What do I need to do before filing for Chapter13 Bankruptcy?

The very first thing you need to do before filing for Chapter13 is to meet with an experienced attorney in your area to talk about your case. Most attorneys will have a bankruptcy questionnaire which you will fill out in advance or at your meeting. The questionnaire is a detailed listing of all of your assets, all of your liabilities and your statement of financial affairs. By filling out this questionnaire, the attorney will start to understand what your situation is. You may be trying to save a home that’s in foreclosure. You might be trying to repay non-dischargeable debt over time. You might have disposable income and you just want to protect all of your property and repay either all or a portion of your debt over time. The attorney will be able to guide you through the process and advise you which chapter is best and if so, how it all works.

Some of the pre-bankruptcy requirements under Chapter13 are a credit counseling session; a credit counseling session must be completed prior to the case being filed. Additionally, you will have to provide two months worth of paycheck stubs or proof of other sources of income such as workers comp, unemployment, rent or any other income. Lastly, you will need to provide for years worth of federal tax returns unless you did not have to file for one reason or another. If you are someone who is not required to file tax returns, your attorney will have you sign a statement indicating that you are not required to file tax returns. Those are the pre-bankruptcy requirements. Now, an attorney may wish to collect a portion of the attorneys’ fees before filing and most certainly a portion or all of the filing fees. The filing fee for Chapter13 at the time of this writing is $281.

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