The 5 Requirements of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Gilbert
Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gilbert can help you get the fresh start you’ve been hoping for when you are mired in debt. It can get rid of those excessive credit card bills, outrageous personal loan debts, and even medical bills. Once the filing is complete, the debt is discharged, and you never have to pay another penny.
Sounds pretty great, right? If you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it can be that great. But first, you have to qualify. Here are the five requirements for filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gilbert:
Previous Bankruptcy Filing
Individuals and business entities can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gilbert. However, if you have filed for bankruptcy previously, you may not be able to file again within a certain time frame. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your case will be dismissed if a previous case was dismissed within 180 day for failure to appear in court or obey a court order. You also will not be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge within the previous eight years. You have to wait six years if you received a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge.
Before you can even file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gilbert, you have to complete a credit counseling class. But you can’t just take any class. You have to take a counseling class approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. You must also complete this course within 180 days of your filing.
Fortunately, you have options for completing the course. You can find a course to attend in person, or you can even complete the course online or on the phone. You will have to pay for the course yourself, and you will get a certificate upon completion that you will file with your bankruptcy petition.
One of the most important requirements for filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the Means Test. This test looks at how much you make as compared to the median income for your state. Your income includes all sources for the previous six months, including your wages, alimony, unemployment compensation, and other sources.
The means test also looks at your disposable income each month to determine what you can pay toward your debts. This is where the test can get complicated, but basically, you subtract your allowable expenses from your average monthly income, and you compare that result to the eligibility guidelines. If you fail the Means Test and are determined to be ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can still file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get debt relief.
The credit counseling course won’t be the only class you have to take. You’ll also have to complete a debtor education course after you file for bankruptcy but before your bankruptcy can be discharged. The course focuses on how to manage money well, including creating a budget, saving regularly, and using credit appropriately. In most cases, you will be able to take a debtor education course from the same company that you took your credit counseling course.
You must follow the rules carefully when filing for your bankruptcy, including using the official bankruptcy forms issued by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Beware trying to file for bankruptcy yourself and using forms that claim to be official on random websites. It’s best that you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to file your case for you, ensuring that you do not make any mistakes that could cost you more money, delay your bankruptcy discharge, or undermine your case.
If you believe that you meet the eligibility criteria to file for bankruptcy in Gilbert, you should meet with a trusted and experienced bankruptcy attorney near you to learn more. Only a qualified attorney can help you understand the ins and outs of bankruptcy, including whether you qualify and how a bankruptcy discharge could impact you, specifically.
Call Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers if you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy. Our bankruptcy attorneys will help you learn about your options for getting debt relief. We will review your finances and provide advice about the best path forward for maximum debt relief in the shortest time possible. Call us in Gilbert today to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer.
Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers