the court includes:
This is just basic information, and it does not include the further paperwork required for people with debts tied to property, including cars or homes.
To make matters even more difficult, if individuals fail to give the court all this information in a proper manner within 45 days of their bankruptcy filing, the court may dismiss their case.
Thus, while filing bankruptcy by yourself is certainly possible, self-filers may experience hurdles or even set-backs in their quest to eliminate debt.
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