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Bankruptcy – Wikipedia

ArgentinaEdit

In Argentina the national Act “24.522 de Concursos y Quiebras” regulates the Bankruptcy and the Reorganization of the individuals and companies, public entities are not included.

In Australia, bankruptcy is a status which applies to individuals and is governed by the federal Bankruptcy Act 1966.[16] Companies do not go bankrupt but rather go into liquidation or administration, which is governed by the federal Corporations Act 2001.[17]

If a person commits an act of bankruptcy, then a creditor can apply to the Federal Circuit Court or the Federal Court for a sequestration order.[18] Acts of bankruptcy are defined in the legislation, and include the failure to comply with a bankruptcy notice.[19] A bankruptcy notice can be issued where, among other cases, a person fails to pay a judgment debt.[20] A person can also seek to have themself declared bankrupt by lodging a debtor’s petition with the “Official Receiver”,[21] which is the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA).[22]

To declare bankruptcy or for a creditor to lodge a petition, the debt must be at least $5,000.[20]

All bankrupts must lodge a Statement of Affairs document with AFSA, which includes important information about their assets and liabilities. A bankruptcy cannot be annulled until this document has been lodged.

Ordinarily, a bankruptcy lasts three years from the filing of the Statement of Affairs with AFSA.[23]

A Bankruptcy Trustee (in most cases, the Official Receiver) is appointed to deal with all matters regarding the administration of the bankrupt estate. The Trustee’s job includes notifying creditors of the estate and dealing with creditor inquiries; ensuring that the bankrupt complies with their obligations under the Bankruptcy Act; investigating the bankrupt’s financial affairs; realising funds to which the estate is entitled under the Bankruptcy Act and distributing dividends to creditors if sufficient funds become available.

For the duration of their bankruptcy, all bankrupts have certain restrictions placed upon them. For example, a bankrupt must obtain the permission of their trustee to travel overseas. Failure to do so may result in the bankrupt being stopped at the airport by the Australian Federal Police. Additionally, a bankrupt is required to provide their trustee with details of income and assets. If the bankrupt does not comply with the Trustee’s request to provide details of income, the trustee may have grounds to lodge an Objection to Discharge, which has the effect of extending the bankruptcy for a further five years.

The realisation of funds usually comes from two main sources: the bankrupt’s assets and the bankrupt’s wages. There are certain assets that are protected, referred to as protected assets. These include household furniture and appliances, tools of the trade and vehicles up to a certain value. All other assets of value are sold. If a house or car is above a certain value, the bankrupt can buy the interest back from the estate in order to keep the asset. If the bankrupt does not do this, the interest vests in the estate and the trustee is able to take possession of the asset and sell it.

The bankrupt must pay income contributions if their income is above a certain threshold. If the bankrupt fails to pay, the trustee can issue a notice to garnishee the bankrupt’s wages. If that is not possible, the Trustee may seek to extend the bankruptcy for a further five years.

Bankruptcies can be annulled prior to the expiration of the normal three-year period if all debts are paid out in full. Sometimes a bankrupt may be able to raise enough funds to make an Offer of Composition to creditors, which would have the effect of paying the creditors some of the money they are owed. If the creditors accept the offer, the bankruptcy can be annulled after the funds are received.

After the bankruptcy is annulled or the bankrupt has been automatically discharged, the bankrupt’s credit report status is shown as “discharged bankrupt” for some years. The maximum number of years this information can be held is subject to the retention limits under the Privacy Act. How long such information is on a credit report may be shorter, depending on the issuing company, but the report must cease to record that information based on the criteria in the Privacy Act.

In Brazil, the Bankruptcy Law (11.101/05) governs court-ordered or out-of-court receivership and bankruptcy and only applies to public companies (publicly traded companies) with the exception of financial institutions, credit cooperatives, consortia, supplementary scheme entities, companies administering health care plans, equity companies and a few other legal entities. It does not apply to state-run companies.

Current law covers three legal proceedings. The first one is bankruptcy itself (“Falncia”). Bankruptcy is a court-ordered liquidation procedure for an insolvent business. The final goal of bankruptcy is to liquidate company assets and pay its creditors.

The second one is Court-ordered Restructuring (Recuperao Judicial). The goal is to overcome the business crisis situation of the debtor in order to allow the continuation of the producer, the employment of workers and the interests of creditors, leading, thus, to preserving company, its corporate function and develop economic activity. It’s a court procedure required by the debtor which has been in business for more than two years and requires approval by a judge.

The Extrajudicial Restructuring (Recuperao Extrajudicial) is a private negotiation that involves creditors and debtors and, as with court-ordered restructuring, also must be approved by courts.[24]

Bankruptcy, also referred to as insolvency in Canada, is governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and is applicable to businesses and individuals, for example, Target Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of the Target Corporation, the second-largest discount retailer in the United States filed for bankruptcy in January 15, 2015, and closed all of its stores by April 12. The office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, a federal agency, is responsible for overseeing that bankruptcies are administered in a fair and orderly manner by all licensed Trustees in Canada.

Trustees in bankruptcy, 1041 individuals licensed to administer insolvencies, bankruptcy and proposal estates and are governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada.

Bankruptcy is filed when a person or a company becomes insolvent and cannot pay their debts as they become due and if they have at least $1,000 in debt.

In 2011, the Superintendent of bankruptcy reported that trustees in Canada filed 127,774 insolvent estates. Consumer estates were the vast majority, with 122 999 estates.[25] The consumer portion of the 2011 volume is divided into 77,993 bankruptcies and 45,006 consumer proposals. This represented a reduction of 8.9% from 2010. Commercial estates filed by Canadian trustees in 2011 4,775 estates, 3,643 bankruptcies and 1,132 Division 1 proposals.[26] This represents a reduction of 8.6% over 2010.

Some of the duties of the trustee in bankruptcy are to:

Creditors become involved by attending creditors’ meetings. The trustee calls the first meeting of creditors for the following purposes:

In Canada, a person can file a consumer proposal as an alternative to bankruptcy. A consumer proposal is a negotiated settlement between a debtor and their creditors.

A typical proposal would involve a debtor making monthly payments for a maximum of five years, with the funds distributed to their creditors. Even though most proposals call for payments of less than the full amount of the debt owing, in most cases, the creditors accept the dealbecause if they do not, the next alternative may be personal bankruptcy, in which the creditors get even less money. The creditors have 45 days to accept or reject the consumer proposal. Once the proposal is accepted by both the creditors and the Court, the debtor makes the payments to the Proposal Administrator each month (or as otherwise stipulated in their proposal), and the general creditors are prevented from taking any further legal or collection action. If the proposal is rejected, the debtor is returned to his prior insolvent state and may have no alternative but to declare personal bankruptcy.

A consumer proposal can only be made by a debtor with debts to a maximum of $250,000 (not including the mortgage on their principal residence). If debts are greater than $250,000, the proposal must be filed under Division 1 of Part III of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. An Administrator is required in the Consumer Proposal, and a Trustee in the Division I Proposal (these are virtually the same although the terms are not interchangeable). A Proposal Administrator is almost always a licensed trustee in bankruptcy, although the Superintendent of Bankruptcy may appoint other people to serve as administrators.

In 2006, there were 98,450 personal insolvency filings in Canada: 79,218 bankruptcies and 19,232 consumer proposals.[27]

The People’s Republic of China legalized bankruptcy in 1986, and a revised law that was more expansive and complete was enacted in 2007.

Bankruptcy in Ireland applies only to natural persons. Other insolvency processes including liquidation and examinership are used to deal with corporate insolvency.

Irish bankruptcy law has been the subject of significant comment, from both government sources and the media, as being in need of reform. Part 7 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011[28] has started this process and the government has committed to further reform.

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (December 2016)

The Parliament of India in the first week of May 2016 passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (New Code). Earlier a clear law on corporate bankruptcy did not exist, even though individual bankruptcy laws have been in existence since 1874. The earlier law in force was enacted in 1920 called the Provincial Insolvency Act.

The legal definitions of the terms bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidation and dissolution are contested in the Indian legal system. There is no regulation or statute legislated upon bankruptcy which denotes a condition of inability to meet a demand of a creditor as is common in many other jurisdictions.

Winding up of companies was in the jurisdiction of the courts which can take a decade even after the company has actually been declared insolvent. On the other hand, supervisory restructuring at the behest of the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction is generally undertaken using receivership by a public entity.

Dutch bankruptcy law is governed by the Dutch Bankruptcy Code (Faillissementswet). The code covers three separate legal proceedings.

Federal Law No. 127-FZ “On Insolvency (Bankruptcy)” dated 26 October 2002 (as amended) (the “Bankruptcy Act”), replacing the previous law in 1998, to better address the above problems and a broader failure of the action.Russian insolvency law is intended for a wide range of borrowers: individuals and companies of all sizes, with the exception of state-owned enterprises, government agencies, political parties and religious organizations. There are also special rules for insurance companies, professional participants of the securities market, agricultural organizations and other special laws for financial institutions and companies in the natural monopolies in the energy industry.Federal Law No. 40-FZ “On Insolvency (Bankruptcy)” dated 25 February 1999 (as amended) (the “Insolvency Law of Credit Institutions”) contains special provisions in relation to the opening of insolvency proceedings in relation to the credit company. Insolvency Provisions Act, credit organizations used in conjunction with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Act.

Bankruptcy law provides for the following stages of insolvency proceedings: Monitoring procedure or Supervision (nablyudeniye); The economic recovery (finansovoe ozdorovleniye); External control (vneshneye upravleniye); Liquidation (konkursnoye proizvodstvo) and Amicable Agreement (mirovoye soglasheniye).

The main face of the bankruptcy process is the insolvency officer (trustee in bankruptcy, bankruptcy manager). At various stages of bankruptcy, he must be determined: the temporary officer in Monitoring procedure, external manager in External control, the receiver or administrative officer in The economic recovery, the liquidator. During the bankruptcy trustee in bankruptcy (insolvency officer) has a decisive influence on the movement of assets (property) of the debtor – the debtor and has a key influence on the economic and legal aspects of its operations.

Under Swiss law, bankruptcy can be a consequence of insolvency. It is a court-ordered form of debt enforcement proceedings that applies, in general, to registered commercial entities only. In a bankruptcy, all assets of the debtor are liquidated under the administration of the creditors, although the law provides for debt restructuring options similar to those under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.

In Sweden, bankruptcy (Swedish: konkurs) is a formal process that may involve a company or individual. It is not the same as insolvency, which is inability to pay debts that should have been paid. A creditor or the company itself can apply for bankruptcy. An external bankruptcy manager takes over the company or the assets of the person, and tries to sell as much as possible. A person or a company in bankruptcy can not access its assets (with some exceptions).

The formal bankruptcy process is rarely carried out for individuals.[29] Creditors can claim money through the Enforcement Administration anyway, and creditors do not usually benefit from the bankruptcy of individuals because there are costs of a bankruptcy manager which has priority. Unpaid debts remain after bankruptcy for individuals. People who are deeply in debt can obtain a debt arrangement procedure (Swedish: skuldsanering). On application, they obtain a payment plan under which they pay as much as they can for five years, and then all remaining debts are cancelled. Debts that derive from a ban on business operations (issued by court, commonly for tax fraud or fraudulent business practices) or owed to a crime victim as compensation for damages, are exempted from thisand, as before this process was introduced in 2006, remain lifelong.[30] Debts that have not been claimed during a 3-10 year period are cancelled. Often crime victims stop their claims after a few years since criminals often do not have job incomes and might be hard to locate, while banks make sure their claims are not cancelled. The most common reasons for personal insolvency in Sweden are illness, unemployment, divorce or company bankruptcy.

For companies, formal bankruptcy is a normal effect of insolvency, even if there is a reconstruction mechanism where the company can be given time to solve its situation, e.g. by finding an investor. The formal bankruptcy involves contracting a bankruptcy manager, who makes certain that assets are sold and money divided by the priority the law claims, and no other way. Banks have such a priority. After a finished bankruptcy for a company, it is terminated. The activities might continue in a new company which has bought important assets from the bankrupted company.

Bankruptcy in the United Kingdom (in a strict legal sense) relates only to individuals (including sole proprietors) and partnerships. Companies and other corporations enter into differently named legal insolvency procedures: liquidation and administration (administration order and administrative receivership). However, the term ‘bankruptcy’ is often used when referring to companies in the media and in general conversation. Bankruptcy in Scotland is referred to as sequestration. To apply for bankruptcy in Scotland, an individual must have more than 1,500 of debt.

A trustee in bankruptcy must be either an Official Receiver (a civil servant) or a licensed insolvency practitioner. Current law in England and Wales derives in large part from the Insolvency Act 1986. Following the introduction of the Enterprise Act 2002, a UK bankruptcy now normally last no longer than 12 months, and may be less if the Official Receiver files in court a certificate that investigations are complete. It was expected that the UK Government’s liberalisation of the UK bankruptcy regime would increase the number of bankruptcy cases; initially, cases increased, as the Insolvency Service statistics appear to bear out. Since 2009, the introduction of the Debt Relief Order has resulted in a dramatic fall in bankruptcies, the latest estimates for year 2014/15 being significantly less than 30,000 cases.

The UK bankruptcy law was changed in May 2000, effective May 29, 2000.[31] Debtors may now retain occupational pensions while in bankruptcy, except in rare cases.[31]

The Government have updated legislation (2016) to streamline the application process for UK bankruptcy. UK residents now need to apply online for bankruptcy – there is an upfront fee of 655. The process for residents of Northern Ireland differs – applicants must follow the older process of applying through the courts.[31]

Bankruptcy in the United States is a matter placed under federal jurisdiction by the United States Constitution (in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4), which empowers Congress to enact “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States”. Congress has enacted statutes governing bankruptcy, primarily in the form of the Bankruptcy Code, located at Title 11 of the United States Code.[32]

A debtor declares bankruptcy to obtain relief from debt, and this is normally accomplished either through a discharge of the debt or through a restructuring of the debt. When a debtor files a voluntary petition, their bankruptcy case commences.[33]

While bankruptcy cases are always filed in United States Bankruptcy Court (an adjunct to the U.S. District Courts), bankruptcy cases, particularly with respect to the validity of claims and exemptions, are often dependent upon State law.[34] A Bankruptcy Exemption defines the property a debtor may retain and preserve through bankruptcy. Certain real and personal property can be exempted on “Schedule C”[35] of a debtor’s bankruptcy forms, and effectively be taken outside the debtor’s bankruptcy estate. Bankruptcy exemptions are available only to individuals filing bankruptcy.[36]

There are two alternative systems that can be used to “exempt” property from a bankruptcy estate, federal exemptions[37] (available in some states but not all), and state exemptions (which vary widely between states). For example, Maryland and Virginia, which are adjoining states, have different personal exemption amounts that cannot be seized for payment of debts. This amount is the first $6,000 in property or cash in Maryland,[38] but normally only the first $5,000 in Virginia.[39] State law therefore plays a major role in many bankruptcy cases, such that there may be significant differences in the outcome of a bankruptcy case depending upon the state in which it is filed.

After a bankruptcy petition is filed, the court schedules a hearing called a 341 meeting or meeting of creditors, at which the bankruptcy trustee and creditors review the petitioner’s petition and supporting schedules, question the petitioner, and can challenge exemptions they believe are improper.[40]

There are six types of bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code, located at Title 11 of the United States Code:

An important feature applicable to all types of bankruptcy filings is the automatic stay.[41] The automatic stay means that the mere request for bankruptcy protection automatically halts most lawsuits, repossessions, foreclosures, evictions, garnishments, attachments, utility shut-offs, and debt collection activity.

The most common types of personal bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7, known as a “straight bankruptcy” involves the discharge of certain debts without repayment. Chapter 13, involves a plan of repayment of debts over a period of years. Whether a person qualifies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is in part determined by income.[42][43] As many as 65% of all U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7 cases.

Before a consumer may obtain bankruptcy relief under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the debtor is to undertake credit counselling with approved counseling agencies prior to filing a bankruptcy petition and to undertake education in personal financial management from approved agencies prior to being granted a discharge of debts under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Some studies of the operation of the credit counseling requirement suggest that it provides little benefit to debtors who receive the counseling because the only realistic option for many is to seek relief under the Bankruptcy Code.[44]

Corporations and other business forms normally file under Chapters 7 or 11.

Often called “straight bankruptcy” or “simple bankruptcy,” a Chapter 7 bankruptcy potentially allows debtors to eliminate most or all of their debts over a period of as little as three or four months. In a typical consumer bankruptcy, the only debts that survive a Chapter 7 are student loans, child support obligations, some tax bills and criminal fines. Credit cards, pay day loans, personal loans, medical bills, and just about all other bills are discharged.

In Chapter 7, a debtor surrenders non-exempt property to a bankruptcy trustee, who then liquidates the property and distributes the proceeds to the debtor’s unsecured creditors. In exchange, the debtor is entitled to a discharge of some debt. However, the debtor is not granted a discharge if guilty of certain types of inappropriate behavior (e.g., concealing records relating to financial condition) and certain debts (e.g., spousal and child support and most student loans). Some taxes are not discharged even though the debtor is generally discharged from debt. Many individuals in financial distress own only exempt property (e.g., clothes, household goods, an older car, or the tools of their trade or profession) and do not have to surrender any property to the trustee.[42] The amount of property that a debtor may exempt varies from state to state (as noted above, Virginia and Maryland have a $1,000 difference.) Chapter 7 relief is available only once in any eight-year period. Generally, the rights of secured creditors to their collateral continues, even though their debt is discharged. For example, absent some arrangement by a debtor to surrender a car or “reaffirm” a debt, the creditor with a security interest in the debtor’s car may repossess the car even if the debt to the creditor is discharged.

Ninety-one percent of U.S. individuals who petition for relief under Chapter 7 hire an attorney to file their petitions.[45] The typical cost of an attorney is $1,170.00.[45] Alternatives to filing with an attorney are: filing pro se,[46] hiring a non-lawyer petition preparer,[47] or using online software to generate the petition.

To be eligible to file a consumer bankruptcy under Chapter 7, a debtor must qualify under a statutory “means test”.[48] The means test was intended to make it more difficult for a significant number of financially distressed individual debtors whose debts are primarily consumer debts to qualify for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. The “means test” is employed in cases where an individual with primarily consumer debts has more than the average annual income for a household of equivalent size, computed over a 180-day period prior to filing. If the individual must “take” the “means test”, their average monthly income over this 180-day period is reduced by a series of allowances for living expenses and secured debt payments in a very complex calculation that may or may not accurately reflect that individual’s actual monthly budget. If the results of the means test show no disposable income (or in some cases a very small amount) then the individual qualifies for Chapter 7 relief. An individual who fails the means test will have their Chapter 7 case dismissed, or may have to convert the case to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If a debtor does not qualify for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, either because of the Means Test or because Chapter 7 does not provide a permanent solution to delinquent payments for secured debts, such as mortgages or vehicle loans, the debtor may still seek relief under Chapter 13 of the Code. A Chapter 13 plan often does not require repayment to general unsecured debts, such as credit cards or medical bills.

Generally, a trustee sells most of the debtor’s assets to pay off creditors. However, certain debtor assets will be protected to some extent by bankruptcy exemptions. These include Social Security payments, unemployment compensation, limited equity in a home, car, or truck, household goods and appliances, trade tools, and books. However, these exemptions vary from state to state.

In Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the debtor retains ownership and control of assets and is re-termed a debtor in possession (DIP).[49] The debtor in possession runs the day-to-day operations of the business while creditors and the debtor work with the Bankruptcy Court in order to negotiate and complete a plan. Upon meeting certain requirements (e.g., fairness among creditors, priority of certain creditors) creditors are permitted to vote on the proposed plan.[50] If a plan is confirmed, the debtor continues to operate and pay debts under the terms of the confirmed plan. If a specified majority of creditors do not vote to confirm a plan, additional requirements may be imposed by the court in order to confirm the plan. Debtors filing for Chapter 11 protection a second time are known informally as “Chapter 22” filers.[51]

In Chapter 13, debtors retain ownership and possession of all their assets, but must devote some portion of future income to repaying creditors, generally over three to five years.[52] The amount of payment and period of the repayment plan depend upon a variety of factors, including the value of the debtor’s property and the amount of a debtor’s income and expenses.[53] Under this chapter, the debtor can propose a repayment plan in which to pay creditors over three to five years. If the monthly income is less than the state’s median income, the plan is for three years, unless the court finds “just cause” to extend the plan for a longer period. If the debtor’s monthly income is greater than the median income for individuals in the debtor’s state, the plan must generally be for five years. A plan cannot exceed the five-year limit.[53]

Relief under Chapter 13 is available only to individuals with regular income whose debts do not exceed prescribed limits.[54] If the debtor is an individual or a sole proprietor, the debtor is allowed to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay all or part of the debts. Secured creditors may be entitled to greater payment than unsecured creditors.[52]

In contrast to Chapter 7, the debtor in Chapter 13 may keep all property, whether or not exempt. If the plan appears feasible and if the debtor complies with all the other requirements, the bankruptcy court typically confirms the plan and the debtor and creditors are bound by its terms. Creditors have no say in the formulation of the plan, other than to object to it, if appropriate, on the grounds that it does not comply with one of the Code’s statutory requirements.[55] Generally, the debtor makes payments to a trustee who disburses the funds in accordance with the terms of the confirmed plan.

When the debtor completes payments pursuant to the terms of the plan, the court formally grant the debtor a discharge of the debts provided for in the plan.[53] However, if the debtor fails to make the agreed upon payments or fails to seek or gain court approval of a modified plan, a bankruptcy court will normally dismiss the case on the motion of the trustee.[56] After a dismissal, creditors may resume pursuit of state law remedies to recover the unpaid debt.

In 2004, the number of insolvencies reached record highs in many European countries. In France, company insolvencies rose by more than 4%, in Austria by more than 10%, and in Greece by more than 20%. The increase in the number of insolvencies, however, does not indicate the total financial impact of insolvencies in each country because there is no indication of the size of each case. An increase in the number of bankruptcy cases does not necessarily entail an increase in bad debt write-off rates for the economy as a whole.

Bankruptcy statistics are also a trailing indicator. There is a time delay between financial difficulties and bankruptcy. In most cases, several months or even years pass between the financial problems and the start of bankruptcy proceedings. Legal, tax, and cultural issues may further distort bankruptcy figures, especially when comparing on an international basis. Two examples:

The insolvency numbers for private individuals also do not show the whole picture. Only a fraction of heavily indebted households file for insolvency. Two of the main reasons for this are the stigma of declaring themselves insolvent and the potential business disadvantage.

Following the soar in insolvencies in the last decade, a number of European countries, such as France, Germany, Spain and Italy, began to revamp their bankruptcy laws in 2013. They modelled these new laws after the image of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Currently, the majority of insolvency cases have ended in liquidation in Europe rather than the businesses surviving the crisis. These new law models are meant to change this; lawmakers are hoping to turn bankruptcy into a chance for restructuring rather than a death sentence for the companies.[57]

Link:

Bankruptcy – Wikipedia

Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a court proceeding in which a judge and court trustee examine the assets and liabilities of individuals and businesses who cant pay their bills and decide whether to discharge those debts so they are no longer legally required to pay them.

Bankruptcy laws were written to give people whose finances collapsed, a chance to start over. Whether it was bad decision-making or bad luck, lawmakers could see that in a capitalistic economy, consumers and businesses who failed, need a second chance.

And nearly all of them get it!

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) did a study of PACER stats (public court records) from 2016 and found that 95.5% of the 499,909 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases decided that year were discharged, meaning the individual was no longer legally required to pay the debt.

Only 22,388 cases were dismissed, meaning the judge or court trustee felt like the individual had enough resources to pay his/her debts.

Individuals who used Chapter 13 bankruptcy, best known as wage earners bankruptcy, were about split in their success. Slightly more than half (166,424) were discharged and 164,626 were dismissed.

The individuals and business who file for bankruptcy have far more debts than money to cover them and dont see that changing anytime soon. In 2015, bankruptcy filers owed $113 billion and had assets of $77 billion, most of that being real estate holdings, whose real value is debatable.

What is surprising is that people not businesses are the ones most often seeking help. They have taken on financial obligations like a mortgage, auto loan or student loan or perhaps all three! and dont have the income to pay for it. There were 844,495 bankruptcy cases filed in 2015, and 97% of them (819,760) were filed by individuals.

Only 24,375 bankruptcy cases were filed by businesses in 2015.

Most of the people filing bankruptcy were not particularly wealthy. The median income for the 819,760 individuals who filed, was just $34,392 and expenses were just $30,972.

It is important to understand that while bankruptcy is a chance to start over, it definitely affects your creditand future ability to use money. It mayprevent or delay foreclosureon a home and repossession of a car and it can also stop wage garnishment and other legal actions creditors use to collect debts, but in the end, there is a price to pay.

There is no perfect time, but there is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when youre asking yourself the question: should I file for bankruptcy? If it is going to take more than five years for you to pay off all your debts, it might be time to declare bankruptcy.

The thinking behind this is that the bankruptcy code was set up to give people a second chance, not to punish them. If some combination of mortgage debt, credit card debt, medical bills and student loans has devastated you financially and you dont see that picture changing, bankruptcy might be the best answer.

Other possible debt-relief choices include a debt management program or debt settlement, but both of those typically need 3-5 years to reach a resolution and neither one guarantees all your debts will be settled when you finish.

Bankruptcy carries some significant long-term penalties because it will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years, but there is a great mental and emotional lift when youre given a fresh start and all your debts are eliminated.

The primary reason for declaring bankruptcy is to start all over again with a clean slate.

However, there is a secondary reason for filing that might ease some of the tension related to your problems. Declaring bankruptcy will stop the badgering phone calls, letters and other attempts to contact and collect from you.

Legally, its referred to as the automatic stay. It means that creditors are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against you or entering liens against your property or constantly contacting you in an effort to get a payment on the debt. It also stops things like eviction, utility disconnection and wage garnishments.

Bankruptcy is a long- tormenting situation. Once you have filed, the process usually takes six months or more to complete. Before, and during that time, you and possibly your friends or workplace, have received phone calls from debt collection agencies trying to settle your accounts. Those calls must stop as soon as you declare bankruptcy.

Like the economy, there is a rise and fall to bankruptcy filings in the U.S. In fact, the two are as connected as peanut butter and jelly.

Bankruptcy peaked with just over two million filings in 2005. That is the same year the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed. That law was meant to stem the tide of consumers and businesses too eager to simply walk away from their debts.

The number of filings dropped 70% in 2006 to just 617,660, but then the economy tanked and bankruptcy filings increased rapidly to 1.6 million in 2010. They retreated again as the economy improved and have gone down 50% through 2016.

Filing for bankruptcy is a legal process that either reduces, restructures or eliminates your debts. Filing bankruptcy with a court is the first step. You can file on your own or you can file with an attorney. Bankruptcy costs include attorney fees and filing fees. If you file on your own, you will still be responsible for filing fees.

Bankruptcy is not simply a matter of telling a judge Im broke! and throwing yourself at the mercy of the court. There is a process a sometimes confusing, sometimes complicated process that individuals and businesses must wade through to be successful.

It starts with compiling all your financial records debts, assets, income, expenses and listing them. This not only gives you a better understanding of your situation, but also gives anyone helping you (and eventually the court) a better understanding.

The next step is to receive credit counseling within 180 days before filing your case. This is required step. You must obtain counseling from an approved provider listed on theUnited States Courtswebsite. Most counseling agencies offer this service online or over the phone.

The courts want you to do this to make sure you have exhausted all possibilities of finding a different way to handle your problem. Its important to understand that credit counseling is required. You will receive a certificate of completion from the course and this must be part of the paperwork when you declare bankruptcy, or your filing will be rejected.

Next, you file the petition for bankruptcy. If you havent done so at this point, this might be where you realize you need to find a bankruptcy lawyer. Legal counsel is not a requirement for individuals filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you are taking a serious risk if you choose to represent yourself.

For one thing, you may not understand federal or state bankruptcy laws or be aware which laws apply to your case, especially regarding what debts can or cant be discharged. Judges are not permitted to offer advice and neither are the court employees involved in a case.

There also are many forms to complete and some important differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 that you should be aware of when making decisions. Finally, if you dont know and follow the proper procedures and rules in court, it could affect the outcome of your case.

When your petition is accepted, your case is assigned to a court trustee, who sets up a meeting with your creditors. You must attend the meeting, but the creditors do not have to be there. This is an opportunity for them to ask you or the court trustee questions about your case.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may have options for free legal services. If you need help finding a lawyer or locating free legal services, check with the American Bar Association for resources and information.

There are several types of bankruptcy for which individuals or married couples can file, the most common being Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcyis a chance to receive a court judgment that releases you from responsibility for repaying debts. You are permitted to keep key assets, considered exempt property, but non-exempt property will be sold to repay part of your debt.

Property exemptions vary from state to state. You may choose to follow either state law or federal law, which may allow you to keep more possessions.

Examples of exempt property include your home, the car you use for work, equipment you use at work, Social Security checks, pensions, veterans benefits, welfare and retirement savings. These things cant be sold or used to repay debt.

Non-exempt property includes things like cash, bank accounts, stock investments, coin or stamp collections, a second car or second home, etc. Non-exempt items will be liquidated and the proceeds used to repay lenders.

Your assets will be sold by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. The proceeds go toward paying the trustee, covering administrative fees and, if funds allow, repaying your creditors as much as possible.

Chapter 7 is the most popular form of bankruptcy, making up 63 percent of individual bankruptcy cases in 2015.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies make up about 30 percent of non-business bankruptcy filings. AChapter 13 bankruptcyinvolves repaying some of your debts to have the rest forgiven. This is an option for people who do not want to give up their property or do not qualify for Chapter 7 because their income is too high.

People can only file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 if their debts do not exceed a certain amount. The specific cutoff is reevaluated periodically, so check with a lawyer or credit counselor for the most up-to-date figures.

Under Chapter 13, you must design a three- to five-year repayment plan for your creditors. Once you successfully complete the plan, the remaining debts are erased.

However, most people do not successfully finish their plans. When this happens, debtors may then choose to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. If they don’t, creditors then can resume their attempts to collect the full balance owed.

The overriding principle of bankruptcy is that it gives you a fresh start with your finances. Chapter 7 (known as liquidation), wipes away debt by selling nearly all your possessions. Chapter 13 (known as the wage earners plan) gives you an opportunity to develop a 3-5 year plan to repay all your debt and keep what you have.

Both equal a fresh start.

Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7-10 years, depending upon which chapter of bankruptcy you file under. For example, Chapter 7 (the most common) is on your credit report for 10 years, while a Chapter 13 filing (second most common) is there for seven years.

During this time, a bankruptcy discharge could prevent you from obtaining new lines of credit and may even cause problems when you apply for jobs.

If you are considering bankruptcy, yourcredit report and credit scoreprobably are damaged already. Your credit report may not endure significantly more damage, especially if you consistently pay your bills after declaring bankruptcy.

Still, because of the long-term effects of bankruptcy, some experts believe its most beneficial when you have more than $15,000 in debts.

Bankruptcy does not necessarily erase all financial responsibilities.

It also does not protect those who co-signed your debts. Your co-signer agreed to pay your loan if you didn’t or couldn’t pay. When you declare bankruptcy, your co-signer still may be legally obligated to pay all or part of your loan.

Most people consider bankruptcy only after they pursuedebt consolidation or debt settlement. These options can help you get your finances back on track and won’t negatively impact your credit as much as a bankruptcy.

Debt consolidationcombines all your loans to help you make regular and timely payments on your debts. Debt settlement is a means of negotiating with your creditors to lower your balance. If successful, it directly reduces your debts.

To learn more about bankruptcy and other debt-relief options, seek advice from a local credit counselor or read theFederal Trade Commission’sinformational pages.

Read more:

Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

About Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity.

All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy Basics provides detailed information about filing.

Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Individuals can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, which is called filing pro se. Learn more.

Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.

If you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer, the resources below may help. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal services.

Go here to read the rest:

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

Sears, US retail giant, files for bankruptcy – CNN

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Here is the original post:

Sears, US retail giant, files for bankruptcy – CNN

Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings – bankruptcyhq.com

Although I spent years working as a bankruptcy paralegal at one of the nations largest firm I rarely saw bankruptcy cases that involved adversary proceedings. Perhaps that is why they were always so interesting to me. Not many people have heard of an adversary hearing so let me first start by explaining what it is. An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit that is brought within a bankruptcy proceeding and based on conflicting claims, usually between the debtor (or the bankruptcy trustee) and a creditor. Adversary proceedings are governed by special procedural rules under Part VII of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

So what does this mean in laymans terms? Basically an adversary hearing starts when one of the creditors involved in an individuals bankruptcy decides that they do not think the debt they hold should be able to be erased in the debtors bankruptcy. This could be for various reasons, but in most cases the claims a creditor makes against a defendant in an adversary proceeding are for fraudulent transfers (transfers of the debtors assets to a third party, with the intent to prevent creditors from reaching the assets to satisfy their claims).

Adversary proceedings are handled in civil court, which means that in most cases debtors hire a separate attorney or pay their bankruptcy attorney extra fees to handle their adversary proceeding. This is something that you should discuss with your bankruptcy attorney even if you do not thing that an adversary hearing could happen to you. Ultimately you have no control over which of your creditors will choose to pursue an adversary proceeding so you should be prepared either way.

Some common reasons that adversary proceedings are filed are:

1. To recover money or property2. To determine the validity or extent of lien or other interest in property3. To object or revoke a discharge4. To revoke an order of confirmation of a plan (Chapter 13)5. To determine the dischargeability of a debt

Typically an adversary is first filed by the plaintiff and the court clerk will issue a summons to alert the debtor that the paperwork has been filed. The summons will include a complaint so that the debtor will be aware of exactly what the creditor is filing the adversary case for. The adversary will be considered open until the Judge creates a decision, judgment, or the parties agree on a settlement.

Bankruptcy can sometimes be a complex process, but adding an adversary hearing to a bankruptcy can truly make for a confusing experience. Ask any attorney that you may consider hiring how they handle adversary proceedings and how much, if any, they would charge on top of their normal fees. The good news is that in most cases the adversary hearings only include 1 or 2 debts out of the dozens you will likely be filing on. This means that even if the adversary proceeding goes in favor of the creditor, your bankruptcy can still eliminate other debts that are causing you grief.

See more here:

Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings – bankruptcyhq.com

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

About Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity.

All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy Basics provides detailed information about filing.

Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Individuals can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, which is called filing pro se. Learn more.

Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.

If you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer, the resources below may help. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal services.

Visit link:

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

Bankruptcy – Nolo’s Free Legal Encyclopedia | Nolo.com

Learn about bankruptcy (Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and other types of bankruptcy), as well as other alternatives for managing your debt. Find out how bankruptcy works, how debts are discharged (cancelled), how bankruptcy laws protect your assets and stop creditors, and whether it might be a good option for you.

Read the original post:

Bankruptcy – Nolo’s Free Legal Encyclopedia | Nolo.com

Sears, US retail giant, files for bankruptcy – CNN

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Sears, US retail giant, files for bankruptcy – CNN

Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings – bankruptcyhq.com

Although I spent years working as a bankruptcy paralegal at one of the nations largest firm I rarely saw bankruptcy cases that involved adversary proceedings. Perhaps that is why they were always so interesting to me. Not many people have heard of an adversary hearing so let me first start by explaining what it is. An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit that is brought within a bankruptcy proceeding and based on conflicting claims, usually between the debtor (or the bankruptcy trustee) and a creditor. Adversary proceedings are governed by special procedural rules under Part VII of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

So what does this mean in laymans terms? Basically an adversary hearing starts when one of the creditors involved in an individuals bankruptcy decides that they do not think the debt they hold should be able to be erased in the debtors bankruptcy. This could be for various reasons, but in most cases the claims a creditor makes against a defendant in an adversary proceeding are for fraudulent transfers (transfers of the debtors assets to a third party, with the intent to prevent creditors from reaching the assets to satisfy their claims).

Adversary proceedings are handled in civil court, which means that in most cases debtors hire a separate attorney or pay their bankruptcy attorney extra fees to handle their adversary proceeding. This is something that you should discuss with your bankruptcy attorney even if you do not thing that an adversary hearing could happen to you. Ultimately you have no control over which of your creditors will choose to pursue an adversary proceeding so you should be prepared either way.

Some common reasons that adversary proceedings are filed are:

1. To recover money or property2. To determine the validity or extent of lien or other interest in property3. To object or revoke a discharge4. To revoke an order of confirmation of a plan (Chapter 13)5. To determine the dischargeability of a debt

Typically an adversary is first filed by the plaintiff and the court clerk will issue a summons to alert the debtor that the paperwork has been filed. The summons will include a complaint so that the debtor will be aware of exactly what the creditor is filing the adversary case for. The adversary will be considered open until the Judge creates a decision, judgment, or the parties agree on a settlement.

Bankruptcy can sometimes be a complex process, but adding an adversary hearing to a bankruptcy can truly make for a confusing experience. Ask any attorney that you may consider hiring how they handle adversary proceedings and how much, if any, they would charge on top of their normal fees. The good news is that in most cases the adversary hearings only include 1 or 2 debts out of the dozens you will likely be filing on. This means that even if the adversary proceeding goes in favor of the creditor, your bankruptcy can still eliminate other debts that are causing you grief.

Read the rest here:

Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings – bankruptcyhq.com

Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a court proceeding in which a judge and court trustee examine the assets and liabilities of individuals and businesses who cant pay their bills and decide whether to discharge those debts so they are no longer legally required to pay them.

Bankruptcy laws were written to give people whose finances collapsed, a chance to start over. Whether it was bad decision-making or bad luck, lawmakers could see that in a capitalistic economy, consumers and businesses who failed, need a second chance.

And nearly all of them get it!

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) did a study of PACER stats (public court records) from 2016 and found that 95.5% of the 499,909 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases decided that year were discharged, meaning the individual was no longer legally required to pay the debt.

Only 22,388 cases were dismissed, meaning the judge or court trustee felt like the individual had enough resources to pay his/her debts.

Individuals who used Chapter 13 bankruptcy, best known as wage earners bankruptcy, were about split in their success. Slightly more than half (166,424) were discharged and 164,626 were dismissed.

The individuals and business who file for bankruptcy have far more debts than money to cover them and dont see that changing anytime soon. In 2015, bankruptcy filers owed $113 billion and had assets of $77 billion, most of that being real estate holdings, whose real value is debatable.

What is surprising is that people not businesses are the ones most often seeking help. They have taken on financial obligations like a mortgage, auto loan or student loan or perhaps all three! and dont have the income to pay for it. There were 844,495 bankruptcy cases filed in 2015, and 97% of them (819,760) were filed by individuals.

Only 24,375 bankruptcy cases were filed by businesses in 2015.

Most of the people filing bankruptcy were not particularly wealthy. The median income for the 819,760 individuals who filed, was just $34,392 and expenses were just $30,972.

It is important to understand that while bankruptcy is a chance to start over, it definitely affects your creditand future ability to use money. It mayprevent or delay foreclosureon a home and repossession of a car and it can also stop wage garnishment and other legal actions creditors use to collect debts, but in the end, there is a price to pay.

There is no perfect time, but there is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when youre asking yourself the question: should I file for bankruptcy? If it is going to take more than five years for you to pay off all your debts, it might be time to declare bankruptcy.

The thinking behind this is that the bankruptcy code was set up to give people a second chance, not to punish them. If some combination of mortgage debt, credit card debt, medical bills and student loans has devastated you financially and you dont see that picture changing, bankruptcy might be the best answer.

Other possible debt-relief choices include a debt management program or debt settlement, but both of those typically need 3-5 years to reach a resolution and neither one guarantees all your debts will be settled when you finish.

Bankruptcy carries some significant long-term penalties because it will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years, but there is a great mental and emotional lift when youre given a fresh start and all your debts are eliminated.

The primary reason for declaring bankruptcy is to start all over again with a clean slate.

However, there is a secondary reason for filing that might ease some of the tension related to your problems. Declaring bankruptcy will stop the badgering phone calls, letters and other attempts to contact and collect from you.

Legally, its referred to as the automatic stay. It means that creditors are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against you or entering liens against your property or constantly contacting you in an effort to get a payment on the debt. It also stops things like eviction, utility disconnection and wage garnishments.

Bankruptcy is a long- tormenting situation. Once you have filed, the process usually takes six months or more to complete. Before, and during that time, you and possibly your friends or workplace, have received phone calls from debt collection agencies trying to settle your accounts. Those calls must stop as soon as you declare bankruptcy.

Like the economy, there is a rise and fall to bankruptcy filings in the U.S. In fact, the two are as connected as peanut butter and jelly.

Bankruptcy peaked with just over two million filings in 2005. That is the same year the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed. That law was meant to stem the tide of consumers and businesses too eager to simply walk away from their debts.

The number of filings dropped 70% in 2006 to just 617,660, but then the economy tanked and bankruptcy filings increased rapidly to 1.6 million in 2010. They retreated again as the economy improved and have gone down 50% through 2016.

Filing for bankruptcy is a legal process that either reduces, restructures or eliminates your debts. Filing bankruptcy with a court is the first step. You can file on your own or you can file with an attorney. Bankruptcy costs include attorney fees and filing fees. If you file on your own, you will still be responsible for filing fees.

Bankruptcy is not simply a matter of telling a judge Im broke! and throwing yourself at the mercy of the court. There is a process a sometimes confusing, sometimes complicated process that individuals and businesses must wade through to be successful.

It starts with compiling all your financial records debts, assets, income, expenses and listing them. This not only gives you a better understanding of your situation, but also gives anyone helping you (and eventually the court) a better understanding.

The next step is to receive credit counseling within 180 days before filing your case. This is required step. You must obtain counseling from an approved provider listed on theUnited States Courtswebsite. Most counseling agencies offer this service online or over the phone.

The courts want you to do this to make sure you have exhausted all possibilities of finding a different way to handle your problem. Its important to understand that credit counseling is required. You will receive a certificate of completion from the course and this must be part of the paperwork when you declare bankruptcy, or your filing will be rejected.

Next, you file the petition for bankruptcy. If you havent done so at this point, this might be where you realize you need to find a bankruptcy lawyer. Legal counsel is not a requirement for individuals filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you are taking a serious risk if you choose to represent yourself.

For one thing, you may not understand federal or state bankruptcy laws or be aware which laws apply to your case, especially regarding what debts can or cant be discharged. Judges are not permitted to offer advice and neither are the court employees involved in a case.

There also are many forms to complete and some important differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 that you should be aware of when making decisions. Finally, if you dont know and follow the proper procedures and rules in court, it could affect the outcome of your case.

When your petition is accepted, your case is assigned to a court trustee, who sets up a meeting with your creditors. You must attend the meeting, but the creditors do not have to be there. This is an opportunity for them to ask you or the court trustee questions about your case.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may have options for free legal services. If you need help finding a lawyer or locating free legal services, check with the American Bar Association for resources and information.

There are several types of bankruptcy for which individuals or married couples can file, the most common being Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcyis a chance to receive a court judgment that releases you from responsibility for repaying debts. You are permitted to keep key assets, considered exempt property, but non-exempt property will be sold to repay part of your debt.

Property exemptions vary from state to state. You may choose to follow either state law or federal law, which may allow you to keep more possessions.

Examples of exempt property include your home, the car you use for work, equipment you use at work, Social Security checks, pensions, veterans benefits, welfare and retirement savings. These things cant be sold or used to repay debt.

Non-exempt property includes things like cash, bank accounts, stock investments, coin or stamp collections, a second car or second home, etc. Non-exempt items will be liquidated and the proceeds used to repay lenders.

Your assets will be sold by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. The proceeds go toward paying the trustee, covering administrative fees and, if funds allow, repaying your creditors as much as possible.

Chapter 7 is the most popular form of bankruptcy, making up 63 percent of individual bankruptcy cases in 2015.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies make up about 30 percent of non-business bankruptcy filings. AChapter 13 bankruptcyinvolves repaying some of your debts to have the rest forgiven. This is an option for people who do not want to give up their property or do not qualify for Chapter 7 because their income is too high.

People can only file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 if their debts do not exceed a certain amount. The specific cutoff is reevaluated periodically, so check with a lawyer or credit counselor for the most up-to-date figures.

Under Chapter 13, you must design a three- to five-year repayment plan for your creditors. Once you successfully complete the plan, the remaining debts are erased.

However, most people do not successfully finish their plans. When this happens, debtors may then choose to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. If they don’t, creditors then can resume their attempts to collect the full balance owed.

The overriding principle of bankruptcy is that it gives you a fresh start with your finances. Chapter 7 (known as liquidation), wipes away debt by selling nearly all your possessions. Chapter 13 (known as the wage earners plan) gives you an opportunity to develop a 3-5 year plan to repay all your debt and keep what you have.

Both equal a fresh start.

Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7-10 years, depending upon which chapter of bankruptcy you file under. For example, Chapter 7 (the most common) is on your credit report for 10 years, while a Chapter 13 filing (second most common) is there for seven years.

During this time, a bankruptcy discharge could prevent you from obtaining new lines of credit and may even cause problems when you apply for jobs.

If you are considering bankruptcy, yourcredit report and credit scoreprobably are damaged already. Your credit report may not endure significantly more damage, especially if you consistently pay your bills after declaring bankruptcy.

Still, because of the long-term effects of bankruptcy, some experts believe its most beneficial when you have more than $15,000 in debts.

Bankruptcy does not necessarily erase all financial responsibilities.

It also does not protect those who co-signed your debts. Your co-signer agreed to pay your loan if you didn’t or couldn’t pay. When you declare bankruptcy, your co-signer still may be legally obligated to pay all or part of your loan.

Most people consider bankruptcy only after they pursuedebt consolidation or debt settlement. These options can help you get your finances back on track and won’t negatively impact your credit as much as a bankruptcy.

Debt consolidationcombines all your loans to help you make regular and timely payments on your debts. Debt settlement is a means of negotiating with your creditors to lower your balance. If successful, it directly reduces your debts.

To learn more about bankruptcy and other debt-relief options, seek advice from a local credit counselor or read theFederal Trade Commission’sinformational pages.

Here is the original post:

Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a court proceeding in which a judge and court trustee examine the assets and liabilities of individuals and businesses who cant pay their bills and decide whether to discharge those debts so they are no longer legally required to pay them.

Bankruptcy laws were written to give people whose finances collapsed, a chance to start over. Whether it was bad decision-making or bad luck, lawmakers could see that in a capitalistic economy, consumers and businesses who failed, need a second chance.

And nearly all of them get it!

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) did a study of PACER stats (public court records) from 2016 and found that 95.5% of the 499,909 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases decided that year were discharged, meaning the individual was no longer legally required to pay the debt.

Only 22,388 cases were dismissed, meaning the judge or court trustee felt like the individual had enough resources to pay his/her debts.

Individuals who used Chapter 13 bankruptcy, best known as wage earners bankruptcy, were about split in their success. Slightly more than half (166,424) were discharged and 164,626 were dismissed.

The individuals and business who file for bankruptcy have far more debts than money to cover them and dont see that changing anytime soon. In 2015, bankruptcy filers owed $113 billion and had assets of $77 billion, most of that being real estate holdings, whose real value is debatable.

What is surprising is that people not businesses are the ones most often seeking help. They have taken on financial obligations like a mortgage, auto loan or student loan or perhaps all three! and dont have the income to pay for it. There were 844,495 bankruptcy cases filed in 2015, and 97% of them (819,760) were filed by individuals.

Only 24,375 bankruptcy cases were filed by businesses in 2015.

Most of the people filing bankruptcy were not particularly wealthy. The median income for the 819,760 individuals who filed, was just $34,392 and expenses were just $30,972.

It is important to understand that while bankruptcy is a chance to start over, it definitely affects your creditand future ability to use money. It mayprevent or delay foreclosureon a home and repossession of a car and it can also stop wage garnishment and other legal actions creditors use to collect debts, but in the end, there is a price to pay.

There is no perfect time, but there is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when youre asking yourself the question: should I file for bankruptcy? If it is going to take more than five years for you to pay off all your debts, it might be time to declare bankruptcy.

The thinking behind this is that the bankruptcy code was set up to give people a second chance, not to punish them. If some combination of mortgage debt, credit card debt, medical bills and student loans has devastated you financially and you dont see that picture changing, bankruptcy might be the best answer.

Other possible debt-relief choices include a debt management program or debt settlement, but both of those typically need 3-5 years to reach a resolution and neither one guarantees all your debts will be settled when you finish.

Bankruptcy carries some significant long-term penalties because it will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years, but there is a great mental and emotional lift when youre given a fresh start and all your debts are eliminated.

The primary reason for declaring bankruptcy is to start all over again with a clean slate.

However, there is a secondary reason for filing that might ease some of the tension related to your problems. Declaring bankruptcy will stop the badgering phone calls, letters and other attempts to contact and collect from you.

Legally, its referred to as the automatic stay. It means that creditors are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against you or entering liens against your property or constantly contacting you in an effort to get a payment on the debt. It also stops things like eviction, utility disconnection and wage garnishments.

Bankruptcy is a long- tormenting situation. Once you have filed, the process usually takes six months or more to complete. Before, and during that time, you and possibly your friends or workplace, have received phone calls from debt collection agencies trying to settle your accounts. Those calls must stop as soon as you declare bankruptcy.

Like the economy, there is a rise and fall to bankruptcy filings in the U.S. In fact, the two are as connected as peanut butter and jelly.

Bankruptcy peaked with just over two million filings in 2005. That is the same year the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed. That law was meant to stem the tide of consumers and businesses too eager to simply walk away from their debts.

The number of filings dropped 70% in 2006 to just 617,660, but then the economy tanked and bankruptcy filings increased rapidly to 1.6 million in 2010. They retreated again as the economy improved and have gone down 50% through 2016.

Filing for bankruptcy is a legal process that either reduces, restructures or eliminates your debts. Filing bankruptcy with a court is the first step. You can file on your own or you can file with an attorney. Bankruptcy costs include attorney fees and filing fees. If you file on your own, you will still be responsible for filing fees.

Bankruptcy is not simply a matter of telling a judge Im broke! and throwing yourself at the mercy of the court. There is a process a sometimes confusing, sometimes complicated process that individuals and businesses must wade through to be successful.

It starts with compiling all your financial records debts, assets, income, expenses and listing them. This not only gives you a better understanding of your situation, but also gives anyone helping you (and eventually the court) a better understanding.

The next step is to receive credit counseling within 180 days before filing your case. This is required step. You must obtain counseling from an approved provider listed on theUnited States Courtswebsite. Most counseling agencies offer this service online or over the phone.

The courts want you to do this to make sure you have exhausted all possibilities of finding a different way to handle your problem. Its important to understand that credit counseling is required. You will receive a certificate of completion from the course and this must be part of the paperwork when you declare bankruptcy, or your filing will be rejected.

Next, you file the petition for bankruptcy. If you havent done so at this point, this might be where you realize you need to find a bankruptcy lawyer. Legal counsel is not a requirement for individuals filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you are taking a serious risk if you choose to represent yourself.

For one thing, you may not understand federal or state bankruptcy laws or be aware which laws apply to your case, especially regarding what debts can or cant be discharged. Judges are not permitted to offer advice and neither are the court employees involved in a case.

There also are many forms to complete and some important differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 that you should be aware of when making decisions. Finally, if you dont know and follow the proper procedures and rules in court, it could affect the outcome of your case.

When your petition is accepted, your case is assigned to a court trustee, who sets up a meeting with your creditors. You must attend the meeting, but the creditors do not have to be there. This is an opportunity for them to ask you or the court trustee questions about your case.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may have options for free legal services. If you need help finding a lawyer or locating free legal services, check with the American Bar Association for resources and information.

There are several types of bankruptcy for which individuals or married couples can file, the most common being Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcyis a chance to receive a court judgment that releases you from responsibility for repaying debts. You are permitted to keep key assets, considered exempt property, but non-exempt property will be sold to repay part of your debt.

Property exemptions vary from state to state. You may choose to follow either state law or federal law, which may allow you to keep more possessions.

Examples of exempt property include your home, the car you use for work, equipment you use at work, Social Security checks, pensions, veterans benefits, welfare and retirement savings. These things cant be sold or used to repay debt.

Non-exempt property includes things like cash, bank accounts, stock investments, coin or stamp collections, a second car or second home, etc. Non-exempt items will be liquidated and the proceeds used to repay lenders.

Your assets will be sold by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. The proceeds go toward paying the trustee, covering administrative fees and, if funds allow, repaying your creditors as much as possible.

Chapter 7 is the most popular form of bankruptcy, making up 63 percent of individual bankruptcy cases in 2015.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies make up about 30 percent of non-business bankruptcy filings. AChapter 13 bankruptcyinvolves repaying some of your debts to have the rest forgiven. This is an option for people who do not want to give up their property or do not qualify for Chapter 7 because their income is too high.

People can only file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 if their debts do not exceed a certain amount. The specific cutoff is reevaluated periodically, so check with a lawyer or credit counselor for the most up-to-date figures.

Under Chapter 13, you must design a three- to five-year repayment plan for your creditors. Once you successfully complete the plan, the remaining debts are erased.

However, most people do not successfully finish their plans. When this happens, debtors may then choose to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. If they don’t, creditors then can resume their attempts to collect the full balance owed.

The overriding principle of bankruptcy is that it gives you a fresh start with your finances. Chapter 7 (known as liquidation), wipes away debt by selling nearly all your possessions. Chapter 13 (known as the wage earners plan) gives you an opportunity to develop a 3-5 year plan to repay all your debt and keep what you have.

Both equal a fresh start.

Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7-10 years, depending upon which chapter of bankruptcy you file under. For example, Chapter 7 (the most common) is on your credit report for 10 years, while a Chapter 13 filing (second most common) is there for seven years.

During this time, a bankruptcy discharge could prevent you from obtaining new lines of credit and may even cause problems when you apply for jobs.

If you are considering bankruptcy, yourcredit report and credit scoreprobably are damaged already. Your credit report may not endure significantly more damage, especially if you consistently pay your bills after declaring bankruptcy.

Still, because of the long-term effects of bankruptcy, some experts believe its most beneficial when you have more than $15,000 in debts.

Bankruptcy does not necessarily erase all financial responsibilities.

It also does not protect those who co-signed your debts. Your co-signer agreed to pay your loan if you didn’t or couldn’t pay. When you declare bankruptcy, your co-signer still may be legally obligated to pay all or part of your loan.

Most people consider bankruptcy only after they pursuedebt consolidation or debt settlement. These options can help you get your finances back on track and won’t negatively impact your credit as much as a bankruptcy.

Debt consolidationcombines all your loans to help you make regular and timely payments on your debts. Debt settlement is a means of negotiating with your creditors to lower your balance. If successful, it directly reduces your debts.

To learn more about bankruptcy and other debt-relief options, seek advice from a local credit counselor or read theFederal Trade Commission’sinformational pages.

See more here:

Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

About Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity.

All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy Basics provides detailed information about filing.

Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Individuals can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, which is called filing pro se. Learn more.

Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.

If you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer, the resources below may help. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal services.

More:

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

Sears, US retail giant, files for bankruptcy – CNN

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La Monica explains what’s behind the retailer’s ongoing downfall.”,”descriptionText”:”JCPenney has seen better days. CNN’s Paul R. La Monica explains what’s behind the retailer’s ongoing downfall.”},{“title”:”Ros Mansion: Selfie playground or future of retail?”,”duration”:”02:36″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/09/27/rose-mansion-instagram-selfie-experiential-pop-up-retail-cnn-business-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/09/27/rose-mansion-instagram-selfie-experiential-pop-up-retail-cnn-business-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180928150901-rose-mansion-kaya-grapes-brighter-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/09/27/rose-mansion-instagram-selfie-experiential-pop-up-retail-cnn-business-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”Experiential pop-ups like Ros Mansion and the Museum of Ice Cream are springing up all over the country. 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While some critics say they’re “Instagram traps,” others argue that established brands could learn something from their success.”},{“title”:”How Walmart is taking on Amazon”,”duration”:”01:11″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/09/21/walmart-amazon-retail-cnnbusiness-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/09/21/walmart-amazon-retail-cnnbusiness-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180517155735-walmart-shopping-cart-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/09/21/walmart-amazon-retail-cnnbusiness-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”Between a flurry of acquisitions, strong digital sales and an increased international presence, Walmart is going toe-to-toe with Amazon in the online retail battle.”,”descriptionText”:”Between a flurry of acquisitions, strong digital sales and an increased international presence, Walmart is going toe-to-toe with Amazon in the online retail battle.”},{“title”:”You won’t be hearing this iconic jingle anymore”,”duration”:”01:07″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/03/13/toys-r-us-closing-lc-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/03/13/toys-r-us-closing-lc-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180313104233-toys-r-us-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/03/13/toys-r-us-closing-lc-orig.cnn/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”After 70 years in business, Toys “R” Us will be closing or selling all of its US stores.”,”descriptionText”:”After 70 years in business, Toys “R” Us will be closing or selling all of its US stores.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-1kxe3n9′,”,”js-video_source-featured-1kxe3n9″,true,true,’business-retail’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length

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Sears, US retail giant, files for bankruptcy – CNN

Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings – bankruptcyhq.com

Although I spent years working as a bankruptcy paralegal at one of the nations largest firm I rarely saw bankruptcy cases that involved adversary proceedings. Perhaps that is why they were always so interesting to me. Not many people have heard of an adversary hearing so let me first start by explaining what it is. An adversary proceeding is a lawsuit that is brought within a bankruptcy proceeding and based on conflicting claims, usually between the debtor (or the bankruptcy trustee) and a creditor. Adversary proceedings are governed by special procedural rules under Part VII of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

So what does this mean in laymans terms? Basically an adversary hearing starts when one of the creditors involved in an individuals bankruptcy decides that they do not think the debt they hold should be able to be erased in the debtors bankruptcy. This could be for various reasons, but in most cases the claims a creditor makes against a defendant in an adversary proceeding are for fraudulent transfers (transfers of the debtors assets to a third party, with the intent to prevent creditors from reaching the assets to satisfy their claims).

Adversary proceedings are handled in civil court, which means that in most cases debtors hire a separate attorney or pay their bankruptcy attorney extra fees to handle their adversary proceeding. This is something that you should discuss with your bankruptcy attorney even if you do not thing that an adversary hearing could happen to you. Ultimately you have no control over which of your creditors will choose to pursue an adversary proceeding so you should be prepared either way.

Some common reasons that adversary proceedings are filed are:

1. To recover money or property2. To determine the validity or extent of lien or other interest in property3. To object or revoke a discharge4. To revoke an order of confirmation of a plan (Chapter 13)5. To determine the dischargeability of a debt

Typically an adversary is first filed by the plaintiff and the court clerk will issue a summons to alert the debtor that the paperwork has been filed. The summons will include a complaint so that the debtor will be aware of exactly what the creditor is filing the adversary case for. The adversary will be considered open until the Judge creates a decision, judgment, or the parties agree on a settlement.

Bankruptcy can sometimes be a complex process, but adding an adversary hearing to a bankruptcy can truly make for a confusing experience. Ask any attorney that you may consider hiring how they handle adversary proceedings and how much, if any, they would charge on top of their normal fees. The good news is that in most cases the adversary hearings only include 1 or 2 debts out of the dozens you will likely be filing on. This means that even if the adversary proceeding goes in favor of the creditor, your bankruptcy can still eliminate other debts that are causing you grief.

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Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings – bankruptcyhq.com

Bankruptcy – Nolo’s Free Legal Encyclopedia | Nolo.com

Learn about bankruptcy (Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and other types of bankruptcy), as well as other alternatives for managing your debt. Find out how bankruptcy works, how debts are discharged (cancelled), how bankruptcy laws protect your assets and stop creditors, and whether it might be a good option for you.

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Bankruptcy – Nolo’s Free Legal Encyclopedia | Nolo.com

Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a court proceeding in which a judge and court trustee examine the assets and liabilities of individuals and businesses who cant pay their bills and decide whether to discharge those debts so they are no longer legally required to pay them.

Bankruptcy laws were written to give people whose finances collapsed, a chance to start over. Whether it was bad decision-making or bad luck, lawmakers could see that in a capitalistic economy, consumers and businesses who failed, need a second chance.

And nearly all of them get it!

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) did a study of PACER stats (public court records) from 2016 and found that 95.5% of the 499,909 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases decided that year were discharged, meaning the individual was no longer legally required to pay the debt.

Only 22,388 cases were dismissed, meaning the judge or court trustee felt like the individual had enough resources to pay his/her debts.

Individuals who used Chapter 13 bankruptcy, best known as wage earners bankruptcy, were about split in their success. Slightly more than half (166,424) were discharged and 164,626 were dismissed.

The individuals and business who file for bankruptcy have far more debts than money to cover them and dont see that changing anytime soon. In 2015, bankruptcy filers owed $113 billion and had assets of $77 billion, most of that being real estate holdings, whose real value is debatable.

What is surprising is that people not businesses are the ones most often seeking help. They have taken on financial obligations like a mortgage, auto loan or student loan or perhaps all three! and dont have the income to pay for it. There were 844,495 bankruptcy cases filed in 2015, and 97% of them (819,760) were filed by individuals.

Only 24,375 bankruptcy cases were filed by businesses in 2015.

Most of the people filing bankruptcy were not particularly wealthy. The median income for the 819,760 individuals who filed, was just $34,392 and expenses were just $30,972.

It is important to understand that while bankruptcy is a chance to start over, it definitely affects your creditand future ability to use money. It mayprevent or delay foreclosureon a home and repossession of a car and it can also stop wage garnishment and other legal actions creditors use to collect debts, but in the end, there is a price to pay.

There is no perfect time, but there is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when youre asking yourself the question: should I file for bankruptcy? If it is going to take more than five years for you to pay off all your debts, it might be time to declare bankruptcy.

The thinking behind this is that the bankruptcy code was set up to give people a second chance, not to punish them. If some combination of mortgage debt, credit card debt, medical bills and student loans has devastated you financially and you dont see that picture changing, bankruptcy might be the best answer.

Other possible debt-relief choices include a debt management program or debt settlement, but both of those typically need 3-5 years to reach a resolution and neither one guarantees all your debts will be settled when you finish.

Bankruptcy carries some significant long-term penalties because it will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years, but there is a great mental and emotional lift when youre given a fresh start and all your debts are eliminated.

The primary reason for declaring bankruptcy is to start all over again with a clean slate.

However, there is a secondary reason for filing that might ease some of the tension related to your problems. Declaring bankruptcy will stop the badgering phone calls, letters and other attempts to contact and collect from you.

Legally, its referred to as the automatic stay. It means that creditors are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against you or entering liens against your property or constantly contacting you in an effort to get a payment on the debt. It also stops things like eviction, utility disconnection and wage garnishments.

Bankruptcy is a long- tormenting situation. Once you have filed, the process usually takes six months or more to complete. Before, and during that time, you and possibly your friends or workplace, have received phone calls from debt collection agencies trying to settle your accounts. Those calls must stop as soon as you declare bankruptcy.

Like the economy, there is a rise and fall to bankruptcy filings in the U.S. In fact, the two are as connected as peanut butter and jelly.

Bankruptcy peaked with just over two million filings in 2005. That is the same year the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed. That law was meant to stem the tide of consumers and businesses too eager to simply walk away from their debts.

The number of filings dropped 70% in 2006 to just 617,660, but then the economy tanked and bankruptcy filings increased rapidly to 1.6 million in 2010. They retreated again as the economy improved and have gone down 50% through 2016.

Filing for bankruptcy is a legal process that either reduces, restructures or eliminates your debts. Filing bankruptcy with a court is the first step. You can file on your own or you can file with an attorney. Bankruptcy costs include attorney fees and filing fees. If you file on your own, you will still be responsible for filing fees.

Bankruptcy is not simply a matter of telling a judge Im broke! and throwing yourself at the mercy of the court. There is a process a sometimes confusing, sometimes complicated process that individuals and businesses must wade through to be successful.

It starts with compiling all your financial records debts, assets, income, expenses and listing them. This not only gives you a better understanding of your situation, but also gives anyone helping you (and eventually the court) a better understanding.

The next step is to receive credit counseling within 180 days before filing your case. This is required step. You must obtain counseling from an approved provider listed on theUnited States Courtswebsite. Most counseling agencies offer this service online or over the phone.

The courts want you to do this to make sure you have exhausted all possibilities of finding a different way to handle your problem. Its important to understand that credit counseling is required. You will receive a certificate of completion from the course and this must be part of the paperwork when you declare bankruptcy, or your filing will be rejected.

Next, you file the petition for bankruptcy. If you havent done so at this point, this might be where you realize you need to find a bankruptcy lawyer. Legal counsel is not a requirement for individuals filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you are taking a serious risk if you choose to represent yourself.

For one thing, you may not understand federal or state bankruptcy laws or be aware which laws apply to your case, especially regarding what debts can or cant be discharged. Judges are not permitted to offer advice and neither are the court employees involved in a case.

There also are many forms to complete and some important differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 that you should be aware of when making decisions. Finally, if you dont know and follow the proper procedures and rules in court, it could affect the outcome of your case.

When your petition is accepted, your case is assigned to a court trustee, who sets up a meeting with your creditors. You must attend the meeting, but the creditors do not have to be there. This is an opportunity for them to ask you or the court trustee questions about your case.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may have options for free legal services. If you need help finding a lawyer or locating free legal services, check with the American Bar Association for resources and information.

There are several types of bankruptcy for which individuals or married couples can file, the most common being Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcyis a chance to receive a court judgment that releases you from responsibility for repaying debts. You are permitted to keep key assets, considered exempt property, but non-exempt property will be sold to repay part of your debt.

Property exemptions vary from state to state. You may choose to follow either state law or federal law, which may allow you to keep more possessions.

Examples of exempt property include your home, the car you use for work, equipment you use at work, Social Security checks, pensions, veterans benefits, welfare and retirement savings. These things cant be sold or used to repay debt.

Non-exempt property includes things like cash, bank accounts, stock investments, coin or stamp collections, a second car or second home, etc. Non-exempt items will be liquidated and the proceeds used to repay lenders.

Your assets will be sold by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. The proceeds go toward paying the trustee, covering administrative fees and, if funds allow, repaying your creditors as much as possible.

Chapter 7 is the most popular form of bankruptcy, making up 63 percent of individual bankruptcy cases in 2015.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies make up about 30 percent of non-business bankruptcy filings. AChapter 13 bankruptcyinvolves repaying some of your debts to have the rest forgiven. This is an option for people who do not want to give up their property or do not qualify for Chapter 7 because their income is too high.

People can only file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 if their debts do not exceed a certain amount. The specific cutoff is reevaluated periodically, so check with a lawyer or credit counselor for the most up-to-date figures.

Under Chapter 13, you must design a three- to five-year repayment plan for your creditors. Once you successfully complete the plan, the remaining debts are erased.

However, most people do not successfully finish their plans. When this happens, debtors may then choose to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead. If they don’t, creditors then can resume their attempts to collect the full balance owed.

The overriding principle of bankruptcy is that it gives you a fresh start with your finances. Chapter 7 (known as liquidation), wipes away debt by selling nearly all your possessions. Chapter 13 (known as the wage earners plan) gives you an opportunity to develop a 3-5 year plan to repay all your debt and keep what you have.

Both equal a fresh start.

Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7-10 years, depending upon which chapter of bankruptcy you file under. For example, Chapter 7 (the most common) is on your credit report for 10 years, while a Chapter 13 filing (second most common) is there for seven years.

During this time, a bankruptcy discharge could prevent you from obtaining new lines of credit and may even cause problems when you apply for jobs.

If you are considering bankruptcy, yourcredit report and credit scoreprobably are damaged already. Your credit report may not endure significantly more damage, especially if you consistently pay your bills after declaring bankruptcy.

Still, because of the long-term effects of bankruptcy, some experts believe its most beneficial when you have more than $15,000 in debts.

Bankruptcy does not necessarily erase all financial responsibilities.

It also does not protect those who co-signed your debts. Your co-signer agreed to pay your loan if you didn’t or couldn’t pay. When you declare bankruptcy, your co-signer still may be legally obligated to pay all or part of your loan.

Most people consider bankruptcy only after they pursuedebt consolidation or debt settlement. These options can help you get your finances back on track and won’t negatively impact your credit as much as a bankruptcy.

Debt consolidationcombines all your loans to help you make regular and timely payments on your debts. Debt settlement is a means of negotiating with your creditors to lower your balance. If successful, it directly reduces your debts.

To learn more about bankruptcy and other debt-relief options, seek advice from a local credit counselor or read theFederal Trade Commission’sinformational pages.

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Understanding Bankruptcy: How to File & Qualifications

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

About Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity.

All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy Basics provides detailed information about filing.

Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Individuals can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, which is called filing pro se. Learn more.

Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.

If you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer, the resources below may help. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal services.

Read more here:

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

Bankruptcy | United States Courts

About Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity.

All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy Basics provides detailed information about filing.

Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Individuals can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, which is called filing pro se. Learn more.

Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.

If you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer, the resources below may help. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal services.

Read more:

Bankruptcy | United States Courts


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