What Are The Requirements For Filing A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Jesse Barrientes: What are the requirements for filing a Chapter 7, the pre-filing requirements?

David Siegel: Yeah, before a case can be filed, the individual has to go through certain requirements and the first of which is they must take a credit counseling session.

Jesse Barrientes: What does that consist of?

David Siegel: The credit counseling session is basically a one hour session which can be done on the computer or in person or over the Internet. The cost is approximately $15 these days. And it basically runs you through a series of questions about your income, your assets, and your liabilities and gives you some other ideas of how to get out of debt other than filing a bankruptcy.

Jesse Barrientes: How long does the class, whether or not it’s over the Internet or in person or over the phone generally take?

David Siegel: It lasts about an hour, sometimes little bit longer.

Jesse Barrientes: So if you are filing with your spouse, can you both have one certificate and both take it together or are you required to take it separately?

David Siegel: The couple can take it together and they each get a separate certificate. So it’s one fee, one time frame and they are both able to file.

The second requirement pre-filing is that an individual must provide two months worth of paycheck stubs, pay advices or some other form of payment. So whether it be a paycheck, Social Security, unemployment benefits, rental income, royalties or whatever it is, they have to provide that to the attorney because the attorney has to give it to the trustee after the case is filed.

And the last requirement for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the person must provide their most recent federal tax return unless they did not have a requirement to file and then we would do a statement that says they didn’t have to file. But that is the three requirements, credit counseling, proof of income and proof of your federal tax return filing before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be filed with the clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court.

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